Tryouts can feel like one of the most anxiety-ridden days of your life. The moment you’ve spent all that time prepping for has finally arrived. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your skills and impress the coaching staff.
You devoted hours to developing your fundamental and technical skills, but so did your competition, so what will ultimately set you apart? The answers are “in your head.” (Stay mentally tough with these tips.) Mental skills are the key factor for edging out other hopefuls. Here are some tips:
1. Shift your focus away from the outcome and stay present. This is when you should focus on relaxing, deep breathing and concentrating on the task in front of you.
2. Concentrate and do not allow your mind to wander. A lapse in concentration can be frustrating and detrimental to your performance.
3. Don’t worry. Worrying will not prevent mistakes from happening, but it can create them. Be mindful of any personal expectations that may promote a sense of failure when you make mistakes.
4. The ability to regulate anxiety is indeed a skill. To perfect it, you need to integrate mental techniques into your practice sessions. Practicing coping skills on a daily basis will allow you to effectively deal with unforeseen events during tryouts.
5. Great preparation leads to great performance. You must consistently train your mind using mental strategies that will prepare you to handle an unforeseen distraction, a mistake, a sudden moment of intense nerves, an upset stomach, and the fear of not making the team.
Above all else, be positive. Most coaches will choose a player with a great attitude and above average skills over a player with exceptional skill and a bad attitude. Skills can be taught and improved. An attitude is difficult to change.