The Mental Game: How to perform your best during a tryout

The Mental Game: How to perform your best during a tryout

Mental Edge Performance

The Mental Game: How to perform your best during a tryout

By is founded by Shayne McGowan, based on the concept of creating a superior standard of training for athletes on and off the field. McGowan is a certified mental game coaching professional. He has studied a Cal State university and has played football in college and briefly in the pros. He is a member of Coaches of Canada and NCCP certified, has 30 years fitness background as a trainer. He has done interviews on Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, NFL Spin Zone, NFL Showtime, BlogTalkRadio and writes for Train fitness magazine.

Tryouts or to qualify to make the team can be an anxious time for many athletes.

Whether you are trying out or qualifying for a traveling team, select team, high school team or college team, pro team, you need to be on top of your game to have the best chance of earning a spot.

Unfortunately, some athletes get in their own way and perform well below their usual level of play. The culprit that causes athletes to under perform in tryouts is a misplaced focus.

Athletes that have difficulty performing to their potential are usually focused on three things:

1. Trying too hard to impress the coaching staff

When you look to impress the coaching staff, most of the time, you feel you need to be perfect… make the perfect pass, hit the perfect landing, make the perfect throw, etc.

When you seek perfection, you heap more pressure upon yourself, try harder, and, in some cases, force your game. The coaching staff is not looking for you to be perfect.

The coaches are assessing your potential, how well you perform under stressful conditions and how you rebound from mistakes.

2. Keeping up with the other athletes trying out for the team

Making comparisons to other athletes is a confidence-killer and a performance destroyer. Worrying about how you are performing in comparison to others takes the focus off your game.

It really doesn’t matter how other athletes are performing. That’s something you cannot control. The things within your control are how you are performing, your level of effort, and your response to errors or missteps.

3. Worrying about making the team

Worrying about the future prevents you from performing freely and confidently in the present moment. Of course you want to tell others you made the team, but you cannot perform your best in the moment when you fear getting cut in the future.

Your best chance to have a successful tryout is to stay focused on your game and give maximum effort no matter what happens during the course of the tryout.

These are just some of the things athletes face when trying to perform at the start of tryouts. Feeling the nerves and butterflies are all part of the game! It’s using that to build excitement, and finding the zone to play your game that got you to the level your at. Playing with confidence and trust in your abilities, with a strong mindset and focused on what your job is, and staying in control are keys to a successful tryout.


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