Organizations spend a lot of time and effort ensuring they select the best athletes. For team sports, the complexity increases as some of what is being assessed is more difficult to quantify such as team fit. During tryouts the main criteria many coaches try to assess includes analyzing aspects of an athlete’s physical abilities, technical capabilities and tactical knowledge. Rarely do community-based organizations take a holistic approach to the selection process based on the organization’s values.
Asking key questions about how each athlete fits with the philosophy of the organization, what their motivations are for being there and what their overall goals are for themselves and their development can lead to eye-opening revelations. Selecting teams based on a consistent set of aligned values can raise average teams to deliver above-average performances and help to reduce conflict.
Coaches will often wistfully recall the season they had with a particularly amazing group of athletes. They remember how the group listened well and implemented their instructions easily. They recognize how well the group interacted together, on and off the playing field and the level of cohesiveness. While the team’s performance on the field likely factored into the positive experience, it was only one of many things that they used to measure success. And building that team again can be easier if you are more intentional about the criteria you are seeking.
What is a Holistic Tryout?
A Holistic Tryout provides organizations with knowledge and insight about the alignment of their values and philosophy with athletes trying out for their teams. It validates that foundational processes are in place to streamline decision-making through a values-based holistic approach. This includes hearing directly from athletes about their motivations, level of commitment to the team as well as their social and emotional readiness. For instance, athletes may be asked to rate why they want to join the team to gain insight into an athlete’s priorities.
Holistic Tryouts support organizations by supporting consistency and transparency in the selection process and manages risk by including shared values. It gives organizations a broader approach with which to deliver its mandate and most importantly, Holistic Tryouts give teams the best opportunity for a great season.
How does a Holistic Tryout work?
There are 3 steps to the Holistic Tryout as outlined below which can be expanded depending on the scope and needs of an organization:
1. Identification of Values
- Holistic Tryout Check-In
- Tryout Checklist – Review of Current Tryout Process and Organization’s Values
- Athlete Surveys/Interviews
- On the ground assessments (optional)
- Report of Findings
- Findings Report Consultation
- Identification of Strengths, Opportunities and Red Flags
- Suggested Enhancements
Benefits/Impact of a Holistic Tryout
A report identifying the organization and its athletes’ values alignment and expected cohesiveness with the team including:
- Validation: evidence that your chosen athletes embody your organization’s values
- An assessment: substantiating the effectiveness of tryout processes to achieve desired outcomes
- List of recommendations: how to better engage athletes during the tryout process and beyond
- User friendly data: to expedite the decision-making process and mitigate risk
- Enhanced communication systems: providing one of your key stakeholders with an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences
- Strategies: to strengthen your organization through athlete engagement