Trying Your Best


Oliver Sjöström/Unsplash

Casey Schwartz, Chief Reporter

Throughout the school year, students have the opportunity to join a sports team of their choosing, through a series of physical evaluations.

Depending on the sport, tryouts can differ immensely, with agility-based activities requiring speedy laps around the track and racket-based ones needing matches. For example, cross country coaches usually would not see the need to evaluate upper body strength in tryouts that a gymnastics coach would. Since these teams become a community that will become a family after months of practice, many players like to help others do their best. 

“The seniors that had been on the team for multiple years already helped the younger and less experienced fencer, by giving them advice, feedback, and helpful tips,” said sophomore athlete Jasmine L.

Although tryout components vary, many sports teams do not even require tryout assessments. Teams with less student interest may not make cuts because they already have the perfect number of members.  

The tryout process can be quite stressful and difficult with many challenges and pressures. What many students think that their coaches want is unrealistic and most likely false, but these thoughts cause doubts, and these doubts lead to nerves. One concept that many young athletes are afraid of is that they are unaware of who else will be trying to gain a spot.

“I was slightly worried about tryouts because I didn’t know if I’d be able to secure a starting spot and what the competition was going to be like,” said junior tennis player Mike F. 

Despite these problems, there are several ways to get around them. Knowing that a peer is around for guidance, help, and support may be all that an athlete needs to calm down, which will ultimately make them better overall. 

“Once I realized some of my other friends were trying out with me, it definitely made it easier,” said Mike F. 

Junior, Sophia F. believes that focusing on yourself in these scenarios can be reassuring, easing the evaluation process. 

“I was definitely more focused on impressing the coaches. I try not to focus on the people around me and just focus on myself,” said Sophia F.

On the other hand, some players feel the opposite due to more experience, strategies, skills, seniority, or more practice.

Varsity volleyball star and senior Evan S., had been playing on club teams outside of school for several years before his tryout in tenth grade, so he felt more prepared for the week to come. This extra practice gave him an advantage that many others did not have, which let him be more confident in his volleyball skills and ability to make the team. 

Although he was less worried than the majority, he mentions that similarly to most other athletic programs in Commack, nobody can tell what the coach is planning. 

“The coach is very unpredictable,” said Evan S.

School sports and other athletic programs should be enjoyable, rather than taxing or stressful. 

“I definitely put more pressure on myself than anyone else, but I have been doing kickline since I was twelve. So, even though it can be stressful, I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” said Sophia F.

Although they can be scary and harmful, nerves truly just come from caring, and that the goal of making the team is actually wanted. If this is the case, then tryouts should be just as enjoyable as the actual season. 

“If you don’t make the team it really hurts your self confidence, but you can always work hard in the off-season and do your best the next year,” said freshman football player Tyler S. 🔳