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Injured Players Making The Cuts

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"I just went through soccer tryouts at my school. On first day, a kid sprained his ankle and was said to be out for two weeks or more. When coach posted varsity spots, there was the kid with the hurt ankle. Is it OK to pick an injured player for a varsity spot over a non-injured player?"

PCA Response by Amy Nakamoto, PCA Trainer-Washington, DC
Tryouts can be a daunting experience, where you publicly display all your strengths and weaknesses. That's why PCA encourages coaches -- at the beginning of a season, school year, or tryout period -- to meet with the players to communicate their coaching philosophies and tryout process.

Within explanation of their philosophies, coaches should clearly articulate what they are looking for in their team members. The statement of philosophy combined with clear communication throughout the tryout process should then help guide selection decisions. Many coaches select players for their potential to contribute off the field (in addition to on-field talent and hard work) in terms of helping to establish team culture or chemistry, even if those players are not yet physically ready to contribute during their injured time.

Further, injuries in general are tricky. It is hard to know how each player responds physically and mentally to different injuries with regard to recovery time, re-injury, and rehabilitation time.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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