So you're looking for soccer tryouts are you? Think you have what it takes? You know what, you might have the athleticism or the natural god given talent but that's just one very small piece of the pie. You need more than your fair share of luck to get through a tryout and to stay on with the team, especially if it's a tryout overseas, either way whether it's in your own backyard or across the pond there are some important things you need to know.
What to bring, what to wear, what to have ready even before the tryouts could be critical and the difference between you making the team and just going home with a story. It's also worth knowing all the different types of soccer tryouts that exist so you know what to expect going into one including how long it will last, what types of drills you'll be doing and how fit you really need to be.
If you're serious about performing at soccer tryouts no matter the level read all the advice, tips and examples below you'll need to make your dreams come true.
1. Play Like You Have Nothing To Lose - As badly as you may want to make the team and wear the jersey one day you have to go into the tryout like you have absolutely nothing to lose. Play open and free and don't care about where the chips fall, you will play your best when you don't think about what there is to lose, just try and enjoy the experience.
2. Focus On The Task At Hand - After a mistake move on and don't dwell on what you can't control in the past, also don't worry about the next exercise or next pass, focus on the moment you're in and try and master that moment before worrying about all the other stuff. If you put all of your focus into the present moment of soccer tryouts you will increase your chances of being successful.
3. You Don't Have to Be Perfect - Take a deep breath and stop putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect during all your soccer tryouts. Nobody will ever make every pass and make the right choices all the time so stop trying to tip toe around the pitch not trying to kill any blades of grass. Be bold and aggressive and understand you won't get it all right all the time.
4. Less Is More - The less you try and do all the flips and tricks and keep it simple the more you will stand out. The game at the highest level is played one and two touch at a high speed so focus on playing that way instead of all the rolls and megs. A great coach will be able to spot a high level player on how much they go unnoticed and play the game the right way.
5. Learn From Each Tryout - Not every tryout will go your way but what you must do is learn from each of them to be better at the next one. Think about all the ways you could have improved or stood out more such as your fitness, finishing, decision making or anywhere else where you think you lacked. Write them all down and come up with plans to improve each category so you can increases your chances in soccer tryouts in the future. If you're not sure feel free to go up to the coach and ask for some feedback on how you performed.
For more tips on how to impress coaches at soccer tryouts feel free to read over these tips, 5 Tips To Increase Your Odds Of Making The Team.
1. Open Tryout - An open tryout is typically open to any player that wants to attend and may or may not include a fee to do so. Most professional teams will charge you somewhere between $80-$120 to tryout for their team in an open tryout format. Typically high school and most college level open soccer tryouts don't include a fee but certain ID Camps may. No matter the level of the open tryout you will probably be put through some fitness testing, some small sides games and probably about an hour or so of 11v11 scrimmages.
2. Invitational Tryout - Soccer tryouts that are a bit more serious are typically by invite only. It may be a college coach that has scouted you and wants a closer look at you in their own environment so they may invite you and other selected to players to tryout together or bring all of you into a practice with his current college players. You can get these by reaching out to coaches yourself or if a coach reaches out to your directly to invite you, I would encourage you to ask your current club or high school coach to reach out to college coaches for you as well as those will have more weight coming from coach to coach.
3. Scouted Tryouts - Sometimes coaches of pro teams, college teams or their scouts will watch you play games with your own club or high school team and this will be the form of the tryout you get whether you realize they are there or not. The old saying you never know who is watching applies here so be sure to bring your best game every time you play because you may be trying out for a team and not even know it.
1. Updated Highlight Video & CV - Having an up to date highlight video of yourself about 5-7 minutes long along with a CV (Resume) of where you've played, your grades and any other useful information you think a coach or scout may want to know about you.
2. Contacts & References - Having people to vouch for you as a player and person along with contacts that can set up soccer tryouts for you may be the most important thing you can have in your corner when trying to make a team through soccer tryouts.
