10 Tips for Baseball Tryouts | How to Make the Team
It’s that time of year. Baseball tryouts and softball tryouts!
You did all the hard work during the offseason to prepare. And there’s nothing worse than going to a tryout and losing out on a spot to another player that you’re PRETTY SURE you were better than.
So how can you help keep that from happening?
Tips for Baseball Tryouts and Softball Tryouts
Below is a collection of tips from D1 coaches and former MLB players to help you ace your next softball tryout or baseball tryout.
- Show up ready - This is important both to avoid injury and also to knock the rust off. It’s shocking how many players wait until the last minute to start preparing for a tryout. Unfortunately, that’s usually way too late! So, if you’ve had an extended break from throwing during the off-season, you’ll need to spend days or weeks before the tryout working to get that arm loose and get a feel for your accuracy again. Same with hitting. You’ll want to come up with a solid batting tee routine that gets your swing dialed in well before the tryout.
- Eat Smart - Eat a well-balanced meal that gives you plenty of energy, but not so much that you’re sluggish and slow.
- Look like a baseball or softball player - Many coaches have a pet peeve about players who aren’t wearing the proper gear, forget their hats, shirts not tucked in, or other simple things that show disrespect and a general lack of professionalism.
- Be early - This is no joke. Many coaches I know will cut you right then and there if you are late. But even if you don’t get cut right away, being late means you’ll feel rushed and probably be more anxious, which can negatively impact your performance during the tryout.
- Take warm-up seriously - Not only does it look good if you’re participating fully in the warm-up, but more importantly… you want to get the best out of your body from the first minute of the softball or baseball tryout
- Run EVERYWHERE. No matter what you’re doing, do it with hustle. Sprint to the next station or position. Don’t be the guy (or gal) who’s “too cool” to hustle. It’s a HUGE red flag for coaches.
- Go Hard - Don’t be out of control, but give it all you have. This is not the time to play scared or ultra-conservatively.
- Watch your body language - Pay special attention to your body language, especially after you make a mistake. Don’t kick the ground or make a show of being upset. Coaches are watching to see how you handle failure. It tells them a lot about your character and how you'll interact as part of their team
- Communicate with the coach - Don’t be the quiet player in a corner. Shake hands with the coach before, look them in the eye any time they talk to you, and say thank you to the coach afterward. Doing this speaks volumes about how you will fit into the team culture, and it will help them remember you in a positive light.
- Stay late - If you stick around afterward to help clean up, your final impression will be a positive one.
Bonus Tip for Tryouts
- Watch your internal language - Being confident and avoiding nervousness is a critical part of doing well in a tryout. While this is easier said than done, you can help yourself tremendously by watching your thoughts. Don’t think in negative terms “I hope I don’t mess this up” Rather, think in positive terms like, “I got this. I’ve trained for this. I’m ready.”
As a baseball or softball player, we’re often so consumed with developing our skills that we forget to look at ourselves through the eyes of the coach or evaluator.
Coaches are often looking at things that don’t occur to us, such as work ethic, our effect on the team culture, sportsmanship, and how we handle inevitable moments of failure and disappointment. Whether its youth baseball tryouts or baseball tryouts for adults, these tips will help ensure you make a positive impression on coach (and your future teammates.)
Special thanks to following sources for this awesome resource to help you make the team in your next tryout:
- Top 10 Tryout Tips For Baseball! By Former D1 coach Alex, of the YouTube Channel
- Baseball Tryout Tips | #1 biggest tip from MLB Pro Scout By Former MLB infielder, former pro scout Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider
- MAKE THE TEAM! (Don’t go to Baseball Tryouts until you WATCH THIS!) Baseball Tryout Tips Former MLB pitcher John Madden of YouTube Channel YouGoPro