What to Do When a Close Friend Makes the Team and You Don't

Going out for the same team with one of your good friends can bring you two closer than ever.

Between the time spent at practice, the natural adrenaline and the passion for the same sport, the experience gives you the chance to bond in a totally unique way.

Group of girls cheering in front of a volleyball net

(via Shutterstock)

But all of the magic leading up to tryouts can fade quickly if your friend makes the team—and you don't. If this is something you're dealing with, keep reading for how to handle the situation.

1. Acknowledge Your Disappointment

While you certainly want to be happy for your pal, ultimately, you come first. You shouldn't hide your feelings or pretend everything is A-OK just because they achieved one of their goals. If you're sad and disappointed, let yourself live in your emotions for a bit, so you can accept reality and eventually move on.

Upset female sitting in the locker room after a workout

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2. Don't Take Your Emotions Out on Your Friend

As much as you have a right to feel bummed, remind yourself that it's not your friend's fault. You should be able to separate your own situation from your friend's achievement. There are a slew of other folks you can vent to about your disappointment, but don't take down your friend with negativity when this is her time to shine.


3. Be Genuinely Supportive to Your Pal

This goes hand-in-hand with No. 2: While you have every right to be upset, let your friend feel the love for all her hard work. While you may not rush to catch all her games, or feel compelled to crash team parties, offering up genuine congratulations is the right thing to do. She earned her spot on the team fair and square, so she has every right to bask in this moment.

Two friends hugging in a field

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4. Use This as an Opportunity for Free Training

Once the sting of rejection wears off, look at your friend making the team as an opportunity to train with a pro (okay, not quite, but it's someone who's highly seasoned in the sport). They can share tips and tricks with you that come straight from inside the team. This can help if you plan to try out again next year—and even if you don't, it can reignite your passion for the sport and allow you to pick up new skills just for fun.


5. Consider the Benefits of Not Making the Team

There are pros and cons to joining a high school sports team. The pros are obviously the status that comes along with being considered an expert, of sorts, in your fave sport, having the chance to play it nonstop and developing an automatic sense of camaraderie with your teammates.

The cons, however, are the time commitment and pressure. While on the outside, making the team may sound like a dream, there's a lot your friend will now have to deal with, that you can luckily avoid. She'll likely be overworked with practices and feel tired all the time. She won't have much time for schoolwork and a social life. She may face competitive teammates who bring her down. And most importantly, if she doesn't live up to what's expected of her performance, she could sit the bench or be cut from the team. It's a lot for anyone, so in many ways, you've dodged a bullet.

Stressed out girl on floor surrounded by books

(via Shutterstock)


6. Take on a New Hobby With the Spare Time You Now Have

Chances are, you were pretty set on making the team. That means you probably planned way in advance to block off a certain section of the year to devote to your sport. Now that it's no longer happening, you should use all the energy you were planning to put into playing, and apply it towards something else!

Whether it's a book club, a cooking class, hitting the gym more frequently or starting a blog, there are so many opportunities to achieve the fulfillment you would have gotten from playing on a team. At the end of the day, we're firm believers that everything happens for a reason. So shake off your rejection because there's something else out there that's supposed to make you happy!


Are you all burnt out from practicing the same sport nonstop? HERE's a different workout you should try, based on your zodiac sign!