3. If It's A Pro Tryout You'll Definitely Need An Agent - No pro player worth anything will get a pro tryout without an agent in their corner. Agents make a living off of having contacts in places you don't so if the tryout you're looking for is at the pro level then having an agent is an absolute must.
1. Soccer Footwear - In case you're from Mars be sure to bring firm and soft ground soccer cleats along with at least a pair of turf or indoors soccer shoes. You never know if the coach wants to see you indoors or what the weather will be like so be sure to come prepared no matter the conditions.
2. Water - This might be incredibly obvious but all soccer tryouts are different so you don't know if they'll provide water for you or not so be sure to bring your own.
3. Running Shoes - Some soccer tryouts may require you to do some fitness around a track or other surfaces where having running shoes are a blessing to have so be sure to pack them.
4. Rain Gear - If the skies start to open up during your tryout at least you'll be prepared as everyone else wishes they never left the house. In case of rain be sure to bring a water resistant jacket, some long sleeve under armour, a hat, a plastic bag to put your wet clothes in after and a fresh pair of clothes should you want to change into afterwards.
5. Shirt, Shorts, Socks & Shin Guards - Yes not all tryouts are going to provide you with all the gear you need so bring an extra set of training clothes just so you're not caught with nothing to wear.
There is more than one way to achieve anything you want in life and getting pro soccer tryouts is no different. You never know who can link you to the next level, being scouted from a club scout is one way to get there but the most proven and best way from my experiences is through an agent. An agent can get you trials through contacts he has at clubs from previous players he's sent on trial and have been successful thus building a good relationship with the club and having a good history of sending players their way.
Contacting clubs yourself is a very troublesome path considering how difficult it is to build credibility when speaking for yourself for these pro soccer tryouts. Sort of like defending yourself in court, most would suggest getting a lawyer who knows how to play the game of words. But if you truly want it and it hasn't worked any other way, knocking on a clubs door and asking if you can just train with the side, especially a division 2 or 3 side can be worth a shot just to get your foot in the door. Go and watch a practice, wait for the coach to have a second alone, and say who you are, where you're from, where you've played and if he would mind you training with the team, no obligations from them or you.
Becoming a professional in any profession including soccer takes a series of steps to get a job with a company or spot on a team. Getting the proper soccer tryouts you've been working for or job you've always wanted takes a step by step process, that process is as follows:
1. Apply = Contact Agent/Scout about desired job/team
2. Friend/Colleague Recommendation = Agent contacting a club and promoting you
3. CV (soccer resume) = Job Resume
-Experience = Where you've played
-List of Qualities = What you bring to team and player strengths
-Accomplishments/Awards = Achievements as a team and individual
4. Highlight Tape
5. Company reviews your application and decides whether an interview is to follow = Team reviews your qualities and where you have played to see if a tryout is in order.
6. Interview with boss = Trial with team and coach
7. Sign contract with company = Sign contract with team
Every trial is different but they do share some common similarities that make each tougher or easier than the other. It's a constant mental battle with yourself. "Oh no my first touch was terrible now I'm for sure not making it!" Doubts and silly thoughts start to creep into your mind and you start worrying too much about how you are being perceived as a player rather than just doing what comes naturally and enjoying the moment. To answer the question, YES they are tough, but not unmanageable, the most difficult fight or challenge you will have at tryouts is with yourself and how you keep your your confidence and nerves under control.
Your whole life you have had people say you are a great player, not good enough, nothing special or that you have potential. You've heard it all right? Right. So no matter who says what there is always one persons opinion you should truly care about, and that is your own. You'll hear all sorts of things before during and after soccer tryouts and throughout your entire soccer playing career. The key is never letting somebody else define your worth. A coach, a teammate a friend or whoever else will praise you and knock you down constantly both positively and negatively. Don't take either too close to the heart because they can both be poison.
You need to believe in yourself and your abilities and make the commitment before you go on the journey, promise yourself that no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT! That you are getting what you want and you're not stopping until you get it. Soccer tryouts like anything else are about being relentless.
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