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United Soccer Athletes

How to Have a Good Tryout

Want to have the best tryout that you can .... ?

There are many potential pressures a player faces during tryouts. Every player deals with trying out differently. Here are some thoughts about ways of having your tryout go better.

·         PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS – Every player needs to know what they do best. If you are a very good defender, be sure you show it in tryouts. If you can dribble around anyone, be sure to show it. Be cautious to be one dimensional, but also be sure the coaches and evaluators can see each of your strengths.

·         DOWNPLAY YOUR WEAKNESSES – Just the opposite of above, but equally important. Even if you do get exposed, a good coach/evaluator will see that you know where you are weak and try to play away from it. For example, you may be a little slower than other players your age, so you have learned to play the ball away quickly so you do not get caught with it. Maybe you will get caught occasionally, but we will see that you know it, and do well to compensate.

·         PREPARE BEFORE TRYOUTS – Work on your weaknesses (actually this should be constant throughout your career, not just before tryouts) so they can be as sharp as possible. Show up about 30-45 minutes early and get your own mega-touch workout so you are “warmed-up” and really “on” when tryouts begin. Eat right, hydrate all day, and get plenty of rest the night before.

·         BE POSITIVE and COMMUNICATE – Team chemistry is essential to team success. Coaches will look for players who help their teammates look better and feel better. “Nice shot” even to the opposite team can get you some good comments.

·         BE “COACHABLE” – In the tryout format, coachability is one element we try to expose. No player (or coach) knows everything. The player who thinks he does is not coachable and may get passed over by most coaches. The most successful athletes listen to their coaches and often seek their advice. It is a very important element that coaches will look for.

·         MENTAL TOUGHNESS – If you shoot and miss, shrug it off. Most coaches will first see what work you did to get into a shooting position and that you were willing to shoot. Everyone misses, even the best in the world. Just play on, don’t sweat it. If you mess up a pass or lose the ball on the dribble, just instantly get back into the play.

·         STAY FOCUSED – One of the missing elements in good players becoming great is focus and vision.  Never lose track of the ball, the opponents, your teammates, etc. See as much of the game as you can. The more you see, the better decisions you will make. Some players just react to the game, some players create the game. Be a creator - that is what makes soccer such an awesome sport. Players get to express their own creativity (based on the principles of play).

·         HAVE FUN – The game should always be fun….did you catch that? ALWAYS! Work hard, play smart, have fun. The perfect formula!

·         PARENTS RULE – The parents rule for youth sports is that you do not rule --- your son/daughter does. This is their game. Put no expectations on them, and don’t measure yourself as a parent by their accomplishments.

We give you this information in hopes it helps you prepare for your tryouts. The over-riding principle of having a good tryout is found in … “Work hard, play smart, have fun.” Let the rest take care of itself.  Soccer is an awesome sport! It is the most creative team sport on the planet. Maybe it should be called “Athletic Art” after its unique element of on-the-fly player creativity. We trust that your love and appreciation for the game will continue to grow as you do. Thanks and we hope to see you at USA tryouts!