If you have tryouts for your volleyball team when you enter high school, it can be very intimidating. If you are new to the sport, it may make sense they you have to compete for a spot, but if you have played for years, it might be frustrating that you have to fight to play a sport you love.
While you might be nervous that you have to compete with friends and classmates, you have to look at it as a great opportunity to make yourself better. Competition can bring out the best in athletes, and tryouts are one way to do that.
If you are about to start your tryouts, there isn’t much you can do in the short term to improve your athleticism or volleyball skills, but you can give yourself a better chance by having the right mindset and attitude. Here are 5 tips for high school volleyball tryouts:
- Listen – Coaches will tell you exactly what they are looking for from their athletes. They may not spell it directly out for you, but everything they do and talk about in practice are clues. If they emphasize a specific blocking technique, they want to see you doing that. This shows them that you listen and are coachable, which are promising signs for your long-term development. Don’t just listen to what you are told, pay attention to what the other athletes are being taught and try to apply the lessons to your play. If you show you are attentive and a quick learner, you will make a great impression.
- Team first – The coaching staff wants and needs to win, so they are going to pick the players who are going to help them accomplish that. If you are asked to play out of position, relish the opportunity to display different skills. If you sulk that you aren’t at your preferred spot, you will come off as a selfish player who is more interested in personal glory than team success. Most coaching staffs have little patience for selfish players, regardless of how talented they are.
- Be dependable – Highlight plays are great and all, but you are more valuable if you can be relied on to make the fundamental plays every time. Coaches look for players that they can trust. They care more if you execute the simple plays every time than if you make one killer spike. How can you be dependable? Focus on the fundamentals and the little things the coaches ask of you. If you are excellent at all the fundamentals, everything will take care of itself.
- Be confident – If you don’t believe in yourself, it will show in everything you do on the volleyball court. One thing to avoid? Comparing yourself to the others trying out can be a terrible thing for your confidence. You can’t worry about what others are doing. You can’t control what they are doing, you can only control what you are doing. Besides, worrying about others only distracts you from what is actually happening and practices and what you need to pay attention to. Focus on your positive abilities. You will make mistakes during drills and scrimmages, but don’t dwell on them. Learn from your error and apply it to the next repetition.
- Compete – You have to commit to competing every moment you are on the volleyball court. You are fighting for your volleyball career and need to do everything you can to make the best impression. Everything you do on and off the court is a chance to make a good impression. Warm-ups, drills, and scrimmages aren’t just time wasting activities. Compete at all of them. If you are doing a drill, aim to be the best you can at the drill. Really dial in your mental focus and take it one play at a time.
High school volleyball tryouts can be scary your first time through. You may have never had to compete for a roster spot in a sport you’ve been playing for years. Depending on the depth and quality of talent at your school, making the team may not be a given, but if you follow the tips above you will give yourself a great opportunity to do your best.