The Freshman Tryout Experience

Juliana Solano Uribe, Reporter

Being a freshman is tough. As a freshman, everything is new and intimidating, which can be scary for many. It can take a while to get the hang of how things work in high school.

However, it should be stated that each high school is different and the experience from one student to another varies. At Presentation, a close-knit community based on sisterhood and especially committed to high school sports, how does the freshman experience differ when it comes to sports tryouts?

Currently, Pres is in its winter sports season. This means that there are two sports offered that freshman can tryout for and join: basketball and soccer. Freshman are allowed to tryout for the freshman, junior varsity, and even the varsity team.

Both sports have a different and specific set of drills that must be performed in the tryout, with each team within the chosen sport having their own variations. The student must meet the performance requirements of the team in order for them to be able to join it.

Isabella Campbell ‘22, a member of the varsity basketball team, said her tryout consisted of “a lot of shooting, defensive slides, ball handling, running, and strength building.”

Alex Steuber ‘22, a member of the junior varsity soccer team, said that in her tryout, she did “warm-ups by passing the ball to a partner, having small-sided possession games, and scrimmaging with the varsity and freshman team.”

During the tryout process, the freshman interviewed all admitted to being nervous before the start of their tryout. “Before my tryouts, I was extremely nervous about messing up or not performing the best that I could,” said Steuber ‘22.

However, during their tryout they felt more confident in their skills, and were happy with how they performed at the end of it all. “I was excited to play, compete, and show that I came to give it all I’ve got. After tryouts it felt like it went by so fast, but I put in all of the effort I had and loved every moment,” said Campbell ‘22.

Nonetheless, there is a high amount of competition that is embedded in the sports culture at Pres because there is such a special emphasis on it. Although it is not exactly a problem, it should be noted that it does have an effect on the players and those who tryout. Competition can definitely push players to do their best, but can also put great pressure on the players to be the best and outperform others.

Steuber ‘22 believes that “sports at Pres are very competitive, especially during tryouts because that’s when everyone is giving it their 110% effort to perform the best for the coaches and show them they belong on the team.”

Noora Fayad ‘22, a member of the freshman soccer team, thinks that the competition comes from the fact that “everyone is always trying to be better and improve their skills.”

Fortunately, although this competition exists, the attitude and environment around sports at Pres is very positive. Freshman agree that the sense of community is still present in the team whether it’s in between players or the coach and players. This type of community is what many say is great about playing sports at Pres.

Alex Steuber ‘22 agrees, saying, “The coaches were all very friendly and understanding of each player’s skill level and work ethic.”

Campbell ‘22 adds, “I really loved seeing how close all the girls were; there weren’t any cliques, just one big family. No one had problems with anyone and we always had a good time on and off the court. Our team relationship is special because it brings us closer, helping us play better together as a result.”

As for suggestions for change in the tryout process, there were only a few. Of those, frosh said that the problems were addressed by the coaches who were both understanding and receptive to the specific situation.

Generally, though, freshman felt that the tryouts at Pres were similar to those they had at past schools where they were also members of teams. They expressed excitement at finally feeling a sense of familiarity in high school.

“I’ve had tryouts before and it was very similar to what I used to do playing in my elementary school and middle school teams,” said Fayad ‘22.

Freshman also appreciated that the tryouts acted as a small glimpse into what they might be doing during practices.

“The tryout experience gave me an idea of how practices might be, how hard we would have to work throughout the season, and showed me that everyone is there to help each other,” said Campbell ‘22.

Overall, it can be said that the tryout experience for freshman is one that is easy, efficient, and fun for its players.