August is the season for sports team tryouts. Whether your athlete is trying out for a high school sports team, a club team or a recreation travel team, it is important to be ready for the rigors of the tryout.
“To stay safe for a sports tryout, the biggest things to remember are to complete a proper warm-up and stretching routine, stay aware of the temperature and air quality, and be sure to have proper nutrition and hydration,” says Abby Swope a physical therapist and clinical director from Cypress Creek Therapy in Annapolis and Severna Park.
Tips for sports team tryouts
- Get a physical. Make sure the athlete has had a general medical exam and an orthopedic screening prior to the tryout.
- Make eye contact with the coaches, Stand in he front of the group when huddled up.
- Get in sport-specific shape. Conditioning runs of 30-40 minutes are important, but so is sport-specific training. Identify the demands of the sport and prepare by mimicking those demands in training.
- Avoid over-training and incorporate cross training to help prevent injuries. Combine running, biking and swimming along with other means to train. Conditioning should include several phases: building up, increasing intensity and then maintaining.
- Eat a balanced diet. “Eat poor, play poor… . Balanced nutrition fuels the furnace,” Morgan says. Match the energy demand with the appropriate caloric consumption. A supplement-free, balanced diet is more than adequate for the tween or teen athlete.
- Stay hydrated. Water is and always will be best for hydrating a body that is 90 percent water. Sports drinks are only necessary when play or practice exceeds 2.5 hours.
- Get enough sleep. Young athletes need 8 to 10 hours of good sleep a night so the body can repair itself. Any less and performance will begin to suffer. “Maintaining a good sleep schedule is going to be easier if it is not altered too much during summer months”.
- Be coachable. It’s important for athletes to take instruction well.
- Know what to avoid. Don’t spend too much time in the sun or hot tub before tryouts. Don’t eat too little or too much before the tryout, and avoid high levels of caffeine.
- Be the first one to volunteer when coaches ask for someone to help or demonstrate, don’t be afraid to ask questions, be a team player, help those who may be less skillful or younger.
Finally, a tip just for parents: Be supportive. Remember to stress the fun and joy of the sport, not the performance. Avoid being another coach and critical!