My freshman year of high school I was starting a new school where I knew about three people. When I asked how to make friends in a school of over a thousand students, the answer was always, “Join a sports team!” When school started in the fall, I decided to try out for the volleyball team. I had played volleyball all through middle school and on a travel team for a year, so I was pretty good and familiar with the sport. My mom signed me up for the tryouts and I spent the summer practicing so I could perform to my best ability and hopefully make the team.
The first day of tryouts, I walked in the gym and saw girls who were a good foot taller than me and insanely athletic. I had no idea the girls were going to be that good! Walking out of the gym that first day I felt crushed. I thought there was no way I was going to make the team based on the amount of talent the other girls trying out had, and I was dreading coming to tryouts the next day not only because I felt like I didn’t have the ability, but because the sprint time trials portion of tryouts happened the next day as well. After reluctantly getting out of bed on the second day, I made it to the track and ran the hardest sprints I had ever run in my life. However, after they were over, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I had just done something I didn’t believe I could do. The second day of tryouts were better than the first and when they were over, we all sat in the gym while the coaches deliberated and created the team. Everyone was anxious, even the girls that were obviously going to make it. They finally called my name and I sat in front of the three coaches that evaluated me over those two days.
“Sydney, we’d like to offer you a spot on the team if you would like to accept it. We feel like you would be a great addition.”
I did it! Trying out for volleyball ended up being one of the best decisions I made going into my freshman year. Although I was not the best on the team and did not get a lot of playing time, I met some of my best friends and had so much fun at practice and at the games.
I doubted myself and my ability during the tryout. I began to compare myself to other girls trying out and it completely destroyed my confidence and my hopes for making the team. It was not until after running those impossible sprints that I realized I could do anything I set my mind to. If you are thinking about trying out for a team, DO IT! Whatever it is: dance, basketball, robotics, golf or anything at all, step into the tryout confident in yourself and your talents no matter who you are going up against. Coaches want people on a team that are going to be leaders and who will have a good attitude, win or lose. YOU can be that leader that a team needs, but you will never know if you don’t try! 🙂