Minds Made up Before Tryouts?


Matt Smith, Staff Writer

As a person who has been cut from many sports, tryouts are very hard for me, so this could be taken as a bitter attempt to call out the sports and coaches who cut me. This isn’t about that. It is about bringing light to a rather untalked about topic.

Regardless of when tryouts are, it seems like coaches already have their minds made up by the summer, if they have summer camps or if they coach a travel team. While talking to other students around LHS there are people who tend to agree.

That is not fair to those who have a job or are out of town for that camp because they are already behind everyone who was at the camp, and they should not be penalized for these other commitments.

In addition, some summer camps allow coaches to choose players for a summer league where they compete against other high schools, such as basketball, for example. The coaches are choosing the players that usually are going to make the team. That sounds like a tryout to me, but I thought it was summer camp?

If the coaches are evaluating players as if it was a tryout, then it should be called a tryout, not a summer camp.

To continue, there is a another factor that creates unfair tryout scenarios: injuries. There have been situations at Libertyville where players weren’t able to try out due to an injury or were limited from doing all things needed in a tryout. For example, in baseball, some players have been unable to take batting practice.


If an athlete is injured for a few weeks only, that’s okay, but some kids have been out months and still made the team; how do the coaches know that he or she is still capable? Because of summer camp? What about the kid who is injured and couldn’t make it to summer camp because he had a job? Is that fair?

For the people who don’t make the team, it is a heart-breaking moment when you see the injured kid walk out with a picture form and you’re left holding the sheet letting you know you won’t be back at the plate.

Those players not only made the team but some were even placed on the A team. Is that because of the summer camp? Or because of a relationship with the coach? Also, some coaches not only coach high school but they also coach feeder programs, and if that has anything to do with anyone making the team as well, these factors should not be taken into consideration, because it’s an unfair advantage to those who played and have a relationship with that coach.

Tryouts are a very stressful and nerve-racking process for many athletes participating in them. Athletes work hard, going to lifting sessions or open gyms, giving up their time for the sport. If the coaches have their minds made up by summer, and the injured kids who can’t try out make the team, then it is unfair and a waste of time.