Trying out is a time of stress for many. It potentially makes you panicky and you put tremendous pressure on yourself that you don't need to. Breathe, in for 4 out for 7, lots!
You could skip to no 10) as it is the most important one, but let’s do the rest.
So, what can you do?
1) Speak to the Coaches.
Your Coaches want you to succeed. That may not mean you being on the team you think you deserve or want, so listen, try out and be realistic. Team placement comes above individual desire. It is about timing, it is not personal, and parents do not always know best on this one. A brilliant level 1 is awesome to watch over a shabby level 3. You'd always be welcome to ask where do I have to be to try out for a certain team, again be realistic and ask is that me right now? If this is not in your skill set soon, it may not happen. If you have a specific requirement or issue, ask in plenty of time, don't leave it until the day.
Most try out forms have a lot of options including cross overs, competitions and international options (depending on your team)
Is your physical and mental health up to this?
2) Ask what is realistic, when do they train, can you commit?
Not for 3 months but to be with your team until the LAST competition. Drop outs are disrespectful and devastating to the rest of the team. This may cost friends and parties, prom after parties, and a lot more. It will also gain you another family, awesome team skills and new friends, is that cost/gain ratio ok?
3) Talk to your Parents.
Can they afford it? Will they drive you all around the country and or put you on a plane potentially? Do they want to wait in car parks and watch you from 7am to 10pm? Why these so far? Well, so you are aware of what you are committing to, do you WANT this?
What do you need for try outs? What forms, documents, information? Is the fee due before, how do you pay? How can you be on time, calm and prepared? If you have a parent who is always late, plan for that. Get a folder and or planner, keep your information together. Where is the try out, do you need to book a slot? What should you wear on your body and feet? What should you do with your hair? Ask any questions, loads as all questions are relevant, however don't be a hassle, as most if not all you need will be in your try out packs or on line. Be honest about experience and other programmes. Coaches know each other and actually whilst they may be in competition, they're supportive and friends often. Don’t play coaches off, they will hear about it.
5) Sleep matters.
Sleep matters, before exams for example, research proves that a good night’s sleep leads to a better result than a last-minute cram, same for try outs! Look up sleep hygiene or ask me for info to improve your sleep.
6) Eat well.
Eating well can affect our energy, sleep, condition, fitness, mental health, critical thinking and emotions. There is a lot of contradictory advice from supposed experts that aren't good for athletes around. Again, ask me if you’re unsure. Eat before your try out as you’ll need the energy, however allow time for it to digest.
7) Drink, water!
In the UK, based on average temperatures the recommended level is 1.2 to 2 litres a day. In training that’s more around 2 litres a day, However, your kidneys can’t eliminate more that 0.8-1.0 litres per hour, so spread it out, milk also helps water retention. Drink on the way to your try out.
8) Life matters!
Family, chores, studies and friends. Balance life and its demands too. Mental health matters, what helps yours? Can I help in any way?
Ask for support from parents, friends, coaches and co athletes. Get a try out buddy or mentor. Work out a plan that includes:
Be realistic again, don't push for a new skill now! Perfect your current skills. Don't say you have a skill when you don’t, be honest as how can you be trusted if you start with a lie? Don’t mark it, do it and do it right, create muscle memory as it is hard to correct. Ask coaches for good drills and look them up on line too. Learn hand counts and body placement counts too. Practice the basic skills needed for your levels, the jumps, the tumbling, the stretches. Do them daily, send videos to your buddy to keep you motivated. Watch people who are great at your skills, visualise their placement and you doing it.
Keep it up and make it fun! Work with someone, use a variety of methods. However, don't go crazy and create a strain or an injury! How awful would that be around now?
Stretch! It is a gradual process, you can’t jump into a perfect scorpion on day 1. So, start now, do it daily. Again, share videos with a buddy.
Learn some random dances on you tube or teach your buddy a few counts. This is a great skill to develop, choreo memory. Lots of try outs send a video, so learn from that source.
Practice in the mirror and on the bus or down the high street, where you may feel embarrassed. The smile, the shoulder, the words, the head bobble. Performance matters. Swap sass snap chats ;-)
Your walk on
This matters too. How you present yourself, your confidence and how you own the floor. Not arrogant or aggressive, think powerful and knowing.
You are part of a team, not an individual. Show you are supportive, kind, respectful, coachable and accountable. Can you hear critique? Can you give it?
Can you be gracious in defeat and humble in victory? Power doesn't come from destroying others, it comes from lifting yourself and others up, from within.
Be you, your uniqueness matters on the floor, stay true to who you are. This is common mistake in teams, yes have the same timing and counts, however shine as you!
Give 100%, then a little more.
Leave your issues at the door, if you’re late, apologise, and get on.
Plan for problems. When you see potential problems and come up with solutions, your brain panics less if and when they happen. If you suffer from anxiety etc, talk to me out techniques.
Ask parents to back off (politely) as support is great, hassle isn’t. Learn to cope and work this stuff out alone or with your team, as you can’t call anyone from the floor if it isn't working.
Be positive and supportive. Count, cheer, shout, smile and clap for others
Focus really matters, you’ll get nervous and excited, you need to focus and show that you can.
Visualise and practice first, the team you want and success. Even if you get close, you’re still on a winner
Be present, when we are anxious we jump ahead and lose where we are. Stay in the room.
HAVE FUN! Wow this one gets forgotten, whilst we all love cheer, it is just cheer. Make it a try out, not a cry out :-)
You don't have my permission to copy the above without crediting me as the writer
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