Story by Laura Boyd
As the school year comes to an end, many sports begin to form teams for the 2019-2020 school year. Through the gruesome and tiring process of tryouts, even well-seasoned athletes can let their nerves get the best of them.
The anxiety associated with tryouts can be a nuisance to deal with, only increasing the amount of pressure on athletes. Many hopefuls allow stress to distract them while they should be focused on performing to their greatest ability.
The intensity of tryout week not only affects one’s mental state, but can also affect the potential a student can show academically. Students who want to participate in tryouts have to keep their grades up to be eligible to show their athletic strengths. “[Students] get connected immediately… [they] can find a place quickly… [and] their grades are better because they want to stay eligible,” McKinney Boyd counselor, Samantha Culbertson, said.
While it is important to aim for success during a tryout, Culbertson believes that athletes should focus on their effort rather that the outcome. “Ninety-nine percent of [skills] [are] [coachable]… if [an athlete has] a good attitude and is willing to try and learn, coaches are more willing to work with [them] on [improving]… go into it with an open mind and be willing to be coached.”
Although much of the tryout process is perfecting an athlete’s physical skills, it is equally as important to focus on one’s mental state. It is important to remember that every athlete messes up at some point during a tryout. Alongside being open-minded and confident, Culbertson advises athletes to “prepare physically, ask the coaches what they are looking for, have a positive attitude… [and] give it your all.”
As hopefuls should keep an optimistic outlook on their tryouts, they should also prepare to face the reality of possibly being cut from the team. “[Athletes} should do [their] best [but] not everyone [is going to] make [the team],” Boyd cheer coach Lysa Bryant said.
Though the stress of tryouts can throw a great athlete off of their A-game, it is vital to keep pushing through until the end. Keeping a confident persona, mentally and physically preparing for tryouts, and giving it their all can lead them to the start of a great year playing their favorite sport.