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Calming Nerves for Tryouts

Calming Nerves for Tryouts

We, as grown-ups, sometimes forget the stress of trying out for a team. The closest experience to that we have would be interviewing for a job and that usually doesn’t happen as often as seasonal tryouts. We want to see our kids find their name on the roster and are proud when it happens, but going through the tryout process can be overwhelming.

Along with being prepared, take some time to help your athlete calm their nerves before the big day. Remind them to let go of fear, which means they need to talk about what they are scared of, maybe even have them write it down. That way, you will have a better understanding of what’s in their head.

Chances are, all the players will be nervous about the tryouts. Tell your child they do not have to be perfect. Make sure they have practiced and put in the time and preparation so the confidence will be there when he or she has a turn in front of the coach.

Doing their best should be the goal of the tryout. They should perform for themselves and not focus on things that are out of their control. Remind them not to worry about other players.

They do have control over getting a good night’s rest and a good meal before tryouts. Stay away from sugary cereals and pastries. Whole grain toast or cereal with eggs and a protein like bacon will provide good performance fuel. Have them visualize the experience beforehand. Pack the car the night before and have the tryout clothes, socks and shoes laying out. Get ready early with some time to rest and reflect, rushing out the door can frazzle everyone.

Give encouragement to your child beforehand and positive feedback after the tryout. If you have to wait for the roster to be released, take your athlete for a treat or snack away from the tryout location until time. Rehearse in your mind what you will say if your child makes the team and if they do not make the cut. If they are disappointed, offer some alternative ideas to fill their time.