What Are Coaches Looking For? | Thunder Soccer Club of Howard County

What Are Coaches Looking For?

At soccer tryouts, coaches are looking for the strongest players to make up the best team possible. Sometimes, when the soccer tryouts are held, the coaches already know who their core team is, and they are looking for a few players who can fit in. But there are a whole lot of other variables that come into play. Once you know what a coach is actually looking for during your soccer tryouts, you can show off the skills and personality that will help you make the team.

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Skill

In most cases, coaches are looking at how well a player performs the skills that are necessary to play soccer. If you can't perform these skills consistently during soccer tryouts, it's hard to have believe that you will be able to during a game. Some of the skills that you must be able to perform at the soccer tryouts are: tapping the ball, controlling the ball, taking a shot, dribbling and passing. The coaches are also looking at your soccer knowledge and instincts.

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Conditioning

An average player with excellent conditioning will always catch a coach's eye. And so will the excellent player who is gasping for air 15 minutes into the soccer tryout. A coach will ask herself why this player didn't bother to get in shape or keep in shape. Being out of shape at a soccer tryout is saying that you 1) don't care, 2) are lazy and 3) not too smart if you thought being out of shape wouldn't matter. If you are out of shape, you not only let yourself down, but you let your team down as well.

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Attitude

Are you "coach-able?" Do you pay attention and try to perform all the tasks requested to the best of your ability every time? Or do you lollygag? Do you work on your weaknesses so you can improve your skills or are you too busy making fun of the other players? Are you intelligent enough to know that you don't know everything there is to know about soccer? Are you flexible? Are you willing to learn new skills, techniques and strategies? Will you learn another position without complaining?

Do you work hard all the time, even when the coach isn't watching you? When the coach asks the team to run four laps, do you run three laps and walk one? Or worse yet, do you run only when the coach is looking? Do you try to improve your skills away from the soccer pitch?

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Speed

There are positions for slow girls, if they are soccer smart. Speed is not a static skill. If you work hard at it, you can get faster and quicker. Unfortunately, soccer tryouts are not the place to turn over a new leaf and decide to improve yourself.

If you are lucky enough to be blessed with some speed, do you respect your gift? Do you take care of your legs? Do you warm up and cool down? Do you avoid mixing it up during practice? Do you avoid doing stupid things that would put your knees at risk?

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Agility

What is your reaction time? Are you agile enough to avoid collisions during practice? Can you move forwards, backwards, to the left and to the right, as well as all angles comfortably? Can you regulate your movements from long and slow to quick and sharp. Do you lift your feet up off the ground?

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Dedication.

When a coach is building a team, it's imperative to know that the players she selects are going to show up for every single game and tournament. She needs to be confident that her players are not out partying and breaking the team rules. Do you care enough about yourself and the team that you will take care of your body? Will you respect the bodies of your teammates and not try to hurt them in practice? Will you show up for all the practices even if it's raining? Even if it's cold? A coach needs a player who will never let the team down.

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Are You a Problem Player?

Are you sassy and disrespectful to the coaches and the other players? Coaches know that that kind of player is a cancer. If a player is mouthy during soccer tryouts, before the team is even chosen, it's a good indication that that player could be a problem. Will you break team rules? Will you break the law? Do you do whatever you want, regardless of the repercussions? Do you drink? Do you smoke? Do you do drugs? Are you disrespectful to the other players? Do you like to fight - verbally and physically? Are you overly dramatic? Is there always a problem with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Are you a liar? Do you skip school? Are you smart enough to keep yourself academically eligible?

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Reputation

If you have caused your coaches and team problems in the past, there is a good chance that they are going to pass on you during these soccer tryouts. If you are trying out for a high school team, that's bad news for you, because there might not be another team to play on. But even if you're trying out for a club team, soccer is a small community, where everybody seems to know everybody, and coaches share information on players.

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Intelligence

Do you have enough sense to know when Coach needs you to shut up? Do you know enough to tie your shoes? Do you remember to come to soccer tryout prepared? Do you learn from your mistakes? Do you know when to push harder and when to back off? Do you know when to do what you're told? Can you read the field? Do you remember other soccer players that you play against and how to beat them? Sometimes during soccer tryouts, coaches don't tell you everything you need to know. They sit back and see if you can figure out what they want.

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: Personality

Are you a whiner? Are you a complainer? Is it always someone else's fault? Are you mean and hurtful? Do you ridicule other players? Do you like other people to fail, even your own team mates? Do you think you're better than the other players? Do you think that the team rules do not apply to you? Do you think that you don't have to show up to practice and games on time?

Soccer Tryouts - What Coaches Look For: The X Factor

The X factor is that little something extra that you bring to a team. Sometimes a coach will take a player who doesn't have the skill, the speed or the agility of the ideal soccer player. Sometimes it's because the player tries so hard and plays with so much heart, that they are an inspiration to the other players. Sometimes the coaches feel that with a little more time and training that individual can become a very good soccer player. Sometimes the player is a motivator, cheerleader and a natural leader.

Last, but not least, many times a coach has to choose a player (or not choose a player) based on gut instinct. Many times soccer tryouts cannot reveal the true worth of a potential player. Most coaches don't get the chance to know you as a person before they make their team selection. They can see your skill, but they can't know what a hard worker you are unless you show them on the field. They can't tell how dedicated you are unless you show them. You aren't going to get a chance to have a nice sit down conversation with the coach. How you handle your soccer tryouts will reveal what the coach needs to know and whether there's a place for you on the team.

So, the moral of the story is: Be on time. Be prepared. Try your hardest. Be respectful. Give it all you got. And good luck!