How to do well at soccer tryouts
I’d be lying if I said not to be nervous going into tryouts. Having the butterflies means you care about how you do and the result. And that’s a good thing!
Before I get into tips to have a good soccer tryout, I want to make sure you read this: if you don’t make the team you want or the teams you tried out for, there are teams who are looking for a player like you!
Don’t believe for one second that because tryouts are over and you didn’t make a team that this is the end of the road for you. Because it’s not. Make some calls to soccer clubs or independent premier teams after tryouts have concluded and let them know you’re looking for a team. They might not have a spot, but they might be able to direct you to another team or coach they know who is looking for players.
As a former coach, I had a couple parents call after every tryout asking if we had spots. Sometimes I was able to offer them a spot on our team (players sometimes will commit to a team, the coach will plan on that commitment, and then the player will choose to go a different direction – leaving room for another player). Other times, I would know of coaches or teams who needed more players and I could point them in that direction.
So, do yourself a favor and remember this isn’t your only shot at playing soccer next year.
Soccer Tryout Tips
- Have a healthy meal or snack before the tryout and give yourself a full two hours to digest it before you step onto the field. Stay hydrated between and after sessions.
- Wear something that will stand out so coaches can identify you. I had a very athletic player who came to tryouts as a rec player at u12. She was wearing all red. All the coaches quickly identified “red” and recognized she was a baller with lots of potential.
- Arrive early with your equipment all on and ready. Tie your shoes!
- Play YOUR game. Don’t be somebody you aren’t. Think about the two things that you’re really good at, and focus on showing those skills at tryouts.
- HUSTLE. Run on and off the field at water breaks. When you’re done with the break, get back on the field and do something productive with the ball at your feet.
- Talk. Even though you might not know one other person there, we are all soccer players and play the same game. When you want the ball, demand it by saying “ball” loud enough for everyone on the field to hear – be vocal and be a leader. Congratulate other players on making a good play, and encourage players who might have made a mistake “Unlucky” “Good effort” “You’ll get it next time!” are all great things to say to teammates.
- Ask questions. Asking questions means you want to understand so you can do something right. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you need clarification on something.
- Try to relax and have fun!