How to Prepare for Soccer Tryouts

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A soccer tryout is a process in which a player tries out for a soccer team. The player may be invited to the tryout by the coach or they may have to apply themselves.

It is important to know what is expected of you before going into the tryout. This includes knowing the rules of the game, having your gear ready, and being mentally prepared for what might happen during the tryout.

How to Prepare for Soccer Tryouts

The best practices for soccer tryouts are to be prepared, have confidence, and show enthusiasm. All of these things will help you to make a good impression on the coaches.

  • Being prepared is essential because you have to know what you can do in order to impress the coaches. The more knowledge you have about the game and your skills, the better off you will be.
  • Being confident is also important because if you don’t feel like you can do it, then why would the coaches?
  • Showing enthusiasm is key because it shows that you are passionate about the game and want to play for that team.

Mental Preparation

If you are going to be a soccer player, you have to be prepared for the tryouts. This includes both your body and mind.

There are many things that you can do to prepare your body before the tryouts. You should stretch and warm up before the tryout starts. You should also eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes lots of protein and vegetables. You should also work on your endurance by doing exercises like running or biking. These exercises will help with your stamina when it comes time for the soccer tryouts.

You also need to prepare your mind for the soccer tryouts as well as your body. You need to make sure that you are mentally tough enough for what is about to happen during the tryouts, including failure and success.

Soccer ball in a soccer field with some players in the background
  • Recognize your ambitions and desires as a soccer player. Sort out if you want to maintain your playing level or go higher. See if you’re open to new positions and new clubs.
  • If you’re thinking of trying out for a new club or team, call ahead of time. Introduce yourself personally to coaches and see if you can attend or at least watch a practice. Make sure you like the coaching style and level – seeing how the coach interacts and treats the players as they perform is crucial.
  • Set a goal and find a team that matches your philosophy. If they are more interested in winning as a team or developing as players, this might be in your concern.
  • Do not choose a team simply based on social pressures and status. Let’s say all of your child’s friends moved on to a different, higher-level team. Your child might be unprepared for that. Find out what is best for them.
  • Some coaches or teams favor more physical strength and size, while others may want technically sound players. Make sure your kid fits in with the coach’s vision.

Physical Preparation

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The physical preparation for soccer tryouts starts long before the actual tryout weekend or day. Especially if you or your child is brand new to soccer, you must start preparation at least a month before.

Soccer has tremendous benefits for your physical health. You can’t neglect the physical part when getting ready for a tryout. Some tryouts might be several days long. You’ll need to be fully prepared physically for the extended tryout.

On your journey to being physically prepared for tryouts, there are five different areas that you should focus on:

  • Technical Skills: It doesn’t matter if you are the fastest on the field. If you don’t feel or look comfortable with the ball at your feet, all that speed goes to waste. You’ll need to be confident and comfortable with the ball so work on your dribbling.
  • Fitness and Agility: Since you might have to run a couple of fitness tests as part of the tryout, you’ll need to be fit. Some tryouts last a couple of days or at least a few hours. Playing and performing well for long periods of time can make or break a tryout.
  • Finishing Skills: At the end of the day, you’ll want the coach to think you are dependable to put the ball in the back of the net. Before tryouts come, practice shooting in various situations and with various touches on the ball. Even if you aren’t a forward, you’ll need to know how to shoot well.
  • Delivering a good Pass: Soccer is a team sport. Delivering an adequate and accurate pass is one of the foundations of being a good player. Having the ability to play with both feet is a plus, so it is something you can work on.

A Coach’s Perspective on Tryout Preparation

It may seem difficult to read what is going on in a coach’s mind. If you see a coach looking at you during tryouts, the first thing to remember here is to not care—coaches don’t want players preoccupied the entire time about what the coach is doing or thinking.

