As a continuation/augmentation of last year’s thoughts, Angela welcomes you all to once again discuss the tryout process.
About this time last year, I dropped a post about some things to consider re: club team tryouts. Though I still think those are salient principles, there are some key additions and re-iterations I’d like to make as we stand on the precipice of a new season. Get ready to leap head first, people. It’s almost here.
I’ve got a collaborator this time – Mark Poole. We have a lot of similar thoughts and hope they help in some way. Thanks, Poole!
Push yourself to make good decisions. Execution is much easier to tweak than decision making. Bad decisions stand out more to those assessing you than minor execution errors will. Things will work out more often than not if you make good decisions. You can practice this through visualization – see in your mind what good decisions look like, what good space looks like, and what it feels like to pump fake a small window option.
Under pressure – how do you deal? Likely you’ll be assessed in 1v1 situations, highly pressurized, with a lot of people watching, to see what happens – whether you get open, how efficient your footwork is, your composure against a hard mark, etc. It may get uncomfortable to be scrutinized, and that’s exactly what you’re being tested on – your response to the discomfort, your response to the microscale 1v1 successes/failures, how they change your confidence, whether you recognize your mistakes and make changes.
Be adaptable. Adaptability is a component of dynamic growth and improvement. A highly valued attribute. It means being able to adjust to what’s being presented, to change your behavior if you see a potentially better way, to implement if given feedback about something. Trust that the coach/tryout assessors won’t give you adjustments that they don’t think you can handle.
Be positive. Teammates can feed off of your energy. Staying positive and being upbeat will go a long way. If you make a mistake, be pissed for 2 seconds and then put it out of your mind. You can only change how you play going forward. When you’re on the sideline, use your voice to encourage others. These things will be noticed.
Don’t push yourself to the breaking point. Now is not the time. If you’ve got trouble areas on your body, tweakiness, we hope leading up to tryouts you’re consistently doing good corrective exercises to mitigate. You are useless if you injure yourself. And you’ll regret it if you hurt someone else. Play hard, give it all you’ve got, but stay in control. DO NOT sacrifice your (or someone else’s) season for a dangerous bid; it’s not worth it.
Have Fun. This is a fun sport, and you’re likely surrounded by some pretty awesome people. Enjoy that, and it will show in your play. Nobody enjoys playing with aholes. Seriously.
You might not make the team. Therein lies the rub. The field is undoubtably competitive. So… what’s the recipe for feeling great about your performance, regardless of outcome? Tough one, and there’s no way around being sad if you were really invested and don’t make the cut. Here are some thoughts. Be in a place where you feel good about how (and how much) you’ve prepped – physically and mentally. Showcase your strengths. Do all the things Mark and I have mentioned here and in my previous post. Do everything in your control to come away feeling proud of how you showed up – even if there are also things you could’ve done better – and it will help alleviate any disappointment you’re going to feel if you don’t make it.
Thanks, and look forward to hearing any thoughts yall have.