Tryouts, assessments, auditions, selections, whatever you want to call it, the evaluation and assessment process for making a competitive youth sports team may be intimidating and, let’s face it, a little nerve-racking for young athletes. We’ve put together 6 tactics for athletes to employ to prepare for tryouts, calm their anxiety, and tap into the competitive attitude to help them perform their best at trials.
Practice, practice, and more practice
Although it may seem apparent, honing the technical abilities that the club will use to evaluate candidates is a crucial aspect of tryout preparation. Athletes who commit technical abilities to memory will be able to think less about what they are doing and instead execute and respond based on muscle memory.
Visualize your achievement
During tryouts, have your player practice visualization skills by envisioning oneself completing passes, saving goals, or scoring scores on the field or court. Visualization methods may help your athlete envision themselves favorably, prepare for the big day, and see themselves succeeding in their goals.
Encourage your athletes to frequently practice envisioning themselves at tryouts and executing the proper plays in the weeks leading up to trials.
Quieting the mind with breathwork is a fantastic method to relax anxieties and redirect attention to playing for athletes who tend to feel more apprehensive during trials. Diaphragmatic breathing, often known as belly breathing, is a type of breathing exercise that can assist with stress, relaxation, and mental health.
How to Do Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Sit up straight in a chair or lie on the floor with your knees bent. Close your eyes and imagine your shoulders dissolving into your ears.
- Place your writing hand beneath your navel and your other hand just above your navel.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose into your hand right below your navel. Allow this region to inflate up as if it were a balloon. Feel your rib cage, which is where your other hand is, expand as the middle section of your lungs fills. Finally, fill the top part of your lungs with air.
- Slowly exhale, compressing your belly as you do so.
- Concentrate on each inhale and exhale.
- Repeat for five to ten minutes before returning to your usual routine.
Mind has power over matter
They usually say, “Mind over matter.” According to Jim Taylor, Ph.D., and Psychology Today, high-performing athletes use three mindsets to assist them in reaching their competitive goals: clear mentality, calm mindset, and aggressive attitude. Check out each of them and how they may be put into action here.
Concentrate on the here and now
In an interview with Forbes, the sports psychologist Dr. Stan Beecham advised keep as present as possible to perform at your best. “When the mind wanders to the future, you stop functioning at your best; thus, when human beings are at their greatest, they don’t progress forward in the future.” They do not travel back in time. They remain present, the mind becomes calm, and you perform optimally.”
Keep the end result in mind
Sports assessments may be a stressful experience for your athlete. For many children, sports are an important part of their identity, so the prospect of not making the team is terrifying! Make it clear that, while tryouts are essential, they are not everything and that it is fine if they do not make the squad. Making or failing to make the team is always a valuable learning experience, and it is a natural part of life. Whether they make the squad or not, let them know they are enough.