The Little Girl in the Car

Helping Youth Soccer Players Overcome The Fear of Tryouts


The girl and her father pulled up to the soccer field next to my wife’s car.

It was a tryout for an ECNL-affiliated soccer club for 11- and 12-year-old girls. One by one, ponytailed players with oversized soccer bags excitedly ran from their cars and onto the field to stretch and warm up.


She never got out. She was in tears as the father implored her to join the tryout. At one point, he even got out of the car to further encourage her, but it was futile.

She never budged. And after about 20 minutes, they left.

While I don’t know the girl or the reason she remained in the car, this story breaks my heart.

I feel bad for the father because, as parents, we want our kids to attack life with all the confidence in the world, consequences be damned. And as much as we want to protect our kids, I think we’d all rather see them try and fail than never make an...

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Performance & Stress - Where are YOU at?


What is the optimum level of stress/pressure at which athletes perform at their best?

Are you the type of athlete that needs to get “amped up” before a game or competition? 

Or are you the type that gets too stimulated before a competition and needs to dial it back to perform at your best? 

The answer to these questions may help determine what kind of pre-game/pre-competition routine you should be doing.

More importantly, the answer to these questions will likely improve your chances of performing at your best when it matters the most. 

The attached video discusses the relationship between performance and stress that impacts all athletes. It covers what is called the inverted-U theory, or to be precise, the Yerkes-Dodson theory.  If we experience too little stress/stimulation, we don’t feel motivated to perform at a high level. Too much stress/stimulation, on the other hand, can be debilitating and lead to poor performance. 


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