#153: Tips for Parents & Athletes to Crush Tryouts!

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Is your child gearing up for tryouts? Tryouts can be a nerve-wracking time for both athletes and parents. But, with the right preparation and mindset, it can also be an exciting opportunity to showcase skills and potential!

In this episode of Raising Unstoppable Girl Athletes, we’ll explore some valuable tips for parents and athletes to help them navigate the tryout process successfully. These tips focus on mental and physical preparation, building confidence, and handling both success and disappointment. So, whether you’re a supportive parent or an aspiring athlete, read on to discover how to crush those tryouts!

Before Tryouts: Mental Preparation and Familiarization

Before tryouts, athletes can take some simple yet effective steps to boost their chances of success. One key approach is visualization, which can be very helpful in mentally preparing for the upcoming challenge. Research has shown that athletes can actually activate the same brain pathways when they visualize performing as if they were doing it in real life. So, encouraging your athlete to visualize themselves confidently executing the skills they’ll be showcasing during tryouts can work wonders.

Familiarity with the tryout location is also a great way to help ease nerves and reduce the stress of the unknown. If possible, have your athlete visit the gym or field where the tryout will take place. This way, she can get a sense of the environment and feel more comfortable on the big day.

About two to three minutes before the tryout, have your athlete engage in visualization exercises. Encourage her to imagine herself performing at her best, nailing the skills, and displaying positive energy and teamwork. This mental preparation sets her up to replicate what she saw in her mind when she’s out there competing.

As parents, your support and positivity play a crucial role in your athlete’s mindset. Reassure her of her positive qualities, not just related to sports outcomes but also her work ethic, attitude, and preparation leading up to the tryout. It’s essential to let her know that no matter the outcome, your love and support for her remain unwavering.

Arriving early to the tryout not only helps with stress but also provides an opportunity for your athlete to introduce herself to the coaches and connect with potential teammates. A little tip: wearing a distinctive color or something identifiable can make her stand out to coaches during evaluations!

During Tryouts: Focus on Strengths and Take Calculated Risks

During tryouts, athletes should focus on their strengths instead of trying to be perfect in every aspect of the game. Most of the time, coaches are looking for individuals who excel in specific areas, not those who are flawless all-around players. So, instead of focusing on weaknesses, athletes should identify two or three skills they are confident in and showcase them during the tryout.

Also, making mistakes during tryouts is natural and expected – what truly matters is how athletes respond to those mistakes. Coaches want to see resilience and the ability to bounce back quickly after making an error. Athletes should take risks, own their mistakes, and confidently get back into the game without letting setbacks affect their overall performance.

To help athletes handle mistakes, a snapback routine can be beneficial, which they can learn about in the training program at trainhergame.com. Taking risks and displaying a positive response to errors will impress coaches more than playing it safe and fearing failure.

During tryouts, hustle and a strong work ethic are intangible qualities that coaches also take note of. Running between stations, being the first to volunteer, and showing dedication stand out to coaches and demonstrate a willingness to work hard and be a valuable team member. So, encourage your athlete to focus on these aspects, as they are entirely within her control and can positively influence the outcome.

Ultimately, coaches look for coachable athletes who are good teammates and show effort in every aspect of the game. While the final decisions may not be entirely under your daughter’s control, emphasizing these positive qualities will make her stand out and increase her chances of success during tryouts. Also, remind her that even if the specific outcome isn’t what she hoped for, the growth and improvement she experiences during tryouts are valuable and contribute to her development as an athlete.

After Tryouts: Reflect and Navigate Disappointment

After tryouts, athletes should thank the coaches for the opportunity. Reflecting on their performance, they should recognize both their successes and areas for improvement. Also, while seeking feedback is beneficial, it’s best to do so at an appropriate time, not right after tryouts when coaches are making tough decisions.

In the case of disappointment, such as not making the desired team, encourage your athlete to see it as an opportunity to grow. Discuss what they can learn from the experience and how they can improve for future opportunities. Also, you should let your athlete vent about their tryout experience without trying to fix it. Help them reflect on their performance, acknowledging both the areas that didn’t go well and the aspects they excelled in. The final decision is out of their control, and they should feel relieved knowing they gave their best effort.

How Parents Can Support Their Athletes During Tryouts

As a parent, you can support your athlete during tryouts by focusing on what’s within their control. Encourage them to work hard, be a great teammate, and showcase their skills confidently. Remind them not to stress about things beyond their control or compare themselves to others. Avoid reading into the coach’s actions or thoughts as it can negatively impact their performance. Help your athlete put on blinders and stay focused on doing their best.

Remember, your support and guidance play a vital role in nurturing their confidence and resilience throughout this journey. Above all, remind your athlete that your love and support are unconditional, regardless of the outcome. Avoid adding unnecessary pressure and allow them to navigate their athletic journey with a sense of autonomy and self-discovery.

Final Thoughts

Get ready to crush those tryouts with these helpful tips! Before the big day, encourage your athlete to visualize success and become familiar with the tryout location. As parents, your support and encouragement are vital for boosting their confidence. During tryouts, remind your athlete to focus on showing off their strengths and bouncing back from mistakes with determination. Coaches also notice hustle and a strong work ethic. After tryouts, give them time to reflect on the experience and use any setbacks as a chance to grow.

As parents, provide unwavering support and let your athlete know your love is  unconditional. Good luck on this exciting journey to success! 

Episode Highlights: 

[02:43] Trying out can be a challenging stressful time for athletes, parents, and coaches.

[04:47] The three phases of trial preparation: before, during, and after.

[06:39] How to help your athlete prepare for their tryout.

[09:31] Tips for Before Tryouts.

[11:46] Coaches are looking for someone who is strong in certain categories.

[13:30] What else during tryouts are coaches looking for?

[15:35] Reflecting after every tryout.

[18:52] How parents can support their athletes during tryouts. 


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