Participating in sports can teach kids a lot of life skills as they grow up, and one of the hardest trials young athletes will go through are the tryouts.

Sports tryouts can be nerve-wracking for kids, but they serve as precursors for many life obstacles—and opportunities—they’ll undoubtedly face in the future. Help your child learn how to deal with the pressure with these six helpful ways to prepare for sports tryouts.

Plan Ahead

Before the big tryout, you’ll want to plan out a few things with your child. First off, make sure they have all their equipment sorted and ready to go.

Help them plan their outfit beforehand, as well: they’ll want to wear something that will give them both confidence and functionality on the field. The final thing you should plan is what time you need to leave so that your child can arrive early.

Take care of these matters in advance so that neither of you will have to stress about being prepared the morning of the tryouts.

Prepare a Good Meal

You’ll also want to make sure your child gets a good meal the night before and the morning of the tryouts. Loading up on carbohydrates is always a good choice, so make them some pasta for dinner. This will give them the energy they need to last through a long tryout.

In the morning, give them something light yet nutritious for breakfast, such as a granola bar or a banana. You don’t want them to have a heavy meal prior to competing. Also ensure that your child hydrates throughout the day and avoids any junk food.

Enjoy a Relaxing Night In

To ensure that your child achieves their best performance during the tryouts, encourage them to relax the night before.

Try watching a movie or a TV show on Netflix together—this will help them keep their mind off their nerves, which in turn will help them get to sleep at a decent hour so that they can be fully rested for the big tryout.

Make Sure They Get Good Sleep

This leads us to our next point: it’s important that your child gets an adequate amount of sleep. Depending on how old they are, kids need anywhere from nine to 12 hours of sleep each night.

This will ensure that they’re well-rested and able to perform at their best. If they’re having trouble falling asleep, turn on some soothing music or encourage them to read a book.

Encourage Them To Do Their Best

One final way to prepare your child for sports tryouts is to remind them not to worry about their competitors. If anything, they should be a good teammate and show the coaches how well they can work with others.

For the most part, they should only worry about their own personal performance on the field, because that’s the only one they can control.

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