Angels Baseball


Making the Cut

We’ve all likely heard the stories of now-famous athletes getting cut from a High School Sports Team.  Or, they made the team and rode the bench.

  • Michael Jordan as a Sophomore got cut from his HS Varsity team.
  • Tom Brady barely got off the bench his freshman and sophomore year.
  • Mark Buehrle got cut from his HS Baseball Team his freshman AND sophomore year; and is potentially a future MLB Hall of Fame pitcher.  

And at some point over these next few days across the Mid-Atlantic states, many kids will be cut from their HS Baseball Teams.  March 1st marks the time, the time when most high schools conduct their Spring Baseball try-outs.  Some players will arrive at try-outs after a Winter filled with hours at the cages or in the weight room.  Some players will arrive after putting in hardly any time.  Regardless of the time spent training, kids will get cut.  

Some will expect it.  To some it may come as a surprise.  Coaches will likely give the same speech, which will sound like “we don’t have a spot for you this year but keep working and come back out next year.”  And as a parent, seeing our kids get cut at anything is crushing.  We don’t want our kids to go through failure and hate to see them have to deal with it.  For the kids themselves, each will react to it in their own way.

Many kids will say that they no longer want to play.  Some will actually mean it while some may come back in a few weeks (or even days) and ask to play somewhere in the summer.  Some will get pissed off and immediately get to work.  And as a parent I think we need to ride alongside our kid’s decision.  Be there for them if they seem to be struggling a bit with the fact they were cut, and supporting them if they want to stick with it and spend more time at the cages or play for a summer team.

One thing that I have found to be helpful in times of self-doubt, or when dealing with failure, is reading those same success stories that were mentioned earlier.  Maybe we all know the story of Michael Jordan being cut; but how many truly know the story of Mark Buehrle?  Having our kids read these stories can inspire hope.  It provides a sense of guidance that maybe we can’t give.  I was never cut from a team, so how can I give proper guidance?  How do I know how a kid is feeling after being cut?  But, giving our kids a reference point and somewhere to turn for guidance and inspiration is something I can do.  

As the saying goes, “it’s not whether you fail that’s important, it’s how you react to the failure that’s important.”  It’s tough for our kids to understand this as they are going through the moment.  Hell, it’s tough for any of us.  But, we have to be that guide for them.  If you haven’t been cut from a team, find ways to guide them using stories of others that have been cut.  Don’t push the ‘life lessons’ on them.  Simply find ways to work them into a conversation.  And have those conversations when you feel your child is on an even mental state, not too high or not too low.  

No one ever wants their kid to be cut.  But in the end, what truly matters is the development of our kids; and our kids develop through these experiences, whether they make a team or not.