An open letter to any player who recently made the team.Today we had tryouts. You are probably feeling relieved and excited and who knows what else. All those emotions are wrapped up tightly into a ball of crazy-greatness.
With that being said, please stay aware that there are many others who were not as lucky as you. Imagine for a second how you would feel if you were not on the list. Imagine how you would feel if you were the coach and you had to write the list, knowing you had more athletes than available positions. When you’re evaluating the list, you know that on the final day, you’ll have to look your friends in the eye and tell them they could not longer play. That’s about how good your coach is feeling tonight too.
You and your parents are in the minority tonight. Many people are actually feeling down.
With that being said, the season will move forward. You will go into practice, and you will be working as hard as anyone. You’ll feel nervous about your first game, you’ll be nervous the first time you step behind the serving line. All of that will start to subside a little over time.
You’ll be having fun, and that will be the easy part. The hard part is when you don’t get playing time. The hard part is when you start to not like your teammates so much. I know, I know… can’t happen to you. Right?
Please continue reading some very hard truths. It might not be a pleasant thing to hear, but it’s important.
The fact is, you don’t know if you were the first person on the team, or if you barely beat out someone who was cut. Maybe the coaches went to bed last night and were working through an internal struggle between you or another person. Maybe you got the lucky last spot, because your coach felt like they could work with you to develop you into a superstar.
You don’t know where you sit. Not really. So, before you complain about your playing time, consider that you could have been the one that was cut. You were given an opportunity to get better this season. An opportunity that someone else would love to have.
If you find yourself becoming unhappy in your role, you should of course talk to your coach about how to earn more playing time. My letter is not meant to deter you from that. My letter is simply to remind you that as the season starts to get long, things might not be all sunshine and butterflies. Things could get tough.
Controlling your perspective is your responsibly.
Know that you were given an opportunity to grow as a player. Even if you don’t think your coach knows much, or maybe you think you should be on a higher team. You have been given the gift of time on a court. Touches are invaluable. Work hard day in and day out to improve.
So whatever your future case could be, I want you to think back to tryouts and what the other athletes around you felt. How would they feel if they were given the opportunity to be in your spot?
I hope that your season really is sunshine and rainbows. :) I didn’t mean to be such a downer on such a beautiful day. It’s much more likely that you’ll be happy all season, and things will go smoothly.
If you have a few minutes, it would be a good idea to read the letter written to the athletes who were cut. Give yourself a littler perspective as the season begins. Then go kick butt.