Over the past few weeks, we have been collecting insights on popular topics within synchro world, on our social media! This week we asked the OTM community what their best tips are for preparing for tryouts.
Just about every skater will experience tryouts at some point in their skating careers, when joining a new team or a new level. Some teams even require returning skaters to try out for their team each season, while others guarantee their returning skaters spots on the team. Tryouts can be quite informal, welcoming and fun, or they may be very structured with skaters wearing numbers while a panel of coaches assess each skater on various criteria. It can be an exciting experience for a skater, but it can also intimidating. In some cases, nerves can prevent a skater from performing their best.
In the spirit of helping you find your groove and put your best foot forward at future tryouts, here are some suggestions that are sure to help you feel a little more comfortable stepping onto the ice!
- Work hard at all components of the tryout; both on and off the ice! This is an opportunity for the coaches to get a sense of your work ethic and how you will fit into their team dynamic. Then… be sure to bring that same hard work ethic into the season with you!
- If you can, talk to skaters on the team beforehand to help you prepare for tryouts. They may be able to give you some helpful pointers for the tryout process or let you know some of the drills they do to help you train and prepare for them.
- Remember to stay calm and positive. Instead of worrying about being judged or criticized, or stressing about what the coaches will think of you, try to reframe that negativity into something positive like “The coaches are looking for my strengths! They want to see what I can do well” and “I can’t wait to shine at tryouts, and get my future teammates excited about having someone with my skills on the team.” Realize that you have a ton of skills, and tryouts are all about the coaches identifying those strengths!
- If you are asked to attempt something at tryouts that you have never done before or can’t do well, give it your best effort. Coaches want to see that you are willing to try anything – even things you’re not good at. So give it a shot, and if you can’t do it well, show that you are willing to keep working at it with an open mind.
- Before you take the ice, take a deep breath to help you get into your knees and ankles!
- Demonstrate good sportsmanship to others trying out.
- Make sure you get to the rink early enough so that you have plenty of time to warm up and stretch off the ice, and get your skates on without feeling rushed.
- Listen to the coach’s corrections/pointers and apply them the best you can. Coaches look for skaters who are coachable! Many of their suggestions can be applied across other drills, so show that you are adaptable and can adjust on the go!
- Make sure you are fuelling your body and drinking lots of water.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Coaches prefer that you ask instead of being unsure. Plus, you may not be the only one with that question, so by having the courage to ask, your question could be helping others as well.
BONUS #11: Have fun! Tryouts are such an exciting time of the season before the hustle and bustle of building programs and training to compete, so enjoy it!