School is back in session and that means it’s sports tryout time! This can be an exciting and simultaneously stressful time for both young athletes and parents. Students may feel anxious, pressured to perform and be afraid of failure. As a parent, you can make a huge impact in how your child handles the pressure of sports tryouts. Here are our best tips for supporting your child through sports tryouts.
- Help your child face fear. Open and honest communication with your child is the first step to helping them face fear. Let your child know that no matter the outcome of tryouts, you’re proud of them just for trying. Ask your child about what is making them nervous and then talk out different scenarios. Paint a picture of positive outcomes to improve your little athlete’s mindset.
- Work on mental toughness. Sports are just as much a mental game as they are a physical one. Young athletes need to know the value of training to develop the strong work ethic needed to constantly improve. Teach your young athlete that training is just as important as the games themselves. Young athletes also need to have a performance mindset, where they are able to trust their instincts rather than make conscious movements during game play. This muscle memory is learned through consistent practice. Athletes will be more confident and develop the performance mindset after they develop their practice mindset, making them a well-rounded and prepared athlete.
- Give constructive feedback. Talk about your child’s performance at tryouts in positive terms. Let them know where they excel, where they need to work and make a plan to work at it together. Perhaps your child is very fast and nimble on the basketball court, but they need help making passes. You could sign your child up for skills clinics to polish up their skills and improve the outcome of tryout season.
- Teach your child to perform for him or herself. A lot of the pressure in sports tryouts comes from students trying to win the approval of coaches, parents and teammates. Teaching your child to focus on performing only for him or herself removes much of the pressure from tryouts.
- Communicate with the coach. The coach is able to give very specific feedback about your young athlete’s performance. Approach this as a learning experience, and let the coach know your child wants to improve. They can give tips and tricks on where your child needs to strengthen skills, so that you can work together as a team.
- If your child doesn’t make the team, let them know it’s not the end of the world. Reaffirm that you’re proud of your child’s efforts. Remind your child that people may try many different sports before they find the one that they truly love. Encourage them to dust themselves off and try again next season.
Competitive Edge aims to develop the “complete athlete” using performance sports training in Woodbridge, VA and surrounding areas. Members are able to enhance their athletic performance and develop a competitive edge to excel in their desired sport.