Updated: May 5
Tryout week is a long week for all involved…players, parents and us development coaches too. Tryouts test not only skills, attitude, stamina but resilience too.
Tensions are high and there is a lot of anxiety but tryout stress is part of playing an elite sport. As stressful as tryouts can be, there are great life lessons learned during tryouts too. In my experience, I learned to focus on “my path” and not compare myself to others. I learned that if I worked hard and pushed myself to get a little better every day that I eventually would get to where I wanted to be.
I want to encourage you and your athletes no matter what the outcome of tryouts were to know that every athlete’s path is different. Don’t spend time comparing yourself or your child to anyone but themselves because if you are constantly chasing someone else’s goals and dreams you will miss out on reaching yours.
I know that being cut from a youth team does not feel good. In fact, I was cut from every youth national team in Slovakia growing up. I never made the team even though I thought I was good enough. One season when I was 15, I sat on the bench the entire season as an extra. That season I got very little playing time and only really practiced with my team. I saw my friends and teammates making teams I wanted to be on but I never made it. It was extremely tough mentally to get through those times but I never lost focus on working to get better every day. I never stopped going outside in the garage and shooting pucks, playing street hockey and working on my game to get better today than I was yesterday. I eventually got to the point where I had to get a full-time job working 6am-5pm in a factory because I didn’t make the pro team and I had to make money. I could have given up on my dreams but I didn’t, I stayed focused and I worked Monday- Friday and played semi-pro hockey to continue to work on my game and practice.
I tell you my story so you can see that even if you don’t make the team you wanted to make or even if you did, don’t stop working on your development. Don’t ever stop chasing your dreams and creating the path that is right for you.
Remember if you give it your best, try hard and continue to develop you will be successful in life.
Nobody Cares – Work Harder!