How to get selected at soccer tryouts?

What makes players get selected at tryouts?

Soccer tryouts can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, they’re also an important opportunity for young players to showcase their skills and potentially earn a spot on a competitive team. With so many players vying for limited spots, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd and impress the coaches. However, there are steps that you can take to increase your chances of being selected at soccer tryouts. In this article, we will explore the strategies and techniques that can help players improve their performance and increase their likelihood of being selected at soccer tryouts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, these steps will help you to make the most of your tryout experience and hopefully earn a spot on the team.

1. Communicate early

For new players, tryouts don’t start on the date and time listed on the website, they start when the schedule is posted. Let’s assume that there are two players that are similar in quality. The first one registered on the same day when the registration was open. The other one registered on the day before the tryouts. Which one do you think has a better chance of being selected? Furthermore, assume this is not a new team. You will likely be asked to come to a few practices to meet the coaches and potential future teammates. It has nothing to do with skills, so no excuses here.

2. Come prepared physically

One time a player came to tryouts straight from long weekend camping. He looked bad, smelled bad, and played bad. His family was just laughing that they had a great time camping. We knew the player from playing against his team in the past. So, we knew he was much better than he showed and probably would have made the team based on skill. Nevertheless, it was a unanimous decision not to offer him a spot. It’s so important to show motivation for soccer at every practice and tryouts are just the beginning.

3. Come prepared mentally

Know that you are there to show everything you have and are, most importantly your attitude. Don’t worry if you are too good or too bad for the team. One time there was a player that came and it was simply too good for the team and we could see that after 5 minutes. He was polite and supportive of his teammates but didn’t talk much, so we wanted to test his attitude. We tried everything during tryouts to test his personality. We moved him down with the B team, played him on an obviously worse team, or didn’t call several bad tackles from our bulldog midfielder (ok, that wasn’t instructed, it just happened), but nothing tripped him. At the end of tryouts, we simply asked him to come and try out with the older team the next day – he became the captain of that team two seasons later.

4. Wear the team gear, but stand out

It’s not always easy and it can cost money. However, if you come dressed in an FC Barcelona jersey while trying out for a team that wears black and white like Real Madrid, you look like an imposter. Even worse, come with a jersey from your current club that is the biggest rival of the club you are trying out for. You should try to fit in with the team, but also wear some soccer gear that is bold, either very bright colors (orange, green, yellow, red…) to be easily identifiable, either your cleats or some bandana. You don’t want coaches talking about you after the tryouts and getting frustrated about who you are.

5. Go out of your way to be supportive

No coach (that you want to be coached by) keeps score at tryouts. So, neither should you. Make a run in space and thumbs up if your teammate tries to pass the ball to you. Especially encourage them if it doesn’t work. When your teammate scores or misses, give applause even if they don’t see you, because good coaches/assessors will. Do a hard tackle, but help lift your opponent (hopefully teammate after the tryouts) up. High-five others when they do a good move, especially if it’s the opponent while you are defending them. It shows that you are humble and you are a team player.

6. Have fun and learn!

If the team is not a good match at the moment for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that it has to be a bad experience. If you don’t make the team, you can use that as motivation to try to practice better or ask for feedback on where to improve. At the same time, you do not know that the other team that you end up joining is not better for you at this stage or overall. Making the team or not, make sure you try to learn something new from the coaches and the players.

7. Bonus

If you want to understand how clubs think when running tryouts, check out this post!