Tryouts offer kids an excellent opportunity to show their skill and potential in a sport they love, and hopefully, be successful in making it on the team.

But as exciting as team tryouts can be, expect your child to be full of emotions. Even kids who have natural talent and seem like a shoo-in for the team will have some anxiety. They are eager to impress the coach and future teammates; they’re afraid to fail or embarrass themselves.

No matter how talented your child is, they need to get their head in the game because mental setbacks can affect their confidence and therefore, sabotage their performance. Here are seven tips to help your young athlete prepare for team tryouts both physically and mentally:

Work on Weak Points

Kids want to impress the coach with their skills. And while it’s great to show off talent, the coach also wants to see their potential. If they feel that their weakness is endurance, help them work on getting stronger. If they need work on their form, guide them and help them put in the time to refine it.

Get in Shape

While skill and technique are important, remember that their health is too. Coaches want to see a good foundation; as conditioning will become a big part of their practice time. At tryouts, some of the first kids who get weeded out are the ones who are out of shape.

Plan the Day

Your child should be prepared with a schedule on the day of tryouts. The night before, they should get enough sleep. Make sure they have all the stuff they need like shoes and other gear. Being prepared for the day allows them to schedule their meals and snacks so that they’re sufficiently energized and hydrated for the day.

Fuel Up

Tryouts will consume a lot of physical and emotional energy; the last thing your child should do is arrive hungry and irritated. Make sure your kid starts the day with a healthy breakfast. And remind them to hydrate throughout the day and not to eat a heavy meal just before tryouts.

Arrive Early

Arrive early if possible. The last thing your child should do is arrive late and make a wrong first impression on the coach. When your kid comes early or on time, it proves passion for the game and respect for the coach and fellow athletes. Being early also allows your kid to settle in and calm their nerves. It’s also a great time to get a quick warm-up in before the tryouts begin.

Don’t Be Overconfident

Confidence is essential during tryouts. However, you should remind your child not to overdo it. Overconfidence can kill performance, and it can lead them to attempt a skill they haven’t mastered yet.

Show Team Spirit

While many of the kids trying out will not make the cut and won’t make the team, it doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t treat the others like teammates. The coach will look for kids who show sportsmanship and teamwork. Encourage your child to cheer for the other kids and show their support.

As a parent, one of the best things you can do to help your child prepare for tryouts is to encourage them to have fun. Preparation for tryouts should have ideally started weeks ago, and now is the time to relax, trust their training and love for the sport.