It’s that time of year again, when girls and guys across the country are gearing up for tryout season and getting physically and mentally prepared. While I can’t help anyone with physical preparations, I can offer a few thoughts for the mental part.

Here are 3 words to keep in mind:

Confidence * Courage * Community

 

Confidence is feeling good about yourself and your abilities.

It’s that sense that you are capable of rising to meet a challenge.

To build confidence, you must try. You must put yourself out there and accept the risk of failure. While it’s certainly safer to not try – and simply sit on the sidelines as other people take risks – that won’t build confidence. If anything, it’ll stir up jealousy as other people succeed with their attempts.

Confidence grows when you face your fears and come out stronger on the other side. It comes from setting goals, working hard to reach your goals, pushing through self-doubt, and surprising yourself by learning new skills beyond your comfort zone.

Confidence plays a huge role in your performance during tryouts. When you believe in yourself it shows. It also gives you a special dynamic that helps you to stand out in a crowd. So rather than imagine the worst, picture yourself at your best. Remember how hard you’ve worked, and think about the times when you accomplished a new milestone that made you stop and think, “Wow, I can’t believe I just did that! I’ve come a long way since I started.”

 

Courage is facing your fears even when you’re scared.

It is taking a chance while not knowing what the outcome will be.

My parents always encouraged me and my siblings to be courageous with tryouts. They believed the experience itself could teach us valuable life skills that we’d need. Before any big event, my father would tell me: Just do your very best, and leave the results to God. For me that took the pressure off. It kept me focused on what I could control instead of the final outcome.

I agree that trying out for a team is never a waste. Whether you make the cut or not, you still gain important life skills – like learning to perform under pressure – that can be very beneficial later when you interview for jobs, give a speech, or do something else that requires your best presentation even if you’re nervous or scared.

Tryouts are really a chance to practice being brave. Every small act of courage leads to bigger acts of courage that may really pay off down the road.

 

Community is looking beyond yourself to connect with other people.

It’s understanding how much stronger you are together than alone.

Competition naturally breeds comparisons. And when you try out for a team, it’s natural to rank yourself against others and feel better or worse as a result. Either way, however, comparison isn’t helpful, and what it ultimately does is create division and isolation instead of unity and support.

It’s better – and more fun – to approach tryouts with a sense of solidarity and understand how the goal for everyone is to perform at their personal best. The best part of chasing a dream or making a team are the friendships you develop along the way, and by adopting a team mindset early, you cultivate a culture where people may actually encourage and motivate each other.

In short, trying out for a team can be exciting and nerve-wracking. It can stretch you in new directions and push you to the brink. Whatever happens, God has a plan for you, and the activities and passions you enjoy today are just a small part of that plan and a prelude to much bigger events that will manifest with time.

So be confident, show courage, and embrace community. Have faith in yourself and the dreams in your heart, knowing that as long as you do your personal best, you can leave the results to God.

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Thank you for reading this article today.  If you found the message helpful or compelling, please share it through the social media below. 

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Also, I’ve written two books for teen & tween girls designed to empower them through faith. The newest one, Liked, is available everywhere books are sold. It’s getting a fantastic response as a resource for the digital age, and along with the bestselling 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, it’s being used widely across the U.S. for small group studies. 

Have a great day, and thanks again for stopping by!