Training for Tryouts? Keep it simple.

Training for Tryouts? Keep it simple.

Youth Sports •

Tryouts are upcoming and you’ve been working hard. At the end of last season you set a goal: maybe it was making the top team, solidifying your spot as a starter, or even deciding you want to make captain. 

So, what are your next steps? You decide to hop on Instagram, Facebook, and the Google to search what the latest professional athletes are doing in their workouts to enhance their game. You see Lebron James using all kinds of bands and balls and funny looking weights. He’s standing on top of an elephant jumping over fire and landing into a pool of sharks.

Okay, maybe that last one was made up…

Nonetheless, looking at what professional athletes are doing and mimicking in their workouts will not get you better at YOUR sport. Flashy exercises and quick result workouts are not going have you standout at tryouts this year. The exercises that you see on social media are mostly flashy exercises to grab your attention and to drive likes and views.

A cell phone screen

If you need guidance on what you should be doing to better prepare for your upcoming tryouts and evaluations, I am here to help you out.

First, we need to talk about the SAID Principle.

What is the SAID Principle? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. What does this mean? Simply put, if you want to get better at a certain movement, the best bang for your buck is to do that task. Want to get faster? Sprint more. Want to get stronger? Incorporate moving weight. This is called progressive overload, and I guarantee that this will make you a better athlete long-term.

Second, focus on basic exercises to fit in with this principle.

Simplicity is key, and simple exercises are the ones that will make you faster, stronger, and more prepared. Think of exercises that have been around forever:

  • squatting
  • hinging
  • pressing
  • pulling
  • heavy carries
  • sprinting
  • jumping
  • stability work

Each of these movements have a massive carry-over to athletic development! When done with proper form, they also offer the lowest risk of injury. Adding bands and stability balls to make your exercise “sport specific” may actually set you up for injury or failure. Balancing on BOSU balls while you squat, or doing all kinds of “sport specific” movement patterns will likely leave you injured and on the sideline rather than on the playing field. Remember, as your train it is important to be warming up and moving correctly. I weigh into this more here.

Two track athletes running in a race.

Next, pick a plan that makes sense.

What should you do to get better at your sport? Pick a workout plan that is easy to stick to. It should prioritize fundamental movement patterns such as squats, deadlifts, horizontal and vertical presses, horizontal and vertical rows, sprinting, jumping, skipping, and core. You can find a lot of these movements/programs online, but be sure to be critical of each program before implementing it into your life. The number one rule of thumb: Do not just choose what your favourite celebrity is doing. Be thoughtful and diligent with your approach, work hard, and the rest will take care of itself.

Finally, look at the big picture.

When it comes to being an athlete, the exercises that you choose to do in the gym will allow you to be a better player on the field or court. More importantly, they will allow you to stay injury free, and allow you to get better over time. There is no quick fix to getting yourself tryout ready. Trust a long term process, stay healthy, and be consistent. Develop a long term plan that will have you feeling your best at all times, and continue to put your best foot forward.

Thanks again for reading! Be smart about your workouts, and keep pushing forward!



(Ps. Did you know that we have lots of coaches using SkillShark for recording gym metrics? Watch a 3 minute video to learn more about SkillShark here.)

Elanne Krainyk

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.