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Whether you’re trying out for a professional team or are going out for your high school team, you’ll want to make a good impression at tryouts.
Even though you may not be the best player out there, not always the best ones make the team. If you perform well at tryouts and make yourself stand out (in a good way) you might have a shot.
Tips for Before Soccer Tryouts
Before you show up to the soccer field for tryouts, there are some tips to follow to help prepare your mind and body. We’ go through the top areas to focus on and prepare before soccer tryouts even start.
While visualizing might sound a little hokey to you, it is a proven method for helping calm your nerves. It allows your mind to focus on what is most important, and center yourself on how to achieve your goals.
Research has actually shown that, in some cases, mental visualization is almost just as effective as practicing itself! This means that visualizing success at your soccer tryouts is almost as important as practicing your passing and dribbling a soccer ball!
For so many, nerves take over as tryouts get closer, and negative thoughts fill your head. These negative thoughts only serve to cloud your focus and concentration, along with negatively impacting your ability to perform at the top of your game.
Similar to visualizing success, you have to train your mind to think positively about the upcoming tryouts. Find the positives about the experience that you’re about to embark on, and get excited about the opportunity.
Focus on the areas that you know you are good at, and think on those more frequently. For example, if you’re really good at heading the ball, then think about this part of the tryouts as you prepare.
Talk with Others
Don’t just hold onto your nervousness before tryouts. Instead, be open and honest with friends and family. Talk about in conversations. You don’t necessarily need to have an agenda with the conversations – the important thing is to be talking about it.
Sharing your concerns, fears, and apprehensions helps your mind process through them. It will make it a lot easier for you to think positively and visualize success.
Don’t walk onto the soccer field for tryouts without doing some research ahead of time. Try to figure out the timing and structure of tryouts. How long are the tryouts, and what sort of drills and practices do they do? Is most of the time spent in simulated games, or are there a lot of ball control drills to test individual skills?
The more you know, the more you can prepare for playing soccer. You’ll be able to focus on performing when you’re at tryouts, and the extra preparation ahead of time will allow you to be ready for what’s coming. Before going to the tryouts, make sure you’re prepared with good soccer cleats for training so you can be at your best and hopefully make the team.
Tips for How to Make the Soccer Team
All soccer skills aside, the way you present yourself at a tryout not only tells a coach a lot about you as a player but also as a person.
- Prepare Your Gear Ahead of Time: Don’t stress out the day of. Set out all of the gear you need, including your shin guards, top quality socks, cleats, and goalie gloves (if you’re a goalkeeper). Set your clothing out as well.
2. Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected: Although this can be a nervous time, being confident in yourself and calming down—especially right before you begin tryouts – is extremely important. Otherwise, the nerves will carry onto the field, and cause you to make mistakes. Remember to breathe, and focus on the task at hand.
3. Arrive a Bit Earlier: You’ve probably heard the phrase before: early is one time, and one time is late. Instead of getting there right when it starts, come a little earlier. You will be on time for the training and it will give you extra time for yourself.
You can warm up on your own, show the coaches you’re responsible, respect their time, and make a good first impression. Also, if something happens to delay you on the way (an accident, you forge something, etc), you’ll have a built in buffer time.
3. Just Play Your Game: Don’t worry too much about what the coach is doing while you’re playing. Obviously, you’ll want to pay attention to him while he or she is giving instruction or direction.
However, looking at a coach too much will show insecurity and you don’t want them to see that. The focus should be on what you can control – yourself. Since you can’t control the coach or his/her decisions, don’t spend any time worrying about it.
4. Play to Your Strengths: There is a fine line between playing well and showing off. Contribute to the team but make sure you stand out by portraying your best qualities. If you are a hard worker, “show off” by hustling hard. If you have a great free kick or cross, “show off” by offering to take one during the game. You don’t want to be domineering, but you do need to make sure that the coaches see your strengths. Since tryouts can be quick, making the team might depend on you jumping on an opportunity and excelling in it. This will be the same for your children make sure they come prepared with great quality cleats for youth.
5. Hide Your Weaknesses: We all have aspects of our game that we need to work on. However, tryouts aren’t the time to do it. Don’t use this training to try a new move out or take one for the team. You still need to find that balance between not showing off but shining.
6. Be a Good Teammate: A coach is looking for a good teammate. Often times, players tend to isolate themselves during a tryout, thinking that they have to focus solely on their individual performance. However, soccer is a team sport, and coaches want to see signs that you are a team player. If you can find someone to work with during scrimmages, it can help you both look good.
7. Try and Bond with Old Players: Players who were on the team last year may have an influence on the new players for the upcoming season. Although a coach might not ask returning players directly about their opinions, they’ll notice good interactions between new and old players. Plus, it helps to show that you can be a good teammate.
8. Put Yourself in Your Best Position: You might not be placed in your favorite soccer position the whole tryout. However, you need to vocalize where you want to play or place yourself in that position. It’s important to fight for your position as well as show that you have versatility. It’s always good to have two different positions as your favorite choices.
9. Be a Leader: That doesn’t mean you have to be a show-off, be bossy or make other players not like you. You can be a leader by being vocal or by leading by example.
You can portray confidence while you play and support your team with positive feedback. You need to gain the respect of your teammates and coac doesn’t.mean you have to be a show-off, be bossy or make other players not like you. You can be a leader by being vocal or by leading by example. You can portray confidence while you play and support your team with positive feedback. You need to gain the respect of your teammates and coach.
10. Make a Memorable First Impression: Even if you’re not trying to get into a professional team, come with a professional attitude. Coaches are always looking for the most coachable players. A player may have a lot of talent but if they are self-centered and don’t listen, a coach will probably not want them on the team.
11. Work Hard and Give It Your All: Normally tryouts are usually a day or two. You should not be trying to coast through training to the next water break. This is the time to give it your all. Leave everything on the field, even if it leaves you exhausted. Coaches love to see hustle and energy, and you’ll be rewarded for giving it your all.
12. Avoid the Gimmicks: You aren’t going to get on the team by wearing crazy socks or that fluorescent yellow shirt. You’re going to stand out by playing extremely well, being vocal, confident, a coachable player and a good teammate. This means to dress appropriately for soccer and watch your body language—it can tell a lot to a coach without even saying a word.
13. Shoot and Score Goals: This may seem obvious but making yourself stand out also means scoring—or at least taking shots. Every coach wants a player who knows how to score goals, and even taking the chance and missing can show a coach a lot. However, don’t get too ambitious and take shots out from absurd distances. That’ll do the opposite of leaving a good impression.
14. Move On from Mistakes: Even the best players make mistakes. A coach doesn’t care about mistakes but they care about how you react to them. Try your best to emulate a positive attitude at all times—don’t be afraid to smile and laugh but don’t goof off too much.
15. Be Confident: Last but not least, be confident in your abilities—no matter what that may look like. As long as you have a positive attitude and are contagious with it on the field (and off the field), the coach will definitely think highly of you.
You might not be the best player out there. However, a coach will usually choose a player with potential and a good attitude over a cocky, quality player with a poor attitude.
Most Importantly, Be Yourself
In soccer, it’s more than speed, skills, and goals. It’s about self-confidence, decision-making, a positive attitude, a hunger to be better, “coach-ability”, being a team player, and most importantly, giving it your all.
If you emphasize these qualities during a soccer tryout, the coaches won’t just notice you—they’ll love you. You’ll label yourself as a great candidate for their team. Of course, if you don’t make it this season, never give up!