How to Perform Your Best at Tryouts

Staying Confident in Sports

What Prevents Athletes From Performing Their Best in Tryouts?

Tryouts or qualify can be an anxious time for many athletes.

Whether you are trying out or qualifying for a traveling team, select team, high school team or college team, you need to be on top of your game to have the best chance of earning a spot.

Unfortunately, some athletes get in their own way and perform well below their usual level of play. The culprit that causes athletes to under perform in tryouts is a misplaced focus.

Athletes that have difficulty performing to their potential are usually focused on three things:

1. Trying to impress the coaching staff.

When you look to impress the coaching staff, most of the time, you feel you need to be perfect… make the perfect pass, hit the perfect landing, make the perfect throw, etc.

When you seek perfection, you heap more pressure upon yourself, try harder, and, in some cases, force your game. The coaching staff is not looking for you to be perfect.

The coaches are assessing your potential, how well you perform under stressful conditions and how you rebound from mistakes.

2. Keeping up with the other athletes trying out for the team.

Making comparisons to other athletes is a confidence-killer and a performance destroyer. Worrying about how you are performing in comparison to others takes the focus off your game.

It really doesn’t matter how other athletes are performing. That’s something you cannot control. The things within your control are how you are performing, your level of effort, and your response to errors or missteps.

3. Worrying about making the team.

Worrying about the future prevents you from performing freely and confidently in the present moment. Of course you want to tell others you made the team, but you cannot perform your best in the moment when you fear getting cut in the future.

Your best chance to have a successful tryout is to stay focused on your game and give maximum effort no matter what happens during the course of the tryout.

Here’s and example from the pro ranks that applies to any sport…

Mike Vecchione is a hockey player from Union College who signed with the Philadelphia Flyers last March and is trying to make the team this upcoming season.

Being a rookie, Vecchione knows that making the Flyers is a numbers game. There will be many talented players vying for a limited number of spots on the team. No matter the level of competition, Vecchione is determined to stay focused on himself.

VECCHIONE: “If I worry about everything everyone else is doing, I will lose track of what I am doing. You have to worry about what you can control, and I have been pretty good at doing that. I think that is a big reason why I am sitting here.”

To be the best YOU at tryouts, YOU must focus on YOU!

How to Perform Well in Tryouts or Qualifying:

Concentrate on what YOU are doing in the here-and-now. Focus on one shift, routine, pitch, drill or shot at a time. As soon as it is done, don’t judge it, let it go and focus on to the next one.

Try not to approach the tryout of qualifying with the need to be perfect or standout. Play within yourself – use the skills you have that day and don’t press or worrying about making mistakes.

A good start is to grab a copy of The Focused Athlete audio and workbook program to help you focus on the process instead of outcome…

Improve Concentration in Sports!The Focused Athlete

If you’re an athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in competition, or wants to learn more about how to focus better under pressure, The Focused Athlete is for you!

Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.

It only takes one distraction to enter your mind for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!

The Focused Athlete is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every tie you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!

This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.


  • How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
  • How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.
  • How to use preshot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.

Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series

The Focused Athlete: A 14-Day Plan For Superior Concentration

What are customers saying about our mental game programs?

“I enjoyed ‘The Confident Athlete Series’ very much. I particularly liked the format, the ease of the program, and the 2 CDs that accompanied the workbook – 10-20 minutes a day was simple to adhere to and put in my busy schedule. I love the part about confidence with grace, and what I want to portray and feel the minute I step foot into Los Angeles for nationals. I love the affirmations, the relaxation techniques, and just the entire perspective of the program.”
~Sarah, US National Aerobic Gymnastics Team

“I can see that The Confident Athlete Series program is really sort of a lifestyle change. Just as weight loss involves a change in eating habits, confidence involves a change in thinking habits. I recently participated in a registered Skeet tournament and shot the best doubles score I’ve shot in four years. I attribute that score to your program!”
~Kevin Lutgen, Shooter

“I just finished ‘The Confident Athlete Program‘. Improving confidence is a never ending process. I think that confidence boosting is an awesome area. Having a daily mental plan for mental “work outs” can turbo charge anyone’s confidence level…. Studying almost all of Dr. Cohn’s mental game materials gives me a real EDGE over my competitions and most importantly – a boost in my daily life.”
~Radek Sefcik, member

Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!

If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game.

Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with one-on-one personal mental game coaching.

You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!

What are our mental game coaching students, parents and coaches saying?

“ website is so exciting. I researched them all and without a doubt your mental training site is the best! The vast amount of programs you provide helps athletes and coaches achieve higher levels of excellence in sports.”*
~Doug Bolander, Hockey Coach

The sessions have been so helpful. Dawson has been playing really well and more importantly feeling great about it all.”*
~Kecia Muller, Lacrosse Parent

“I am a Brazilian coach in Tempe, AZ. I am the vice-president of the Arizona State Brazillian Jiujitsue Federation, long story short, I would like to say that you have a great program; you have been able to help me and my competitors. My fiancee, Kristina Barlaan, who just won two medals at the 2012 World Championship has also mentioned your program as a big help.”*
~Gustavo Dantas, Coach

“After your session, Mason had a game. He had the best game so far! He hustled, shot, no goals but two assists but he was cool with it because his focus was on shooting and not scoring (finally), defended well with his hands – finally put it all together. It was fun to watch and you could tell he felt really good about it.”*
~Kelly, Lacrosse mom

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