Lately we’ve gotten quite a few emails from readers who tried out for their school teams and didn’t make the cut. And their question is always, “What should I do now?”
My answer is this: Don’t give up! Use this summer to improve your skills and give it another shot next time tryouts roll around. I know it can be scary, but it can also pay off big time.
Believe me, I’ve been there. Here’s a secret: I didn’t make the squad my freshman year of high school. And let me tell you, it was absolutely devastating. My best friend, Beth, and I had been the captains of our junior high team (two years in a row!), and we both felt like we’d completely aced tryouts. But when the results were posted, our names—gulp!—weren’t on the list. I’m not going to lie: We freaked out. I mean, how could we face entering high school without cheering? We bawled, we hugged and both sets of parents let us stay home from school the next day. And while Beth and I spent the next day together puffy-eyed and PJ-clad, we also hatched a plan. Even though we couldn’t cheer for our school, we were still going to cheer.
We called up a handful of other talented girls who hadn’t made the cut either and asked them if they’d want to form a squad with us and go to cheer camp. Two short months and a whole lot of practices later, we headed to camp, where we had a blast, scored a bunch of blue ribbons and, more importantly, felt like cheerleaders again.
In the fall of freshman year, I joined the high school gymnastics team to hone my tumbling skills, and Beth and I both ran track to stay conditioned. We’d also get together to practice motions and jumps and to learn new dances from my older sister, a varsity cheerleader. When spring tryouts rolled around again, we were ready—physically and mentally. This time around, we weren’t going to take anything for granted, which made us try twice as hard to impress the judges. Our year of hard work paid off: Beth and I became the very first sophomores in the history of our high school to make the varsity team. So the moral of the story is, if at first you don’t succeed, try out, try out again!
Now that I shared my experience, do you have a re-tryout success story? Tell me what happened!