As the school year starts up, our throats begin to tighten. Fall sports tryouts are underway, and our children are stressed. Chances are, you’re feeling just as anxious for tryouts as your kids. Best case scenario, they make the team and happily transition into the regular season, worst case they don’t and they come to you in a whirlwind of emotion that leaves you struggling to find a resolution.
If you’re looking for a more concrete way to improve your child’s skills, there are a variety of private coaches who will fit your child’s needs. If a private coach doesn’t pique your interest, there are definite steps you can take to help your child make the team. These tips will help guide you through both tryouts and a successful sports season.
1. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Put in the prep!
Encourage your child to begin practicing on a steady gradient from casual to intense sessions a month before preseason begins. Have them start their practice at about 30 min every other day increasing to an hour or two each day the week before. You shouldn’t put too much pressure on them to be perfect, but do convey that it is important to be well conditioned before the first day. Suggest that they play around with their friends or future teammates. This will help them get a feel for the competition early so that they can assess how much practice they need. During the first week, help ease their nerves by reminding them how much they’ve practiced and that they’re ready for this.
2. Eat, sleep and play.
Sleep and nutrition are extremely important for your child’s well being in the first weeks of preseason. Make sure that your child gets a great night sleep not just the night before the first day, but also the whole weekend before. Help them gear up by preparing healthy meals in the weeks before and during tryouts. Making great breakfasts and nutritious packed lunches during preseason will help take some of the load off your child and show them that you’re there for support.
3. Pencil it in now ... not later.
Creating a schedule for your child’s sports season seems like an obvious step, but it is an incredibly important one. List all practices, games, team dinners, etc. along with their times and locations. Consider linking up with other parents to make a carpooling schedule and to exchange information in case of emergency. Securing a time-effective transportation system for the preseason will take the burden off your child. Children often feel stressed or judged by coaches or teammates when their parents are late or forget an event, so showing them you’ve got it all under control will ease their nerves.
4. Be a good sport, Mom and Dad.
Reacting positively to coaches’ decisions, results of a game, or practice schedules will set a good example for your child. Sympathize and suggest alternatives if he is upset, but do not intervene or create unnecessary drama. Obviously there are always special cases, but use your best discretion to pick your battles. Your child will learn from your constructive attitude, which will reflect positively on the playing field.
5. Put it into perspective.
Last but not least, be sure to encourage and motivate your child while keeping a healthy perspective. Sometimes kids can get overwhelmed with tryouts and overreact. If they perform poorly in a drill or scrimmage, help them avoid giving up by presenting the positive sides. They can make it up the next day, or if not, there’s always next year or other activities. Remind them that you’re proud of them no matter what.
Make tryouts as easy as possible for your children. If you take care of their schedule, meals, and transportation, they can freely focus on their game. Your children will be less stressed and perform their best when they know you’ve got their back, both logistically and emotionally. So here’s to a successful, best-case scenario sports season. Your children will thank you!
CoachUp CEO and Founder, Jordan Fliegel, is a young entrepreneur whose passion for sports goes beyond his business. Jordan firmly believes his life was changed when his father enlisted the help of a private coach to step up his basketball game as a teenager. Fliegel’s experience with private coaching led to a successful academic and basketball career at the college and professional level. He started CoachUp and pays it forward by coaching youth basketball players. For more information visit www.coachup.com.
Published: August 2013