Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

What do Michael Jordan and Bradley Cooper have in common? They have both experienced rejection.  Michael Jordan did not make his high school varsity basketball team. Bradley Cooper did not get into Georgetown on his first try. However, as we know, Jordan became a basketball legend, and Cooper graduated from Georgetown with honors after transferring his sophomore year.

Being cut or rejected from a high school sports team, a school play, or another competitive activity happens. It is important to know that it is not the end of the world. According to CWU, “each year millions of young people across the country try out for public school athletic teams. Within a few week thousands of them will be eliminated from these programs.” So, if you get cut YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting cut in high school sports or activities is a common high school problem. It IS painful. I, myself, am no stranger to being cut from a team. Naturally, it was tough at first, but I found some great alternatives to spend the extra time on, instead. Turn that pain into strength, and get back out there. Being cut can be a good thing and can open doors to new opportunities for you. Wondering what you should you do if you’ve been cut? Here are some exceptional alternatives.

Join a club/different extracurricular activity.

If you get cut, look at the positive side! This is your opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never had time! Join the Debate Team or Mock Trial. What about the Dance Team or the Academic Team? Get a job after school or volunteer at a hospital. The possibilities are endless.

For me, I was able to join a club that I was always interested in, but I never had the time to go to any of the meetings because of sports.  When I didn’t make the field hockey team sophomore year, I was able to go to the meetings. I got very involved in the club. Eventually this led to me being president of the club senior year.  A good thing came out of something devastating!

Get involved with the sport/activity outside of school.

Instead of playing on your school’s sport team try out for a club team instead. If you don’t get a part in your school’s play, audition for a play at your community’s local theater. This can be a great way to get in extra practice and experience that you can put down on your athletic or acting resume.

Sometimes club teams are even more competitive than high school teams, though. This might make it harder to make, but there are some club teams that accept all interested people.  Look for some non-competitive club teams/theaters if you simply just want to play or act for fun. You could even start up your own club sports teams at your high school as a club. Find a teacher willing to “coach” you and gather the other people who have been cut and play the sport together for fun! If it was a play, organize and put on a play with some of your friends.  Getting cut doesn’t mean you have to give up your passion.

Do the sports stats or work on the stage crew.

You can still be a part of the team! The stats person to every game and the stage crew to theater are both very important roles needed for the success of the overall “team”. Due to an injury my junior year I was unable to play lacrosse in the spring.

Wanting to still be involved, I volunteered to do the team’s stats and became manager! This can potentially look good on a college application as well. If you are not physically playing, you can still have an essential role on the team. In addition, this can show dedication to the coach or head of the play. They will remember you the next time you try out/audition. Staying involved shows passion; sometimes that can go a long way with the coaches or play director or head of the activity.

Work hard and practice for next year.

If your dream is really to be on that sports team or in the play, then it can happen. Practice with some friends, invest in private training, work out and get in shape. The most important thing is DON’T EVER GIVE UP! Maybe you just weren’t ready to be a part of the team or play this year, but with a lot of practice you could be on the team next season! I made the field hockey team my junior year coming from being cut the year before. I made sure I went to every summer practice and worked hard to prove myself to the coaches that I was dedicated, passionate, and hard working.

Getting cut from a sport, play or other activity is not the end of the world. Maybe it can lead you to some new opportunities or hidden interests and talents that you never knew you had or had no time to explore.  Now it is your time to shine! Bradley Cooper and Michael Jordan didn’t let a little rejection break them down. It was motivation to work even harder to achieve their dreams. Both never gave up and are now super successful in their chosen career paths thus proving that a little rejection can’t stop you from reaching your goals and achieving your dreams!

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