Reality: Mandatory & Required

For some reason I’ve been thinking about people’s use of the words Mandatory and Required lately. It’s probably because it’s getting closer to tryout season, which reminds me of coaches using these words poorly. I’ve heard several coaches say a tuck is required to be on their team. They print it on their tryout flyers and tell it to everyone that will listen. They then turn around and put people without tucks on the team because they don’t have enough people with tucks to create a team. These coaches knew they wouldn’t have enough people with tucks to choose from, but insisted on saying a tuck is mandatory.

I’ve also heard several coaches say practice is mandatory, but they let people miss over and over again without consequence. I think stating something one way, when reality shows things are different is a poor choice to make. In the scenarios above I wonder how many people don’t tryout because they don’t think they’ll make it without a tuck or had previously scheduled something during a mandatory practice, but in reality are better than some of the people that made it without a tuck or will miss more mandatory days.

I guess I’m trying to say don’t scare people off with all these grand “requirements” that are really just a wish list and aren’t actually required. Work with reality, which is a place in which saying something is mandatory doesn’t make it automatically happen.