Surviving the Basketball Tryout Process

The struggles athletes face during the stressful tryout season.


Jacob Johnson

Girls basketball during the 2017 season.

Tryouts can be the most stressful part of an athlete’s season. They could bring great joy because years of hard work are finally noticed, or they could conclude with a tremendous let down for some. Tryouts are filled with an enormous amount of pressure not only for the athletes, but for the coaches as well. Picking a team from often a huge selection of athletes is no easy task, especially when you risk the potential wrath of unhappy parents. Yes, some tryout processes may be unfair and politics based, but in order for a team to have a successful season, they need to happen.

With basketball games right around the corner, athletes are working hard to impress their coaches, and survive the tryout season. For sophomore Lily Highley, tryouts tend to be a stressful time, but she believes having a positive mindset is a huge advantage.

“When I go into tryouts I’m always thinking about if I’m good enough or what is going to happen if I don’t make it,” said Highley. “Even though it can be tough, never believe that you’re not good enough for a sport because that’s when you start doing bad.”

Most of the time, athletes worry too much about poor results or negative outcomes when it comes to tryouts. Many are crippled by the fear of embarrassment or failure, which could ultimately lead to athletes sabotaging their own tryout due to the lack of confidence. But, overcoming these mental setbacks could positively impact the athlete’s experience and how they perform at tryouts. Letting go of fear and focusing more on the process, rather than the results could help an athlete create a better chance of achieving their desired goal; making the team.