1. It is normal to be nervous.
Everyone goes through preseason jitters whether you are the captain of the team or starting the sport for the first time. But, don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Know that you are not alone in it all!
2. Branch out!
Try to meet new people during practices and team bonding events instead of sticking with the same few people. Preseason is a great time to form close friendships with students from all grades before school starts. So, ask an older/younger student to pass with you or line up next to someone new because you never know what friendships will blossom.
3. Try your best!
Preseason serves as the coaches’ and other teammates’ first impression of you. In every task, put 100% effort because you never know who is watching and it will only help you improve. No matter what team you are placed on, play hard!
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Although it is important to try your best, it is even more important to forgive yourself. Everyone misses a ball or doesn’t get the mile time they want once in a while. Don’t sweat it if it happens to you and know you can always lean on your teammates for support. At the end of the day, it is what you do to recover from the mistake that is more important than the mistake itself.
5. Treat your body right!
Getting back into the swing of intense sports can be hard, especially on your body! Stay hydrated and eat well to fuel yourself. Take the time to warm up/stretch before and after your workouts to help prevent injuries. In the end, a few minutes of stretching is worth it to not miss part of a season to a pulled muscle.
6. Make friends, not enemies.
Preseason may seem like a big competition, but you are still a part of a team! Help other teammates when they are struggling rather than putting them down. Sports team can become a family during a season, so remember to foster a community.
7. Have fun!
This tip is a cheesy, yet crucial one. Make the most out of every preseason because you only have four! Some day you will miss running laps alongside your friends!