Last week was soccer tryouts for virtually all youth soccer players here in the Treasure Valley. It’s extremely stressful and creates a lot of anxiety for players, coaches, and parents. As a coach, I remind players to think of this challenging time of year as an opportunity to practice, to learn, and to develop skills that will make you successful for the rest of your life–both in and out of soccer.
I learned this as a player, and echo this as a coach. If you shift your perspective from viewing tryouts as threatening and intimidating to thinking of them as an opportunity, it’s a small mental shift that can make a big difference. This allows players to stay positive and confident, rather than scared.
Outside of sports there will be times that are stressful, nerve wracking, or frustrating. The process is uncomfortable. Peer pressure, fear of letting people down, and fear of the unknown can all contribute to stress that can snowball into a big distraction. When facing a challenge, this will negatively affect performance just when you want to be at your best. But making a deliberate change in your thinking can help you navigate difficult waters and come out stronger on the other end.