Author: Randy Fierbaugh
How to Get Noticed at Baseball Tryouts? While in this particular case it is baseball specific, in reality, it is real life specific also. No matter what sport or sports you are playing, or in later life, what company or business you are in, you are always looking at “making the team”, and one of the great benefits of playing sports is that you have the opportunity of “making the team” more frequently starting at a very young age. So the experience you learn regarding “how to make the team” is a life lesson that will carry you forward throughout your entire life.
During my career I have played multiple sports in high school, college and baseball professionally, as well as having been employed by some very large companies in various capacities including sales, to regional and national operational and sales management, before becoming an entrepreneur and owning parts of several companies over the past seventeen years. I have also coached baseball at the Little League and high school level for nearly twenty-five years. One of the constants over this time frame has either been “trying to make the team”, or being the coach, holding tryouts, and making decisions on who will become members of my team, whether it is on the ball field, or whether it is on the business field.
Whether it was me trying out for someone else’s team, or whether I was the coach and selecting my team, the number one question or concern has always been “How does one standout from the rest of the crowd (in a good way) to give you the best opportunity of making the team?” While there are numerous thoughts and articles written on this subject, I will be touching on five sure-fire ways of being noticed at your tryout that will give you the best opportunity of making the team.
1) Don’t just be on time, be there ahead of time! While this would seem to be pretty self-explanatory, it is amazing how many prospects show up just in the nick of time, or surprisingly, are late to the interview or tryout. If it is a struggle for you to just make it in time for the tryout, or if you are late, from a coach’s perspective, how are you going to motivate and dedicate yourself to show up on time when you’ve made the team? Showing up early to a tryout, with plenty of time to spare, shows your passion for the opportunity and that you place a high priority on being a part of the team.
2) Be prepared! By being prepared, I mean are you really ready to present your best foot forward. Have you been training and practicing the skills necessary to shine during your tryout (interview) process? Knowing what your coach’s expectations are, who your competition is, and knowing the level of skills that are necessary to achieve your selection as a team member are all part of being prepared. Be realistic in your own assessment of your skills, passion, desire and expectations, and understand the dedication, resources and sacrifices you will need to allocate to improve those areas that need strengthened.
3) Do those things that others won’t do! Make sure the coach knows you are willing to do anything he needs done to help the team. Whether it is learning a new position, hitting ground balls to the infielders or sweeping out the dugout after practice, the coach will appreciate and take notice that you are willing to go the extra mile. Many players are clock watchers and can’t wait for the practice to be over. It amazes me the number of players I’ve seen who have a natural talent for athletics but won’t put in the time, effort, dedication and sacrifice necessary to progress from good to great because of their work ethic or attitude. How many times have you seen an average player with a great work ethic and passion overtake and surpass an individual who earlier in life was considered a “can’t miss” prospect? Give me a prospect who works hard and is diligent, dedicated and willing to sacrifice in order to develop their skills. Your coach will appreciate seeing your desire and passion when you spend time before or after practice or games doing drills that will make you a better player and teammate.
4) Can do attitude? Most coaches will take a long look at players during tryouts who show a great positive attitude. Coaches want winners on their team, not quitters, and it all starts with attitude! Attitudes are contagious, good or bad, here is your chance to show the coach you can be a positive influence and role model for the rest of the team.
5) Hustle! Once you hit the field, never walk, but run to wherever the coach wants you be. Here is another opportunity to impress the coach with your passion. You never know who is watching, but I can tell you that when there are many prospects trying out for the available positions, no one has ever said “Hey, I didn’t like that player, he was running all over the field.” It doesn’t take any extraordinary skill or talent to hustle, but it does give the coach a hint as to what your character is made of. To leave a lasting impression on the coach, show your passion for the game and your teammates through the hustle you display on the field.
While applying these five points may not guarantee you a spot on the team, I guarantee that you will leave a lasting impression not only with the coach and the rest of the coaching staff, but also with your fellow prospects and your future teammates.
Coach Randy was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 5th round of the 1974 MLB Amateur Draft following his graduation from Ashland University. He spent seven years pitching in the Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles organizations from 1974-1980. Randy, most recently, has been a pitching coach at the high school level in Florida since 2000 where he has mentored over 25 pitchers and players who have gone on to the collegiate and professional level. See more youth training videos by Coach Randy.