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Tryouts Aren't Just About Being The Best Or Worst

"It's ok to be nervous before a game. If you are nervous, it shows you care." - Hi Rak

Trying Out For Competitive Teams: Part 2

Trying out for a competitive team goes against the norms of teamwork, support, and playing for more than yourself. It’s the one moment on a team when you are literally in it for just you.

Checklist before tryouts:

a. List reasons why you feel physically, technically (individual skill), tactically (strategy), and mentally prepared for the tryout.

b. And in the same areas, why you don’t feel prepared as well.

c. Based on your strengths and weaknesses, you can now go into the tryout knowing how to hold your own, and how your strengths and weaknesses can help and hurt you.

d. Understand the mission and vision of the team. Are you trying out for a team where winning or development is priority?

Figure out which type of team is best for you right now.

Make an informed decision when answering this. Talk to your coaches and parents that include “a” and “b.” In the end, trust your gut/intuition.

e. See tryouts through the lens of the coaches and evaluators. They are trying to best evaluate everyone not just one or two people. I.e., in a 20 minute scrimmage with 20 people per team, a coach is lucky to get 1min to evaluate one or two athletes at a time.

f. It’s not as easy as the best athletes getting chosen and the worst get cut. Coaches are looking for complimentary players to balance the roster and athletes who will help the team be successful.

So play to your strengths and play with effort. Just because you didn’t get picked for the team doesn’t make you a bad athlete. Chances are, you weren’t the right fit for that team.

g. Ask questions after tryouts. If you get cut, ask coaches for advice on areas to strengthen. On the other hand, if you made the team, talk with coaches about your role on the team.

In the end, success and failure are part of the sports experience. As you get to the higher levels and more competitive programs, it gets even tougher. Embrace the moment, meet the challenge, learn from experience, and keep striving to be the best version of yourself!

Stay tuned for part 3.

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