1) Structure a detailed plan
Having a detailed plan for the tryouts and knowing how the event will flow is key. Knowing how you want the day to go ahead of time takes some stress off of a coaches shoulders during the tryout because you know exactly what is going to be coming next. There is never any worry about what is upcoming, and the event will flow nicely. Coaches will be able to look at the evaluation and recognize where the evaluators, athletes, and equipment needs to be. If something is out of place, this plan will allow them to feel at ease in making any necessary change.
2) Communication with assistant coaches and volunteers
An easy way to make a volleyball tryout easier before it even starts, is to meet with assistant coaches and volunteers in advance. Have a discussion about the plan for the day, skills that will be tested and what they should be looking for from the athletes to ensure everyone is on the same page. On the day of, don't underestimate the idea of having extra hands around. If something comes up or things are moving too quickly, having multiple coaches there to assist will makes things much easier. Have constant communication with those that are helping you, and ensure they are set up to answer questions from players if needed. A helping hand will go a long way both leading up to and during a tryout event.
3) Expect for the unexpected
Regardless of the hours of planning that goes into running an event, there will always be things that come up. Plan for the unexpected! Whether that be a walk up player that didn't register but wants to tryout, an athlete getting injured during the tryout, or a coach to be missing unexpectedly, tryouts always have a chance to throw something at you that you did not prepare for. As a coach, you control the day and the tryout. Stay calm, come up with a plan, and use those around you to help execute.
4) If you want to coach, coach!
Something that coaches tend to forget about during tryouts is... that they are a coach! Although your main task for the day is to observe the tryout and the athletes, there might be times where you want to offer a quick word of advice. Take these opportunities to develop relationships with athletes and showcase your communication abilities. It shows that you care about them, their athletic development and that they are more than just a number on the tryout screen.
5) Show that you care
As a coach, one of the most influential things you can do to a developing athlete is acknowledging them personally. Take the time to give a quick tip during warmups, stop for a chat during a water break, or ask how they are feeling. Coaches have an incredible impact on the athletes they coach, so take the time to make sure your impact is positive from the start. A positive interaction with a new coach during the tryout process can have a lasting impression on the athlete whether they make the team or not.
As always, the most sure way to run a successful evaluation is to simplify set up, eliminate data entry and avoid guess work with an athlete evaluation software. SkillShark will help you run an organized tryout, score the athletes and create teams faster- a win/win/win! Book a free demo to learn how SkillShark will fit into your program, and get started planning your easiest evaluation yet.