Tryouts are often a stressful moment for athletes and I wanted to share 5 (+1 extra) tips on how to go into the tryouts to help you or your kids increase your/their chance to succeed and have a better experience.
- Detach yourself as a person from the results of the tryouts
No matter if you make the team or not, you are still a good person, with more than your sport in your life. If you can see that clearly, this will relieve the pressure. It doesn’t mean to not want to succeed and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your best, it means that you are not defined by your results. You are more than that. And this helps move on when the results are not as expected.
- Focus on the Process, Not the outcome
Worrying about whether you are going to make it or not and have “what if” thoughts (what will I say if I don’t make it, what will my parents/friends/coach think if I make a mistake, etc…) will only take some mental space and energy for nothing. Instead, focus on the task at hand. Remember that Where your Attention Goes, the Energy Follows. The Future doesn’t exist, the only moment you can have an impact is the present, Right Here, Right Now.
- Focus on yourself, not others
Tryouts are a little special in the sense that the main objective is to compare athletes to select some of them. So, it is even more tempting to compare oneself to others… But you can’t control others and the way they play. You can only control yourself. Wondering if this person is better, looks better, will be better etc… doesn’t help at all. Like focusing on the outcome, it only distracts you from being focused on what is important: your game, right here, right now.
- Trust your skills
Now is not the time to wonder how to improve your move, your shot, your swing, your pass. Trust that you are well prepared, that you know how to do it and avoid overthinking.
- Have a good attitude
The attitude is very important and sometime even more important than the skills. A player that will bring a hard-working attitude, positive mindset and team spirit (for team sports) have an advantage compared to an equally skilled/talented athlete.
Now that we have seen the 5 tips, here is the extra one:
- Have Fun
The reason you practice a sport in the first place is to have fun. Reminding yourself to have fun will help with all the above: it will relieve the pressure, have you focus on the process rather than the outcome, focus on yourself and not on others, trust your skills and have a good attitude.
Eventually, all the techniques I regularly share to deal with nervousness, refocus, like taking deep breaths or using visualization, will be very helpful too, just as in any competition.
If you need some support going into the tryouts, reach out and let’s work on it.