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How to Be Less Nervous for a Sports Tryout

Sports tryouts can be nerve-wracking. Not only do you feel pressure to adequately demonstrate your skills and abilities in front of your peers and sometimes complete strangers, but there is always the looming fear of rejection.

In most instances, you will also feel nervous as the time nears to discover the outcome of your audition. Although it may feel as if your stomach is performing somersaults, with adequate preparation and a bit of courage, you can go forward with confidence as you try out for a sports team.


5 Steps to Be Less Nervous for a Sports Tryout

Sports Tryout

1. Think positive.

At times, people can be their own worst enemies. For example, if you find yourself thinking negatively about the tryouts, pause for a moment and envision yourself actually playing on the team. Use positive self-talk phrases such as, “I can do this even if I’m nervous” or “I’m a winner.”


2. Prepare early.

Keep your eyes and ears open for the tryout dates, times and locations. It is often beneficial to begin preparing for tryouts as early as possible. Some individuals prepare a full season before the actual tryout. If you wait until three or four days before tryouts to learn and practice the sport, you are more likely to experience anxiety.


3. Study the sport.

Each sport maintains a specific set of guidelines, rules and regulations. Visit your local library and ask a librarian to help you locate books about the sport. If possible, seek out veteran team members, as they can provide insider tips about what to expect during team tryouts and how to remain calm. Most individuals will feel more confident and decrease their overall nervousness if they know what to expect in advance.


4. Approach the coach at practice, school or after a game, if possible.

Tell the coach that you are vying for a spot on the team and ask him to share tips about how to calm your fears before tryouts. He might remind you to maintain a positive attitude and to do your best, as most coaches expect their players to display strength both mentally and physically. He might also suggest daily physical exercise and specific practice routines to reduce your overall stress level and to help you prepare for tryouts.


5. Practice relaxation techniques.

Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths to clear your mind and calm your body. Listen to soothing music, such as waves crashing on a beach or sounds from the tropical rain forest or any type of music that lightens your mood. Relaxing your mind and body will help you perform better.


Tips and Warnings

  • Depending on the team, the earlier that you find out about tryouts, the better. For example, if you are trying out for a spot on the cross-country team, you need to get your body in good physical condition at least three to six months in advance.
  • If you don’t make the team the first time, try again next season. Don’t give up.


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