The expectations vs. realities of trying out for sports and being on the team

Alvin Gonzales

Staff Writer

Chuo Ying Zhai (11) –

“I remember during our [basketball] talks, [our basketball coach] was looking, first, for chemistry around the team, of course, and whether we could play good basketball. Definitely ‘hustling,’ whether you’re hustling down the court or not, and a mentality of whether you play until the end.”

Andy Luu (11) – 

“Water polo is a lot harder [than swimming]; it’s a lot more tiring, swimming back and forth, and very fast-paced. The coaches look for potential. If he saw that you had potential, then he would let you on the team. … I was also pretty fast at swimming and I also had a lot of endurance; I could swim back and forth a lot and make it.”

Varsha Vijayakartik (11) – 

“Before the [soccer] tryouts, we have conditioning. I already kind of got to see the coaches and everything so I kind of got a feel for it. When I joined the team, I was really scared. There were a lot of people and they were all really nice to me… when I got on the team I had a lot of really good friends. … There was a lot of tension, but there was never anything serious. Our arguments lasted throughout practice and the next day we just forgot about it; it was kind of funny, actually. [For track,] I was way more nervous than for soccer. They cut a lot of people from the team, but the coaches were so nice to me and the people there were so nice and supportive.”

Tony Marshan Kennedy (10) –

“I’d mentally prepare myself by saying ‘I know it’s going to be tough when I get there, but there’s nothing I can really do about that except for to do it.” The [football] coaches said to do it so I just did. When we’d run our 40-yard dashes, they wanted me to push all the way through, but I’d stop half a second too early, which would slow down the time. They just kept telling me ‘You got to go all the way through. Don’t slow down at all.’ … For me, I’d say the most important thing is your mentality. When you’re going into the game, you got to think okay these people are bigger than you, faster than you, and stronger than you, but you just go to push through it, try to get better than them, do the best you can to get the job done. The coaches tell us if one person on your team’s mentality is low, it’s just going to bring down the whole team. Everybody’s just got to stay positive.”

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