There is no question that Evaluations can be both an exciting and stressful time for hockey players and their parents. All players will be working extremely hard to make the team but the added pressure of tryouts can lead to nerves and jitters that players typically wouldn’t experience in a practice or game.
Players place enough pressure on themselves and can feel it coming from everyone around them. For coaches, they want to make the correct decision with a limited amount of time to do so.
This is the second article in our series on Evaluations, check out The 8 Things Coaches Look For During Evaluations.
To help alleviate some of the pressure your child is feeling and allow them to have a fun, positive evaluation experience (regardless of the outcome) here are some tips.
Whether you realize it or not, your body language, what you say and how you say it can greatly influence a kid. If you are visibly stressed, your child could feel extra pressure to perform well on the ice and not disappoint you.
Always remain positive throughout the entire tryout process. Acknowledge your child's effort through verbal and physical cues; a quick comment like "good job" or "well done" or a pat on the back can go a long way in your child’s confidence. You do not need to critique the tryout, your job as a parent is to be a support system for your child.
Encourage your child to have fun. If your child is having fun and treating the tryout like a normal practice or game, their positive attitude will translate into their on ice play, therefore, giving them a better chance at making the team.
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Encourage your child to do the best they can and to learn as much as possible. Always stay positive and remember that this is never the end of the road. If a child isn’t having fun, they won’t want to keep playing hockey and nobody wants that. Your actions can have a great impact on how your kid views the sport. Additionally, be constructive and positive when speaking to your child after tryouts. If they made a mistake, they will learn from it. Their skills will only get better as time goes on.
Take this opportunity to teach your child life lessons whether they make the team or not. If they make the team congratulate them and let them know it was because of their hard work and dedication. If they do not make the team teach them the lessons of acceptance, humility and perseverance.
Prepare your child for the possibility of not making the team and never fear failure. Being overly optimistic puts extra pressure on your child and if they do not make the team it can be devastating for them. Remind them there will be another team to tryout for and to use this as an opportunity to continue developing their skills and be ready for the following season.
Regardless of the outcome, enjoy this time with your child as it can be some of the best years you will experience together. Good luck throughout the tryout process and stay tuned for the next edition in our Tryout series!
TeamGenius is the leading hockey evaluation software provider for minor hockey associations. Founded in 2015, TeamGenius serves thousands of youth athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers with an easy-to-use platform for managing tryouts, clinics, coach & player development programs. TeamGenius is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, visit teamgenius.com.