As a Varsity Coach I have had to make decisions each year surrounding who makes the team. I have always maintained that players are evaluated on effort, attitude, and ability. The process is difficult and always one of the most difficult times of the year. In the end, after long tryouts and consultation with the assistants, the choices are made.
The varsity team represent the school, the town, the community, and the individuals families in competitive sport. It is a select group whose competitive goals outweigh those of all teams in the developmental programs in youth sports.
I believe that in order to have a successful youth program (ages 8-14) that serves as development for the varsity, programs should focus on skill development, positive motivation, and focus less on the competitive aspects. Competition feeds pressure and pressure runs counter to successful growth.