Parent Tips: When your Child Doesn’t Make the Team

It’s inevitable that not everyone makes the team when a child tries out for a sport. In those circumstances, your child will be disappointed and you may be at a total loss as to handle the situation. It’s important to understand that your child may not say much or offer any feedback on anything you say at that time. The following are some tips on what to do if your child doesn’t make the team.

Be Supportive

That doesn’t mean denigrate the coach, the players, get angry, or give advice. It’s not productive, sets a bad example and will only serve to make your child feel worse. Instead, tell them you’re sorry, give them a hug, or just hold them. Your child may not be nearly as upset as you anticipated or as you are yourself. They may need some time to themselves and don’t forget to let them know you’re still proud of them.

An Opportunity in Disguise

Your child may have been enrolled in sports from an early age and devoted a significant amount of time to it. Tryouts are always stressful. A child may have invested much of early childhood into a sport only to be rejected when they’re older. As a parent, you need to know that a sport doesn’t define who your child is as a person and that you convey that to them. Let them know there are other opportunities – when they’re ready to hear it. Don’t make this about you – it’s an opportunity for your child to learn how to handle disappointment and your chance to be a role model.

Keep Things in Perspective

Not making the team isn’t the end of the world. They can work on their skills and try out again next year. Help your child set goals to improve if they still want to play and assist your child in achieving them. Your child doesn’t need to be the “best” at a sport to continue to enjoy it. If your child wants to play, it can be helpful to ask the coach what skills your child needs to work on – but only after you’ve cooled down! If your child wants to take a break and try a different sport, be supportive.

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