Tips for a Successful Soccer Tryout

How to shine at High School soccer tryouts – great advice on what players should do and what they should avoid at soccer tryouts — and even tips for parents.

For many Georgia high school teams, January marks the first month high schools can begin team activities for Spring sports. Most high schools will be starting week-long tryouts on Monday, January 15th.

Start Preparing Now

Top coaches advise players to start preparing early. High schoolers who aren’t playing with a club still have a chance to make their high school teams, but they need to start preparing as soon as possible. Get a lot of touches on the ball — this will help you feel confident technically.

In addition, get a lot of fitness in as you will have 3-5 days of demanding training and you must have your body physically ready.

Nutrition and hydration are also crucial, and not just on the field. A weekend of junk food and soda will definitely not help your tryout performance. Start hydrating properly at least two days before tryouts begin, and eat good nutritious foods, so that your body will be able to handle a week of grueling tryouts.

A Peek Inside a Prep Soccer Tryout

When asked to describe a typical tryout, coaches are quick to point out every coach will run tryouts a little differently, but for many the tryout setup is pretty standard. Many coaches start with simple warm-ups and stretching, then move into technical work.

They run players though different quick passing drills. Lots of 1-touch passing and ball control. After that, they leave a lot of time for small-sided scrimmages. They will then move through the scrimmage groupings, observing the players and making notes.

It is pretty normal for schools to have over one hundred players trying out for three or four teams, and those teams will have 18-25 players on each roster, so it is very competitive.

The small-sided scrimmages give the best chance to observe each player’s style, skill, soccer brain, and mentality. After a few days of tryouts, each school has its own method of announcing rosters.

Some schools, for example, will post rosters on the team’s website after tryouts are completed. Some schools will announce rosters at the end of the last tryout day.

How to Shine

So what advice do coaches give players who will be trying out for the Wildcat’s soccer team?

  • Smile. A positive attitude is so important and will keep a coach’s attention at tryouts. Don’t complain. Ever. Work hard. No excuses. You’ll make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, even the best players. The great thing about soccer is when you mess up, there’s always a time in the near future for you to make up for it.
  • A positive and confident attitude on the field is very important: Be confident as you are always looking to get on the ball. You should have an aura about you that draws positive attention. All communication should be positive. Negativity gives off a negative vibe, and sometimes coaches will remember a player for the wrong reasons.
  • Regarding the actual soccer play during tryouts, work hard. Every coach wants a player that is active. Be vocal. This is a great way to make an impression with and without the ball.
  • Body language is huge — shoulders back and moving on your toes.
  • Great Advice for Success: If a mistake is made, let it go immediately and get on with the next play. This will also help the coaches to forget.
  • Assess, Assess, Assess! Remember to look over both shoulders constantly as you read the game. This allow you to feel more at ease and make better decisions.
  • As for your down-time during tryouts, don’t worry too much about the coaches scrutinizing your every move. Relax with your friends and just be yourself. Don’t do anything out of the ordinary that will draw negative attention to you, but feel free to relax and give your brain a break from the stress.
  • The worst thing a player can do is to go through the motions and not put in the effort. The best thing a player can do is to be brave and confident.

Expect a bunch of kids at tryouts to be feeling the same way you are. Everyone is nervous. Find a friend — preferably a friend who isn’t disruptive — that will help you feel more comfortable. The BEST feeling in the world is getting that high school soccer uniform for the first time and being a part of that team — enjoy it!

Best of luck to every prep soccer team this coming season! We wish you a successful, injury-free, and fabulous high school season.