I really want to make the team! I mean, I really, really want to make the team. I want to prove to the coach that I’m good enough. Heck, I think I’m good enough! When I think about tryouts, I get so excited but that excitement quickly turns into nervousness and those nasty “what if’s.” Like, “what if I don’t?” “What if I get cut again?” “What if Billy/Sally makes the team and I don’t?” You know, the more I think about this, the more nervous i get! I think that I’m good enough but…I don’t know….
Here’s some advice for your tryouts: The TWO most important tasks that you have to accomplish for your upcoming tryouts that would greatly increase the chances that you will perform the best that you can are: Stay calm and stay focused!
If you make yourself too nervous for tryouts there is absolutely no way that you will perform to your capabilities! Staying relaxed is the key to a successful tryout. This has to be your number one priority.
In order to stay relaxed going into and during your tryouts, then you also need to learn to control your focus of concentration. The biggest mistake that athletes make in these pressured situations is that they consistently focus on all of the wrong things right before and during the tryouts.
What are the wrong things? How important the tryouts are! Impressing the coaches! How good your competition is! The “WHAT IF’s” (i.e. what if I don’t make the team, etc.) and, of course, the biggest one: “I WANT TO MAKE THE TEAM!”
I know you want to make the team. You know you want to make the team. Your parents know you want to make the team and even the coaches know that! However, you can’t focus on making the team when you go to tryouts if you really want to have a successful tryouts
Instead, you must try to keep your focus of concentration on all of the things that you can directly control. Believe it or not, while you are taking part in tryouts, you CAN’T directly control how the tryouts will turn out. Focus only on what you are doing, your play, your job in that moment, one moment at a time! Also, and just as important, keep your focus of concentration on YOU and not on your teammates. If you waste mental energy comparing yourself to everyone else who is there and how good they are, then you will gradually undermine your self-confidence and make yourself too uptight to play well. In the very same way, you want to keep your concentration on YOU and not the coaches or what they might think of you. You have no control over the coaches and their reactions or thoughts during tryouts and if you think you have, you’ll be sadly mistaken!
Remember, forget making the team! Forget impressing the coaches! Instead try to keep yourself as relaxed as possible, focusing on what’s important in the NOW, one play at a time. Stay away from the future and what’s at stake. You have to be relaxed and focused in order to perform to your potential. And while you’re at it, here’s one more RADICAL concept! Try to have FUN at tryouts. If you’re having fun you’ll stay loose and relaxed. Good luck!