Athletes Who Get Nervous During Tryouts

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.

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The Composed Sports Kid

“The Composed Sports Kid” audio and workbook digital download program for young athletes and their parents or coach helps kids cope with frustration and anger in sports. Help your sports kids learn how to manage expectations and let go of mistakes so they can keep their head in the game. 

The Composed Sports Kid system is really two programs in one–one program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure, and one program that teaches young athletes–ages 6 to 13–how to improve composure, let go of mistakes quickly, have more self-acceptance, and thus enjoy sports more

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