You got cut. For whatever reason, the coach decided that you won’t have a spot on his roster.
It’s going to be okay.
Take a deep breath. Let’s talk it through. Allow me to convince you that this is the best possible scenario.
Getting Cut Sucks
Okay, maybe this is a bad place to start if I’m going to convince you it’s a good thing. But we can’t avoid it. I’m not going to tell you it’s easy.
I get it. Getting cut doesn’t feel good. It’s a blow to your self-esteem. It’s the coach saying that you’re not good enough for his team.
You may have friends on that team. Maybe you played on that team for a few years, and you even created a bond with the coach. That rejection hurts.
And it’s going to be tough when you see those kids again. When you see that coach. You may be dreading the thought of facing that team down the road, once you find a new team.
All of these thoughts are normal. I’m not going to lie to you and say that getting cut is fun and easy.
But let’s talk about the benefits…
The Bottom Kid
If you got cut, the assumption is that the coach didn’t think you were as strong as other options. Maybe you were really close, but you didn’t make it.
That means that if you had made the team, you would have been one of the bottom kids. Is that what you want?
The bottom kid gets the least plate appearances. He routinely hits at the bottom of the order. The other coach yells for the outfield to come in when that bottom kid comes to the plate. You may not even hit on Sundays, or you may share time.
The bottom kid sits the most because he’s the toughest to find a spot for in the field. He rarely, if ever, gets to play the position he wants to play. He rarely gets to shine because he rarely gets the opportunity.
The bottom kid is an afterthought. He may get opportunities when games are out of hand. But otherwise, he’s not trusted to produce.
You don’t want to be the bottom kid. It’s no fun. You deserve more.
Change is Good
This is an adult lesson, too. Change is good.
Sometimes, we stick with the thing that isn’t best for us because we’re scared of the alternative. It may not be ideal, but at least we know what to expect.
Now you have to find a new team with a new coach and new teammates. That’s scary.
But change is good. This is your opportunity to thrive. This is your opportunity to find a coach who appreciates you.
You don’t need to be the bottom kid anymore. You can be one of the better kids. You can be a star!
Embrace this new opportunity. You can wipe the slate clean and start over. No assumptions about your ability or your role.
Don’t Talk the Coach Out of It
I’ve seen this scenario happen, and it’s a big mistake.
The coach begins expressing his concern about how a player fits on his team. The parents, defending the child, go into salesman mode.
They start pumping up their kid. Your eyes deceive you. You are wrong about his ability. Gamechanger stats are misleading. He’s a great player and a good fit for this team.
Don’t do it. If you talk the coach into taking your child, you will regret it.
The coach was trying to do you a favor. It doesn’t feel that way. It feels like an attack. But if he has doubts about how your child fits, it’s time to move on.
Otherwise, do not be surprised when he’s the bottom kid. Do not be surprised when his confidence is wrecked and you’re upset about playing time.
Find the Right Team
As you go searching for a new team, be careful. Learn from this lesson. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Why were you cut? If it was due to ability, you may want to adjust the level of team you’re looking to join.
If you join a team that is at the same level, you may be the bottom kid again. You may be at risk of getting cut again. That uncertainty is no fun.
It may take a shot to the ego, but you want stability. You want reps. You want to get better.
Before joining that new team, think about all of the reasons the last team was a bad fit. Coaching philosophy. Playing time philosophy. Number of players on the roster. Level of play. Competition at your son’s primary position.
Don’t jump into a nearly identical situation and expect a different result.
Use it as Motivation
You’re going to feel bad for a while. But then move on.
Don’t wallow in self-pity. You can use this experience to make you better.
Rejection has a purpose in life for those who want to use it. It can wake you up if you’ve been complacent. It can inspire you to work harder.
It’s time to prove that coach wrong. It’s time to make him regret cutting you.
Don’t make it a negative thing. The coach did what he thought was right. And maybe, at the time, it was right. Now your job is to make that coach wonder if he made the wrong decision.
Work your butt off. Get better. When you face that team, you’ll be ready. You’ll play your best ball.
And it will feel awesome.
For the Parent
If you’re the parent of a player who was cut, use this as a teaching moment. Use it productively. Help him understand that it’s not personal. Help him understand that it’s normal and some of the world’s greatest athletes get cut (Michael Jordan did!).
Don’t use this as a negative. Avoid getting personal with the coach and team. Don’t make it a character flaw of the coach. Leave on good terms.
It’s hard as a parent. We see it as an attack on our child that he didn’t deserve. We may even see the rejection as a reflection on us. Don’t buy into that garbage.
This is a new opportunity. This is an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace it.
What’s your experience with cuts, whether it be as a coach, parent, or player?
Let me know in the comments below!