How to Make a Soccer Team
Trying out for a team, especially for the first time, can be hard. Players must stand out in a short period of time to make the team, while dealing with anxiety. Don’t worry though, this guide will make trying out easier, and will increase your chance of making the team.
Before the Soccer Tryout
Some tips for the hours and days before the tryout starts:
Be confident. You can do this. Think positive thoughts. Know that you’re ready.
Don’t worry. Worrying puts more pressure on yourself, reducing your chances of making the team. If you start to worry, think positive thoughts.
Put things in perspective. What’s the big deal? You are going to play soccer; that’s it. If you don’t make the team, the world will not end. If you fail, you will only become more motivated to train.
Calm yourself. If you feel anxious or are thinking negative thoughts, calm yourself. Meditate, pray, take deep breaths, etc.
Eat a light meal. It should be full of carbohydrates and a few hours before the tryout.
Hydrate. Drink water regularly for weeks before the tryout. Hydration will help you perform better.
Choose the right club/team. Consider all the factors discussed in choosing a club. Choosing the wrong club can lead to a bad season.
Get to the fields early. Take the precautions necessary to arrive early. Being late leaves a bad first impression on the coach(s). Also, arriving early allows you to calm you nerves and warm up before your tryout.
Bring the required equipment. Nothing is less professional than showing up at tryouts without it. If you are unsure about required equipment look at the soccer equipment guide.
During the Soccer Tryout
Don’t look at the coaches during tryout. You shouldn’t even think about the coaches. Just play your game, and try your hardest.
Show off (a little). If you have a fancy move in your arsenal, this is a perfect time to use it. It will help you stand out, as long as you don’t overdo it.
For example, I and my friend were trying out for a team. I juked a couple players and scored the first goal of the match. Minutes later, he scored off a backheel. He got moved to the next (more elite) field. Fair? Not really, but it’s the reality of soccer tryouts so don’t be afraid to show off a little.
Don’t do things that you can’t do. If you always trip when attempting the “Maradona” (soccer move) don’t do it in tryouts. You didn’t magically become Maradona overnight just in time for tryouts. Do the things that you know how to do.
I’m not saying that you have to play simple, but if you can’t you don’t have a skill in your arsenal, why would you bring it out in tryouts?
If you do, chances are you’ll mess up.
If you are a leader (coaches love leaders) lead your teammates. Even if you aren’t, encourage and help players. Show that you are a good, helpful teammate.
Don’t get caught in a position you are bad at. If so, inform the coach. If he still tells you to play the position, keep playing it. You really have no other options. Hopefully, he will switch you out of it soon. Pestering him will not help you.
If he doesn’t switch you for a while, try reminding him. Coaches tend to forget things, especially in the chaos of tryouts.
Be aggressive and use your body. Don’t play dirty though; it will get you nowhere. Most coaches love aggressive players, so it’s a great way to stand out.
Communicate. Call for the ball, give teammates advice, etc. Be loud so the coaches hear you. Coaches like players who are vocal.
Don’t use offensive language or show attitude. Both can leave a bad impression.
Be coachable. When a coach tells you something, listen intently and show him that you understand. Coaches like to be listened to, and they know that players who listen will improve.
Don’t be a ball hog. Make sure that you pass the ball. Many people get caught up in impressing the coach and hog the ball. Dribbling skills are great, but you have to show that you can pass. You don’t want to be labelled a selfish player.
After the Soccer Tryout
Remember, coaches aren’t always right. Coaches often miss very good players. Tryouts and coaches are far from perfect, so understand that this regularly happens.
Ask for a private tryout. If you think the coach(s) and didn’t give you a fair shot, ask for a private tryout. Perform well and he might put you on the team. If he doesn’t give private tryouts, ask to practice with the team. He can evaluate you at his team’s practice.
Show professionalism. Just because you make the team, doesn’t mean you can coast. You need to work hard, show up on time, and be a good teammate. Otherwise, you can get cut, demoted, or lose playing time.
No matter what, never give up. Whether you made the team or not, you now have motivation to improve. Learn, watch, and train hard.
Next season try again. If you don’t make it learn, watch, and train hard. Then try again. If you truly want to make that Division One Team, you will. If you’re truly passionate about soccer, you will keep playing, keep having fun, and keep improving.
Good luck and Have Fun!