7 Soccer Tryout Tips to Make the Team
Work on Your Aim1 of 8
Set up a soccer goal in your backyard or find two trees close together at the park. If a nearby school has an open field in the summer, you can practice there. Work on taking shots from every angle with both feet.
Bring a friend or family member and work on shots together. For example, set your friend up near the goal and practice your corner kicks from both sides of the field, allowing your friend to tap the ball into the net. Next, switch spots to work on your finishing. Practice taking shots while your friend serves as the goalkeeper or as an approaching defender.
Get Your Gear Ready2 of 8
Make sure you have everything you need for tryouts ahead of time. It may sound silly, but practice wearing your cleats and shin guards with socks. If you don't play in your cleats until the day of your tryout, you won't be prepared for how different they feel from your normal sneakers, which could affect your game. Plus, if you show up without shin guards to tryouts, chances are the coach won't risk letting you try out at all. Be sure you have all the required equipment ahead of time.
Recruit a Friend for One-on-One3 of 8
Ask a sibling or friend who is also trying out to practice one-on-one drills with you. Coaches will want to see that you can defend and attack no matter your position, and one-on-one drills boost your skills in both areas. Remember that though you may want to be a forward, if the coach has enough forwards for that year, he or she may want to see if you can fill other positions, too.
Set up this simple drill in a park or your backyard: use a cone or marker (a tree works, too) to represent two goals, and start against your opponent in the middle. Whoever dribbles to their "goal" first (you must dribble past it, not shoot from afar) wins that round. Play to 10 before stopping for a water break.
Get Your Mind Ready4 of 8
For many young athletes, their lack of skills aren't what hold them back in tryouts; it's their nerves. Try some calming techniques before the big day to see what works best for you.
Visualize scoring a goal or defending a tough opponent successfully. Remind yourself you've prepared for this and you CAN do it.
Heart still racing? Give this technique a try: slow your heart rate down by breathing in through your nose for five seconds, hold it for five seconds and breathe out through your nose for five seconds.
Stamina is Key5 of 8
Soccer players know something baseball and football players don't: stamina is everything. As opposed to sports where you just run or sprint for a few minutes at a time, soccer games involve running for 40 minutes to one hour, depending on the league.
The U.S. Women's Soccer team estimates the average player runs seven miles per game, most of which are done in sprints. Athletes can train for this by practicing sprint training.
Jog for five minutes to warm your body up, and then alternate sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 30 seconds. Repeat the sprint/walk sequence five times and then repeat the whole process from the jog.
Work on Your Agility6 of 8
In addition to being quick, soccer players are some of the most agile athletes out there. Work on these tips for improving your agility and don't be surprised if the coach also teaches some of these techniques at soccer practice or during the tryout itself.
If You Don't Make it, Don't Worry7 of 8
Tryouts have come and gone, and your name wasn't posted on the list this year. No sweat!
Use the fall season to pursue another interest—maybe you've had your eye on learning guitar or you've always wanted to take photos for the yearbook staff. Use your downtime to keep practicing your soccer skills for next season and look into joining a local club or recreational soccer league.