When is it too much?
I was just on the Web site of one of our local fastpitch organizations (not the one I belong to) and saw that they have announced tryout dates for 2010. Any guesses as to when tryouts are? August 8th, which is the week after ASA Nationals are finished.
To me, that just insane. Every sports psychologist, physical training expert and even high-level coaches will tell you it’s critical for players to shut down for a while, take a break from the sport, overcome those little nagging injuries that occur over the sesaon and just generally recharge the ol’ batteries. In our area, where many of the high schools start in mid-August, that time after nationals is likely the only opportunity families have to go on vacation together.
So why are they doing it? It’s the competition for players. If everyone else has tryouts at the beginning of August and you don’t, you might miss out on your shot at some good players. Not the best, necessarily, because I’d bet any program that has a shot at a top-level player isn’t going to stick to their guns on the whole “you have three days to commit or you’re out.” Nor do those players have to worry about finding a place to play. But for everyone else, especially at the younger ages where kids are less known, there’s a fear that the kids won’t be able to find a team so they go along with it.
People, it’s time to stop the insanity. I know our legislators have a lot on their minds right now what with the economy and bailouts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and all. But I sure wouldn’t mind seeing one of them pass a law requiring teams to wait three weeks after the official end of the season before they can hold tryouts. I don’t think three weeks is asking a lot. But it sure could help out some kids and families. It might also help stop some of the softball burnout players are getting that is causing them to quit playing by the time they’re 15 or 16 or so.