Settling Pre-Tryout Nerves
Everyone experiences nerves at some point in their life; whether it be before a big speech, in an interview for a job, or maybe even while driving in a bad storm. And for many student-athletes, regardless of experience or skill, a frequent trigger for nerves occurs during the time proceeding tryouts. But as a parent, there are steps you can take to help alleviate your child’s pre-tryout nerves.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There is nothing that will ease your child’s tryout-induced nerves more than simply being well prepared. This means encouraging them to practice in their free time, particularly on aspects of the sport that they struggle with. And while practicing doesn’t always sound exciting or fun, there are many ways to make it more enjoyable for your child. Have them invite some friends over to practice with and maybe even play an impromptu game. Or, if you have the time and ability, work with them yourself to both help improve their skills as well as spend some quality time together.
If the tryouts are taking place at the beginning of the school year, you can also take advantage of summer camps that many towns offer. Research to see if there are any that specialize in the sport your child is going out for. This will give them the opportunity to practice with more experienced athletes than yourselves or your child’s friends which may make all the difference.
Your child has enough to be nervous about leading up to tryouts without having to combat illness or exhaustion on top of it all. And if they show up that day feeling anything but their best, their chances of making the team are that much more unlikely. In the time leading up to the big day, ensure that your child is eating healthy meals and getting enough rest. If the sport they are going out for involves a lot of running, you can even enjoy a pasta party on the night proceeding the tryout.
If your child is practicing regularly leading up to their tryout, they may reach a time when they are as prepared as they are going to get and are simply all practiced out. And while it is important that your child is focusing their efforts on making the team, it is equally essential that they not spending every waking hour focusing on the tryout. Instead, find a way to distract your child with another activity they enjoy. Maybe have them invite some friends over or take them out to their favorite restaurant. Getting their mind off of the tryout even for an hour or two will be of more ease to them than your could possibly imagine.
Trying out for a team is both an exciting and nerve-racking time for both child and parent. But there are many simple steps you can do to help ease these nerves and help to prepare the young athlete for the big day.