Advice for Athletes Approaching Tryouts

Advice for Athletes Approaching Tryouts

Sports Performance

SkillShark team member John is an avid volleyball player. Having played youth, high school, and collegiate ball, John had many experiences over his athletic career. He has shared a list with us of things that he feels athletes may not realize before evaluations roll around for a competitive team.

1. Playing sports at a high level involves a lot of driving

Whether driving to and from practice facilities that are not near your home or travelling on the weekends to attend out-of-town tournaments, players will spend a lot of time on the road. Athletes should understand how to use this time to their advantage: resting, learning, preparing, or even catching up on school work. By utilizing this time wisely, it will become less of a burden and instead be time well spent.

2. The emotional connection to other athletes is important

A big part of joining a high-level sports team is meeting a lot of new people. These friendships are incredibly valuable in many ways: increasing your sense of belonging, connecting with like-minded people who share similar values, and even helping you beat stress.

3. Coaches are all different

Every coach out there has a different style. What one coach might consider perfect technique, another may consider an area that needs improvement. It is important to put your best foot forward with work ethic, respect, and coachability as these are the traits that all coaches will reward you for.

4. Understand team dynamics

Although you can impact it, you cannot entirely control the team dynamic around you. Each team is unique in its makeup of players and each player has a different skill set. Putting some thought into figuring out how to adapt to the unique playing styles and personality types around you will help you excel at tryouts.

Team huddle in sports

5. Play fair and help others

Effective coaches want kids who can positively influence the people around them. Additionally, the other kids will learn to respect your example and will want to play both with and against you due to your fairness. In a high-performance setting, you want as many people on your side as possible. This extends past a team setting into most aspects of life.

John’s passion for excellence while playing volleyball led him to a career in software development. His most recent project with SkillShark was creating the individual development reporting feature. This allows athletes to be visually tracked over time, while also allowing coaches to stack athletes against each other.


Elanne is SkillShark’s marketing aficionado who is equal parts passionate about sports, marketing and sports marketing. She can usually be found with a golf ball or three in her purse, and her favorite way to spend downtime is out on the course with friends and family.