However, if you want to know what a coach is looking for, here are a few things:

Two girls having at it with the soccer ball
  • Skill: The ground basis for judging if a player is suitable for his or her team is reflecting upon their performance skill-wise. Coaches are looking to see if you can trap and control the ball, take shots if you can pass and dribble well, and execute tackles.
  • Conditioning: Even if you aren’t the best player out there, if you are in excellent shape, you’ll catch the coach’s eye.
  • Attitude: Are you “coachable?” A coach will want someone willing to take constructive criticism and run with it.
  • Speed & Agility: These two factors are essential in soccer—especially if you are not highly skilled. Being in perfectly sized soccer cleats can help you with that.
  • Dedication: Especially if a coach starts building a team from scratch. The coach needs players that will show up and put the team first.
  • Problem Player: If you are sassy or disrespectful, that personality can be a cancer to the team. Coaches will stray away from that kind of problem player.
  • Reputation: Especially since word travels fast in the soccer world, your character and reputation as a player and a person can also weigh in at tryouts.
  • Intelligence: This doesn’t mean school intelligence. This means being soccer and street-smart on and off the field.
  • Personality: Ultimately, your personality will shine through on the field. The coach will not want rotten eggs on the team.
  • The X Factor: No matter what it is, something makes you unique on and off the field. Whether you are a hard worker, very positive, or can do flip-throw-ins, find out your x-factor and use it to your advantage.

Perform Well at Tryouts

Tryouts can be nerve-wracking. Even if you are a great player, you might simply have an off-day—and that’s okay! It happens to everyone.

Coach calling in all players for the tryouts

However, even if you are having your worst day on the field, a coach may be able to see through the mistakes. To be sure that they see who you indeed are as a player, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Work as hard as you can and never give up. The one thing that a coach wants to see is someone who doesn’t give up—no matter how many mistakes they make. Remember, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
  2. Come with a positive attitude and a team mentality. Stay in communication with teammates on and off the field. Even if you’re new to the team, introduce yourself to other players, and don’t be afraid to speak up on the field.
  3. Come in appropriate soccer attire for tryouts and wear some quality soccer cleats to improve your play. Sporting the correct outfit will not only prevent hindrances along the way but can also be a sign that you are serious about making the team. If the tryouts are indoors, come in your trusty soccer shoes instead.
  4. Display confidence in your ability. Even if you make mistakes, confidently show how good of a player you are.
  5. Make sure you are fueled, hydrated, and fully rested. Being wholly and physically prepared for the tryouts involve getting your body ready, too.
  6. Get yourself mentally and physically on the same wavelength as your trout. If you know the tryouts will be at 12:00 on a hot Saturday, try practicing at that time to get used to the heat. Otherwise, if the tryouts will be indoors, try to familiarize yourself with the size of the court, the flooring, and whether it will be covered.
  7. Arrive early to prepare yourself individually for tryouts. This will also leave a good first and lasting impression on the coaching staff. You can prepare yourself mentally and physically this way.
  8. Be ready to try a new position. Try to place yourself where you play your best during the tryout but if your coach insists you try something else, be open about it. It’s essential to show your versatility and openness.
Close up of a man wearing white socks and orange soccer cleats

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about soccer tryouts.

How Do You Warm Up for Soccer Tryouts?

Minutes before the tryout, you should warm up by jogging and slowly advance to sprints. Then, you can practice with the ball by doing passes, dribbles, and movements. Lastly, you can stretch and even do some yoga.

What Should I Eat Before Soccer Tryouts?

You should eat a plate of food rich in carbohydrates and no more than 800 calories. For example, you can have a chicken sandwich for breakfast and an apple for dessert.

Also, it is essential to remember that you should not eat large amounts of sugar or excessively heavy meals before the tryout. This could affect your performance.

What Do You Wear to Soccer Tryouts?

For tryouts, you should wear a comfortable soccer shirt, shorts, and high socks. On the other hand, you should protect yourself with a shin guard and, if you wish, a mouthguard.

Finally, you must wear cleats that are both comfortable and allow you to perform well on the field.


The road to preparation will look different from player to player. You can physically train to perform well at tryouts for a few weeks now and prepare yourself mentally for the day of tryouts. The sport of soccer encompasses both aspects of mental and physical preparation.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.