When you or your child are trying out for a youth soccer team, especially one with plenty of competition, it can be overwhelming. After all, the end goal is obviously to make the team — so how can you make sure that you are doing everything you can to make the team? Knowing what to do on the day of the tryout, even weeks before the tryout, can help you to succeed.
What are some top tips for youth soccer players trying out for the team? Youth players trying out for soccer should prepare ahead of time by practicing technique. They can try to meet the team, watch their current practices and games, and talk to the coach to make a good impression.
There are so many important things a youth soccer player should remember when it comes time to try out for the team again. We are going to be sharing some important tips and tricks for making the team. These tips will include critical things to remember on the day of the tryout and things you should be doing weeks and days beforehand.
Weeks Before the Tryout
One important thing to remember is that ‘winging it’ during the tryout is not likely to yield positive results. Most of the other competitors are going to spend plenty of time and energy preparing for the tryout, and it will show on the tryout day. It’s essential to make sure you are taking proper steps weeks before the tryout date.
Preparing yourself ahead of time will lend more confidence on the pitch. We are going to share our top 5 tips and tricks for preparing for a youth soccer tryout weeks before the actual tryout date. Let’s take a closer look:
1. Understand Your Goals Ahead of Time
As a player, there are a lot of distractions. Friends, school, extracurricular activities, and family life can often crowd your attention to make a decision. However, you need to spend time thinking about what you want for your soccer career. Once you understand your goals and where you want to go, the rest will fall into place.
Be clear on why you want to move onto a higher level. Obviously, moving to the next level of a soccer team means there will be a lot more competition, not just in tryouts, but in games as well. Understand that being on a team in an upper-division will require more persistence and practice as the competition becomes tougher. It’s okay to decide that playing for the most competitive is not for you.
2. Learn About the Coaches and the Teams Ahead of Time
Many youth soccer leagues are going to have a few different coaches and teams per age bracket. Your goal is to study these teams far before the try out occurs. This study will give you an edge on the competition as you will know exactly what the coach is looking for, and how these teams operate against one another.
For example — What is his or her coaching style? Does he prefer a high fitness level in his team? What soccer formation is preferred? Is he a more defensive or offensive minded coach? Learning about what the coach and team are all about can help you better grasp what you should be learning and practicing before the big day.
In some cases, you can even ask the coach if you can play with the team during practice. Doing so gives you hands-on experience so you can further understand what is expected of you. As an added bonus, the coach will likely give you some feedback on things he liked or things he thinks you should work on.
3. Understand the Tryout
Every tryout is going to be different, and leagues, even age brackets, can have different tryout methods they may put in place. You need to understand what is going to be expected from the competitors before the big day. That way you can spend some time learning and practicing it more in-depth.
Some tryouts may have 1 on 1 games, while others put together small-sided games. However, whichever type of tryout the league may have in place, some of the main things that coaches are looking for include:
- Athleticism. This includes all aspects of speed and agility as well as strength and endurance. They will also be looking at your level of competition and how aware you are of the game.
- Overall Soccer Skills. Some of the fundamental skills that will be evaluated during the tryout include ball control and protection, shot power and accuracy, ability to get open, defensive abilities, heading the ball, throwing in, crossing, and finishing.
- Character. Character is also crucial during tryouts, with coaches focusing on your overall body language during gameplay, communication, eye contact, and responsiveness to criticism or praise.
4. Train Extensively
Once you understand what the coach is looking for specifically, you can make your training a bit more tailored to make the team. Overall, though, there are a few things you should include in your training for the upcoming youth soccer tryout day. Here are the top 5 things that you should practice to hone your skill and make a good impression on the judges:
- Agility. It’s no secret that fitness and agility are both critical parts of playing soccer, and you need to show the coach that your fitness and agility levels are high enough. Work on your fitness capabilities — you do not want to get tired too soon during the tryout.
- Dribbling the soccer ball. Without dribbling, there is essentially no soccer game. Dribbling is a fundamental skill that is the source of soccer, and one you should practice regularly. Here is a great video showing some great dribbling skills that will give you the confidence and comfort needed for tryouts.
- Shooting the ball. The goal is to win, right? Well, you cannot win without scoring, and you cannot score without shooting. Practice all types of scoring, from shooting the ball on the run or one-touch shooting. Try and play with friends and family members so you have a bit of defense.
- These are great goals to use in your backyard while you practice.
- Passing the ball. Teamwork is so important in all types of sports, especially soccer. You want to show the coach that you are a team player who can pass the ball with ease, whether you are passing on the move or not. These passes should be accurate and done with both feet easily.
- Confidence. Making yourself open and available for the ball, and asking for your teammates to pass it regularly, shows you have confidence in yourself as a soccer player. You should also be able to take on 1 on 1 challenge and not be afraid to get a bit aggressive, such as using your shoulder to get past an opposing player.
5. Get on a Good Routine
It does not matter if you are 7 or 17 — there are certain things that anyone should do if they want to be in tip-top condition for a tryout. Some of the most important thing a child should do a few weeks before their soccer tryout includes:
- Eat healthy. Try to refrain from eating fast food loaded with too many unhealthy fats and carbohydrates that can make you sluggish. Instead, focus on trying to eat clean — and no, eating clean doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of delicious and packed recipes with nutrients your child needs–just look at these!
