One thing my family learned while living in the US is how to stand out. Whether it was dress up day at school or an over the top science project, many Americans know how to get noticed. It seems to be part of our culture in Canada to blend in but I want kids to stand tall, be proud of their skills and stand out at the next tryout.
1. Arrive early so you can introduce yourself to the coach with a nice firm handshake.
2. Focus on your strengths. Pick one skill that you are proud of and use it as much as possible so you can stand out. Remember coaches know all athletes have room for improvement this is why they coach.
3. The nervousness you feel gives you a heightened level of focus and it means you are ready to perform; use it to your advantage.
4. If you enter the panic zone, try a slow breathing technique or a concentration exercise to reduce the pressure.
5. Show that you know how to work hard and hustle. Run to the water breaks and be the first back to start the next drill. Attitude can be as important as skills when coaches are picking the team. This picture is one of my players that practices her setting while everyone else is taking a break. Dedication.
6. Smile and thank the coach (even under a mask you can see a smile with your eyes).
7. When it is all done reflect on three things that went well and one thing you want to improve for next time. Then move on.
At the end of tryouts the decision is out of your hands; so go find something fun to do to recover and recharge. I love to believe that there is a team for every kid who wants to play sports so keep trying until you find it.