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It is essential to organize the most effective tryout possible when recruiting players for a softball team. One of the most important facets to holding a softball tryout is to be efficient with the length of the tryout and be as clear as possible for what drills the tryout will consist of. For example, prospective players should have an idea of how long they can expect to be there and what they should focus on during their practices. Here are a few other ways to ensure your softball tryouts yield the best possible players.

Pre-Plan

What many first-time coaches don’t remember is that it’s likely to have dozens of team hopefuls show up for tryouts. You cannot possibly observe and analyze each and everyone’s performance alone. So, enlisting knowledgeable volunteers or working with other coaches is essential. A pre-tryout meeting should be scheduled to inform volunteers or fellow coaches the skills you’re looking for, as well as to develop a scoring system.

Develop a Clear Scoring System

Those trying out should have signed up weeks before tryouts are held. Therefore, you have a handy list of names at your disposal. Matching up the faces to the name, and then remembering how they performed is nearly impossible. There are many ways to score a player’s abilities during tryouts, but coming up with a system that takes into consideration what you most value or need in your team should be a priority.  

Prepare the Field and Check Equipment

Arriving at the field early to set up your drill spaces is highly recommended. You should have designated spaces for various drills, such as ground ball drills, pitching, fly balls, and pitching/hitting stations. Additionally, for many teams, tryouts are the first time equipment has been used in awhile. Checking to ensure that it is all up to par will ensure safety and tryout efficiency.

Choose Drills Strategically

Some drills can be more telling than others about a player’s ability on defense and on offense. Putting players through every drill, regardless of the position they’re contending for, will show you their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their ability to perform under pressure.

Hold a Scrimmage

If time allows, holding a scrimmage at the end of tryouts can be a great way to weed out any stragglers or highlight those who can hold their own. Mix seasoned players with new hopefuls to see who and how the players communicate and work together. In many cases, a scrimmage is the final tell of which players should and should not be put on the team.

All in all, the most important step to hosting a tryout is to ensure that the hopefuls have fun. The environment should be challenging, of course, but not intimidating. Ensuring that each player feels they’ve had the chance to prove themselves is necessary, and this, of course, depends on how much time you spent preparing and planning for the tryout.