Welcome back everyone to our discussion on tryouts. Today’s post is really all about how we parents can help our children be at their best on Tryout day. Throughout this series we have discussed many tips and ideas to have you as prepared as possible for tryouts but today I want to get as practical as we can because let's face it parents, we want to help our children with this pressure filled situation, and we can. First, I believe last week’s Q & A with our Evaluators is a great tool for a successful tryout so please take the time to read that, but today we are going to just practically lay out how we can come to the tryout knowing our child is prepared and as ready as they can be. Listen parents, we may have no soccer knowledge at all but there are absolutely ways that we still can help our child be at their best on tryout day. Let's list out some important tips and just talk for a bit.
· Rest – get to bed early the night before!
· Nutrition – eat well the day of the tryout and at the proper times (not right before!)
· Hydration – drink lots of water throughout the day, hours before is important!
· Punctuality – don’t be in a rush, get there early so they can settle into the environment.
· Communication – be intentional about the conversations leading up to and on the way to and from tryouts.
· Relax – do your best to stay relaxed, remember your tension can fuel their nerves!
Remember to control the controllables! We have learned a lot through this series, but if there is one thing that has stood out to me, it’s that while much of the tryout seems out of our hands as parents, there are things we can control. One of the hardest parts of sending our children to a tryout is that feeling that it is completely out of our hands. But there absolutely are areas that we can influence and help and we should focus on them. The good news is you chose Keystone FC, and Keystone has a great system in place and can handle the soccer stuff. So you know that the area that is beyond your control and area of expertise as a parent is in really good hands, but what we just listed above are all ways that we can really help or hinder our child’s ability to be at their best on tryout day.
Think about how many of our evaluators last week told us that while the soccer skills and athleticism are very important, so is attitude, effort, body language, and the ability to focus. These are all things they are watching. How you do carry yourself at tryout? Do you hustle? Are you able to respond well after a mistake? Do you listen to the coaches? So I want you to personalize this for yourself for a moment. How do you do in those areas of attitude, energy, and focus when you were up late the night before? I don’t know about you, but I get pretty grumpy when I’m tired and I struggle to focus and so do our children. It’s important that they get a good night’s rest prior to the tryout. The night before tryouts is not the night to play video games until 3 in the morning. How do you do in those areas when you are hungry? It’s probably the same thing! I get pretty "hangry" in those moments and so do our children! And no, eating a Snickers Bar is not the answer! Rest, nutrition, and hydration are often overlooked but they allow your child to not only perform physically but it also allows them to focus and be the player and person you know they can be. Mom and Dad, you can help them with this! Here’s another question. How do you feel when you are rushed, and running late? Be organized, have them lay out their soccer equipment the night before, and make sure to be thinking ahead on this day, not reacting late. How do you feel when you go to a big group function not dressed appropriately for the event while everyone else is? Makes you feel pretty self conscious doesn't it? We need to be organized, think ahead, and know which field location, what time, and what to wear.
The last thing I will say to you as your children head towards tryout day is this, please be intentional with your words. Remember to relax. Your stress can very quickly add weight to your child that you aren’t even trying to add. Be intentional in the car rides to and from the tryout to build them up. Remind them of all the work they have done to be ready for the tryout and encourage them to do their best, to work hard, and most importantly to have fun playing the game they love during the tryout! Then help get them signed in and go for a walk!
Listen, as parents we all want our child to make the team and not feel the hurts of not making the team…that is natural. When the stress is getting to you focus on the things you can control and not on what you can’t. You can’t control your child's size or speed, or what the evaluators right down in their clip boards or iPad, but you have many areas you as a parent can help. Focus on those areas and put that nervous energy towards those things. You can help by leading your child towards rest, healthy eating, hydration, being organized and getting them there early, by building them up with the words you say, and by doing your best to not let your emotions or stress flow into them as they head into tryouts.
So control the controllables and let go of the things you can’t control…remember you can trust the soccer to Keystone FC's staff of experts and the systems they have in place for the tryout itself! While it’s easier said than done it can really help your child be at their best on tryout day!
Best of luck to each and everyone of you on tryout day, we will be back next week to discuss one last part of tryouts…how to respond to the results. We will see you next week!