- Stay hydrated. Trying to run around in the sun and keep up your energy levels without proper hydration is a recipe for disaster. In fact, a lack of hydration during a soccer game or soccer tryout can be dangerous. For the sake of overall health and doing awesome at the tryout, stay amply hydrated. Hydration starts the day before. Make sure you drink plenty of water well before the tryout so your body is well equipped to take on the tryout.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Going to bed a bit earlier a few days before the tryout is going to help big time. Being well-rested can mean the difference between failing the tryout because you are tired and sluggish or making the team because you are energized! Sleep is essential in good performance, which is why all the top athletes get plenty of rest.
Tips for The Day Of
While preparing for weeks before the tryout is crucial to success, there are also important things you should remember to do the day of the tryouts. Since the tryout is your one chance to show the coach what you have and make the team for the season — you do not want to mess it up. We are sharing 5 important tips and tricks for tryout success on the day of.
1. Arrive Early
One thing that we highly recommend is that you arrive early, about 20 to 30 minutes beforehand. This way you know exactly where you are going, and you can get your gear on ahead of time. But what might even be more important is that you can take this time to relax and get your head in the game.
Let’s face it — you are going to be nervous on the day of tryouts. Even someone with the highest soccer skills in the division will have a case of the jitters on tryout day, so do not think you are alone. However, if you get there early, you will have plenty of time to relax and get the jitters out. Arriving late will only add to your franticness, which will reflect on your tryout.
2. Make a Good Impression on the Coach
Going up to the coaches and overwhelming them with compliments or talking about how badly you want to make the team is a big no-no. Everyone wants to make the team, that is why they are there. The best thing to do is to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. All you need to do is walk up to the coaches and say “Hello” with a smile, followed by your name.
During the tryout, don’t focus too much on the coaches, though. While you might want to look at them to see how they are reacting to a play you have done or something you might have missed, you should avoid it. Looking at the coaches too often can be seen as a sign of weakness and a lack of confidence. Focus on the game because true talent shines.
3. Always Stay Moving
Could you imagine being a coach during the tryout, and you keep seeing the same few players just standing there? They aren’t being proactive and tend only to move when the ball comes close to them. Well, no coach wants to see a player who isn’t proactive in the game and moving even when he isn’t “essential” at that specific point in time.
It’s especially important to always stay moving during the tryout — in fact, you should try and stay moving during a regular game, too. Let’s face it — even though you might not be anywhere near the ball does not mean you do not have an important part to play in the game. There is always something to do when you are out on the field.
Some prime examples are — trying to get open when your team has the ball. You should be consistently trying to get to a position where you are open and can make the goal. However, you should also be active on defense. Block other players on the opposing team from getting the ball and try to steal when you can.
Another important thing to do is to focus on your top skills and utilize them as much as possible. For instance, someone who is prime at dribbling should try and show off this skill as much as possible. Someone who is a great defender can show the coaches that they are among the top stealers in the game.
The goal is to make it clear what your talents are in the game. However, you should also make sure that you never showboat or get too full of yourself. As much as coaches hate a player that is being lazy, they might hate a player that tries to show off even more. Showing off displays a lack of humility and teamwork, which are two important roles in a soccer player.
4. Be a Team Player, While Also Being a Leader
Soccer certainly is not a one-man show, and you need to show the judges that you know this. As previously mentioned, showing off and trying to run the entire team is a big turn off for coaches. You should always focus more on being a team player. Try and pass as much as possible, and show that you can communicate with your team with ease.
That does not mean that you should stay silent during the game and let your teammates run the show. Coaches like to see that a potential player on their team is a leader. Does this mean you should run the team and never pass? Of course, not. But there are subtle ways to show leadership during the tryout.
One way is to encourage your teammates regularly. Down by a goal? Encourage your teammates that you can get one more goal and tie the game. One of your teammates doesn’t see a guy behind them? Shout out to them and let them know, that way they can get away or defend this opposing player.
These are all great ways to show the coaches that you are a leader amongst the crowd, but you are also great at being a team player. This will work wonders during a tryout, as coaches are more likely to want to bring a leader with confidence on the team.
5. Remain Confident — No Matter What
You probably have a couple of skills that you are top-notch at, such as passing. You also likely have a position in soccer that you are confident in playing more than others. Well, what happens if the coach puts you in a position you are not exceptionally confident in? Slouch over and feel uncomfortable? Of course, not. Always remain confident.
Confidence goes far when you are in a tryout. Don’t beat yourself up. No one benefits from that! After all, coaches want to see that you’re confident in yourself and your abilities and aren’t afraid to push yourself when it is needed. Show that you are confident from the moment you walk into the tryout to the moment you leave.
Trying out for a youth soccer league can be overwhelming, but with proper training and practice before the big day, you can nail the competition. It’s important to do your research beforehand as well and always remain confident throughout the actual tryout. You should also try and stay moving during the tryout and show your best skills and leadership abilities to score the position.
FLASH SALE: Passing & Receving eBook
The Passing & Receiving eBook makes coaching and planning your next coaching session ridiculously simple. It’s a true straight-forward guide for the rest of us. Print it and put it in your practice folder and you’ll have the perfect dummy-proof reference!