What Happens When You Don’t Make The Team? A Guide for Players and Parents

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Enio Sacilotto

Enio Sacilotto is President of International Hockey Camps and operates the Mental Edge High-Performance Coaching. Enio has 38 years of coaching experience (professional hockey in Europe and the Victoria Royals of the WHL). Currently, he coaches the North West Hawks U15 and the Croatian National Men's team. If you have questions or are interested in any of his services, contact Enio at [email protected] or call 604 255 4747.

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At the beginning of any sports season thousands of athletes are trying out for teams, all over the country. There are many that are overcome with joy in making the cut and getting on their respective teams. For the number of athletes that “make it” there are much more that get “cut” or as the more modern term today, get “released” from the team. This article will present some tips for athletes and parents on how to deal with getting released.

Most successful people in life will often tell you how they have been rejected time and time again, but stayed persistent and resilient only to achieve success. In sports 2 notable examples come to mind, 1) Michael Jordan, one of the all-time best players in the NBA was cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore and 2) Joe Sakic didn’t make his Midget A1 team at Burnaby Minor, he stayed with it. Eventually he was Stanley Cup winner with the Colorado Avalanche and an NHL great. Sports as in life is full of ups and downs, they will happen, it is how we react and learn from the rollercoaster that counts most.

First let us look at being released from a team from the athlete’s perspective:

Tryouts are stressful for anyone of any age. You may be tired from school and being under the microscope and evaluated every practise and game is not easy. Often tryouts last for a short period and this period may not be the best time for you. All of a sudden, you find out that you did not make the team. Whether the coach spoke to you, you found out from a list or you found out on line. You worked hard to make this team and it did not happen. You are devastated, it hurts, your feelings are hurt and it may seem to be the end of the world. Do not despair! Here are some valuable tips for you:

1) DO NOT KEEP IT INSIDE – The worst thing you can do is keep your emotions bottled up inside. It is important for you to let your feelings be heard. Call someone that you can trust and is supportive of your efforts. This can be a parent, a friend, a former coach or an advisor. Let your feelings out!

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