When children try out for the hockey team, they often get ahead of themselves with excitement. Thus, when they find out that they didn’t make the cut, it can be devastating. However, not getting what we want all the time is just part of life. And if you, as a parent, can help your child to handle this situation correctly, it can actually turn out to be a wonderful opportunity for learning and personal growth.
Talk it Out
First things first, children who didn’t “make the cut” will often feel like they have to act tough and like they can’t show that not making the team bothers them. Don’t reinforce this unhealthy behavior in your child. Instead, encourage your child to express his or her feelings. Allow the child to feel sad, angry, and disappointed. Expressing all those feelings and getting them out is the first step in truly feeling better about what has happened.
Find a Way to Improve
Once your child has gotten some feelings off his or her chest, it’s time to gently and encouragingly ask the child what perhaps could have been done to give tryouts a better outcome. Your child might recognize that he could have used more sleep or more practice. Or, if your child really doesn’t have a clue what went wrong, have him respectfully ask the coach what he needs to work on. This will give your child an action plan for the next round of tryouts and will also show the coach that the child is willing to learn and take feedback, which could bode well at future tryouts.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Though it can be tempting, don’t fall into the trap of blaming the child’s failure on the coach, on other players, or on anything else. This will only teach children to always find someone to blame when things don’t go their way- a very bad lesson indeed. Encourage your child to take responsibility for things that were in his control and to let the rest go. Even if someone did do something wrong or unfair, placing blame is not going to help the situation.
As you can see, emotions can run high after a failed tryout. However, if you handle it correctly, you and your child can come out on top.