'Tis the season of open tryouts for Central Ohio's youth soccer clubs. Having been a soccer coach for nearly 20 years, I have a little advice for those interested in being selected for a spot on an upper level club soccer team.
Your goal is to capture the attention of the evaluators, and then keep their attention throughout the tryout week. Below are just a few tips to consider to help you stand out in a crowd:
1. Introduce yourself to the evaluators. Don’t wait until they ask you what your name is. You want them calling you by name as early as possible.
2. Wear something that might set you apart. Don't be obnoxious about it, but if you have a choice between red socks and black socks at home, choose the red ones. You could even wear something as simple as a head-band or a wrist-band.
3. Be very vocal. Talking is key when playing. It shows the evaluators that you are confident, smart, and a team player. Talk to demand the ball (confidence). Use soccer terms to show your soccer IQ. Words like “square”, “overlap”, “drop”, or “turn” will demonstrate that you know soccer. Try to avoid saying “here”, "pass",or just calling out someone’s name. Use your words to congratulate and encourage others (team player).
4. Stay on your toes. Move like a soccer player. Be light on your feet, move backwards, and side shuffle, always keeping yourself open to the field. This also will demonstrate that you know what you are doing.
5. Play hard. Nothing speaks louder than good strong play. Play fast, play tough, and never quit or give up.
6. Play smart. Don’t try and do too much. Use your skills to be creative when you need to, but concentrate your efforts on simple play. Make sure your strengths standout. If you are fast, show it. If you are a good forward or defender, be sure to spend as much time as you can showcasing that aspect of your game.
7. Have fun. Don’t stress out about the tryout. Yes, you are being evaluated, but you are also playing a game. Enjoy it.
Interested in trying out for a club soccer team? Go to the BPYSL website for local tryout information.