So how do you get ready for the big tryout day? Whether you are trying out for a higher-level select team, a high school team, or even a college or pro team, there are certain rules to live by when getting ready for the event. Here’s how to ace your soccer tryout.
Is the team a good fit?
To start, make sure that this team you are trying to make is a good fit for you. If you are trying to play in an older league, make sure that the team fits your need for a challenge. If you want to play for a select team, but you are still looking to have fun more than anything else, you will want to be sure you agree with the philosophy of your coaches. In a way, you want the team to “tryout” for you before you tryout for them. Make sure the team is a good fit before anything else.
Now that you know this is the team you want to play for, it’s time to prepare for the big day. Remember, all that these coaches are judging you on is your performance on the field. This is not a judgment on you as a person or your personality. They are looking at soccer skills only.
Get in soccer shape
Give yourself an advantage by being in top shape. If you can’t run a series of sprints without feeling completely out of breath, you need to work on your speed and endurance. Practice doing 8-10 100 yard sprints in a row, at least 3 times a week, in the month before your tryout. You will also want to work on endurance– you should be able to run 3 miles in at least 30 minutes, ideally, in 25 minutes or less.
You’ll also want to practice ball skills. This means practicing dribbling and shooting (going to an empty field to practice dribbling and shooting is a good idea). However, there is only so much you can do on your own. Ideally, it is best to have a partner or, even better, partners to practice with. Then, you can mimic game time situations and moments, and practice movement with a ball and with other players.
Playing with a team
In addition to your individual skills, most coaches will want to see how you work with other players throughout the tryout. Practice passing and movement with your friends and you will be ready for playing with others on tryout day.
Positions don’t matter
Finally, don’t get hung up on positions. Even if you have played nothing but defense, you should not limit yourself to a specific position on the field. You may not even realize how good you could be in a different position. Don’t get stressed out if the coach puts you in a different position in a small-sided scrimmage in the tryout. Perform as well as possible, and don’t worry that you may not be playing the “position” correctly. The coach knows that he is juggling players around and putting them in new places. Think of it as a fun way to explore something you haven’t tried before!
One last thing, have a positive attitude, and be friendly and upbeat with other players. Coaches will be evaluating your “mental” game as much as your physical game. If it comes down to choosing between two players with equal physical skill, a good attitude can go a long way.