Coaches How do you turn kids away from team?

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Club Owner / Manager
Jan 18, 2009
Malta, NY
We have a small team of about 16 kids. We're starting to get a lot of interest and will have to turn people down.

How do you tactfully turn kids down or away from team? We try to be transparent as possible but that doesn't seem to come off right and hurts feelings.

We select our kids based on skills, personality, work ethic, and potential. Any comments, recommendations, or personal experience would be helpful!

We just hurt feelings.

If you have a clear set of standards...then..."it is what it is".

We basically only invite certain we don't have to turn anyone away...we just don't invite them. We do get an occasional kid interested that is not even close to ready...we just show them our invite standards. We are very clear on age and body type standards for that team if we have any.

EDIT: We do have competitive programs available for all ages and body types. We also have teams that are more selective.
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I would simply state that you do not have room at this point in time because you are at capacity. Done.
You can say we don't have any available space in the team but its going to look fishy if you put other new kids in a few weeks after that who do fit your criteria.

we also only invite people to the team, so if they are not right they don't get invited. I think its important to be honest with parents. If you feel you have a good reason for not putting them on the team then it should be a good enough reason for parents, you just need to sugar coat it a little.

instead of saying she is too old, you say that group is for kids between this age and this age, for your DD we work towards these goals instead. The proble,s come up when your gym makes it seem like the be all and end all of the gym. Sell to your parents that you have other recreational program's that are equal to team as in they learn the same harder skills but might not co,Peter or spend as much time on perfecting skills etc.

if you make team the ultimate goal people are going to be disappointed.
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I would simply tell them that only a few make the team each year and to try again next. It's a hard sport and we have to make hard decisions each year, but once you take one sub substandard kid you will end up with a bunch of P'sd off people so you have to stand your ground, but be nice at the same time. We also have a B team in our gym, they do not go anywhere to compete except in the gym against each other, we have absolutely NO criteria for them to join and ONLY the rec coaches coach them. It seems to workout well because they at least get to compete and we don't have any hassle at all on the team side.
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