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Making the Cut: Coaches and the Deselection of Young Athletes

Neely, Kacey C.; Dugdale, James H.


Kacey C. Neely


Martin Toms

Ruth Jeanes


Deselection (or being cut) is the elimination of an athlete from a competitive sport team based on the decisions of the coach. Deselection requires coaches to make judgments and decisions about the ability of athletes and their suitability for a team, and their perceived potential to become successful senior professionals. Not surprisingly, coaches consider deselection to be one of the most stressful aspects of their job. This chapter will review the existing literature on deselection in a youth sport context. It will start with a brief overview of the research examining the psychological, social, and emotional consequences of deselection for youth athletes, followed by a more detailed review of research conducted to date on coaches’ experiences of deselection. The chapter will then outline a deselection process for cutting youth athletes that involves four phases: pre-tryout meeting, evaluation and decision-making, communication of deselection, and post deselection reflection. Each of these phases will be described and practical suggestions for coaches will be provided. Further implications, such as working with parents, will be discussed. Finally, the chapter will highlight areas for future research, for example, the development of strategies to help coaches cope with the stress associated with cutting youth athletes.

Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2022
Publication Date Nov 3, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 4, 2022
Publisher Routledge
Pages 175-184
Edition 1st Edition
Book Title Routledge Handbook of Coaching Children in Sport
Chapter Number 17
Public URL