As we approach tryouts and nerves are getting thin, both for athletes and parents, here are couple of reminders:
This is the time to be excited, not worried. This is a young athlete’s first true athletic challenge. Celebrate!!!
To tryouts always bring: positive attitude towards yourself and others, confidence, listening skills, hustle; do things you are being asked, communicate well, shake off your mistakes as they are going to happen. Focus on one task at a time, not what was and not what will be.
The outcome of the Middle School/ High School tryouts is favorable either way, and does not determine an athletes’ volleyball success and career! What determines their career is action that they take before and after tryouts/competition/wins and losses.
We have witnessed female athletes make the team and and then quit working, thus stopping or slowing down their growth and allowing many to surpass them quickly. We have witnessed athletes who didn’t make the team become more determined and focused to make it next year. We have witnessed some who started in 8th/9th grade and even later, and still make competitive programs because they wanted it so bad.
In every athletic career, and really in any profession in the world, there are highs and lows. Athletics are anything but FAIR. Most of the time, it’s not the best 12 that make it, or the best that get to play. There is rejection and there is acceptance. One year you are a superstar, and the next year you could be at the bottom, and it goes like that, all through the career. Experiencing both is something you should be grateful for. Both ends teach you perseverance, resilience and patience, and will help you tremendously in coping with everyday life challenges. Both will help you re-evaluate your whys and your goals.
What better way to learn both than through athletics?
Middle School and High School are a time when a lot of changes occur. Some kids develop early, some late, physically, mentally and skill wise. Therefore, an athlete’s positions will change often in their career, their coordination will change, their bodies, their confidence, as well as their interest in sport.
Parents, let the athlete be during tryouts. If they want to talk about it, they will. If not, let them soak in whatever internal battle they have, and let them pick themselves back up. Help them get their mind of it - there’s already too much pressure on them. Encourage them to contact the coach or mentor for any advice they need. Avoid negativity and gossip, and focus on bettering yourself.
Athletes, remember - whether you make it or not, the ultimate award and success will come with the action that you take immediately after the tryouts.