How to Handle the Pressure of Tryouts
Trying out for a new team will rattle the nerves of many young athletes. They may make constant comparisons to other players or try to play perfectly to impress the coaches.
The mental game and mindset is super important for having a successful tryout…
Your young athletes may arrive at the tryout and feel the pressure to perform better than the other athletes, all under the watchful eye of the coaches. They may think about how important it is to be perfect, and every mistake will feel like the end of the world to them.
What’s more, they may keep their eyes on other players, asking themselves “Are they playing better than me?” and “How can I show that I am better than the other players?”
When your young athletes compare themselves to other players and attempt to impress the coaches, they will be distracted, which will prevent them from playing well.
In addition, they worry about making the team and what they will say to their friends if they fail to make the team or starting lineup. Basically, they focus too much on the outcome–instead of the process.
Ultimately, the fear of tryouts is “What if I don’t make the team?” Again, this is a sideshow to what’s really important for them to focus on.
Tell your young athletes to concentrate on what they are doing in the here-and-now. Focus on one shift, routine, pitch, drill or shot at a time. The outcome will take care of itself if they take care of the process.
Tell them that as soon as they’ve complete a drill or test, they shouldn’t criticize themselves. They need to let go of that past drill and focus on the the next one.
Remind your young athletes that they’re not perfect and should not try to be perfect or worry about what coaches think.
Making the team is out of their control, so the most productive thing they can do is relax, trust their learned skills, and play the game as if the coaches weren’t even there.
And please remind them to focus on themselves–not other athletes. And as we’ve suggested in the past, make the most of the skills they brought that day to tryouts.
Learn Mental Game Lessons to Help Young Athletes With Their Pregame Prep!
Young athletes and their parents and coaches tell us that sports kids often struggle with these pregame mental game challenges:
- They fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete
- They don’t trust in their skills when they go from practice to competition
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance
“10 Minute Pregame Prep” will tell you everything you need to know about ensuring your sports kids avoid classic mental game pitfalls before a game, learn how to trust their instincts, and just go for it. It provides lots of advice for you, too…
With our program, you can stop wondering what to do and relax before your kids’ games!
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