By Lauren Capstick, MA:
University of Alberta
Questions for Coaches to consider when making elimination announcements:
To what extent does the way that I plan to inform athletes of their elimination:
Answer their questions of ‘why didn’t I make the team’?
In a way that is personal and relevant?
In a way that is sensitive of their age?
In a way that considers their investment and future goals in this sport?
Let me inform them of their strengths?
Provide me with the opportunity to discuss with them the alternative programs, leagues, or lessons in our sport?
Invite them to ask future questions about their evaluation and follow-up questions about the feedback I provided?
Consider the environment (surroundings, other people) in which they will react to being eliminated?
Encourage or discourage confrontations with the youth or their parents?
Match with the amount of time I can, or am willing to spend?
To what degree do I care about the subsequent physical activity of non-selected athletes and is maintaining their motivation in this sport or potential other activities important to me?
How well am I informed about other programs, leagues, clubs, or lessons in my sport offered within my
How best can I provide information about alternative sport choices to non-selected athletes?
Do the provided reasons as to why they are unsuccessful in making the team:
Include mostly areas that are controlled by the youth?
Include information about how to improve in those areas needing improvement?
Significantly overshadow any positive feedback I can offer about the areas in which they have strengths?
Are the eliminated youth already expecting some of the feedback that I will provide:
Because I indicated that I would provide feedback following the tryout?
Because feedback and coaching has been offered throughout the tryout process?
How do I feel about the ways in which I have experienced, or observed others being eliminated when I participated in youth sport?
What can I learn from the examples of other coaches regarding the manner that tryout decisions are announced?
What can I do to clarify how tryout results will be communicated?
Can I offer choices to the athletes that would allow them to receive news of their elimination in a manner that is personally desirable?
What is the role of parents and would it be beneficial to increase their role?
Should I/how can I inform parents of the tryout process?
Should I/how can I inform parents of their child’s elimination?
Will the child require support and parenting to deal with their elimination and what is my role in helping the parents?
How can I solicit feedback about the way in which I inform athletes of their non-selection?
How do I want the youth to feel when he/she leaves here as an eliminated athlete? What have I done to help make this happen?
Questions for Athletes facing elimination:
How can I ask for (more) feedback?
How can I respect the coach’s time whilst still gaining answers to my questions?
How can I demonstrate respect for the coach and the coaching decision?
How can I deal with my pain and disappointment and still learn from the situation?
What are my other options in this sport and how can I learn more about them?
How do I want my parents to be involved and what is my role in helping them to become involved?
Questions for Parents of Athletes facing (or potentially facing) elimination:
What should I know about the sport system before my child attends the tryouts?
What can I do to remain informed about the tryout process?
What are the options facing my child should he or she be eliminated?
What can I do to become informed about the alternative choices within their desired sport?
How can I respect the coach’s time and effort whilst still gaining answers to my questions?
How can I help my child appreciate the varying levels of competitiveness within their sport?
What can I do to collaborate and demonstrate my support for the coach’s decision?
How can I reinforce the positive feedback that was provided to my child?
How can I provide feedback to the coach and/or to the organization about the way in which nonselection was communicated?
Questions for Club Administrators of youth sport:
Whose responsibility is it to ensure that families understand the club, community, Provincial, or National developmental systems of the sport? How does this occur?
Whose responsibility is it to ensure that families receive information about alternative options (other playing levels) in the sport? How does this occur?
In sports were consecutive eliminations (trickle down cuts) occur in order to form teams at the highest levels first, whose responsibility is it to ensure that the process works properly and how is this achieved?
To what degree does our team/club/organization have policies, recommendations, best practices or resources about communicating tryout results that are available to coaches?
How can we solicit feedback about the way in which our coaches inform athletes of their nonselection?