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March 11

How to Succeed at Soccer Tryouts

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​Guys, today's "Do's and Don'ts with Dave" is all about how to succeed at try outs. So, we all know try out season, it's a tough time for everyone involved. From the clubs to the coaches, to the parents to the players; it's all this, like, pent-up anxiety about try outs, right, and what I'm gonna do today is talk to you about a few steps that you can take as a player, to make the try out process a little bit easier. Who knows, a little bit more successful as well. So, let's talk about why try outs. Now, try outs are good because the whole point of it is to put you in an environment of growth, right, so if you're a very very good player, maybe you're not playing at a very very good level, you need to play at a higher level, right, so for your development to grow, you need to be around players that push you to grow. And there is no point in doing that if you're best player on your team by a mile. And the other way around as well. If you're not the best player on your team and the development gap is massive, then your development curve is gonna be better around players who are more on your level so you can develop at the same pace. 'Cause let's not forget a lot of players develop at a different rate, right. Like some players will develop at a very quick pace and, you know that you'll see them at 15, 14 and they're very very very good. Whereas some players don't peak until they're 20, right. So this is why try outs are important and remember the core effect here is it's all about your development as a player. That's why try outs exist. So, I actually prefer long try out for players 'cause it gives the coach and the club a chance to actually see what you can do. Because let's be honest, 45 minutes is very difficult to judge someone in that environment 'cause it is hyper competitive, right. Everybody's there trying to show exactly what they can do which is obviously what the coaches want, but again, to really show what you can do a coach needs to see you, you know, over a few training sessions to figure you out. Okay, so first things first, do your research. This is pre try out stuff right here, right pre try out. Do your research, look into the club, go to their website, and have a look at what they project in that they do as a club. Okay, are they a club that develops players? Are they all about the winning? Or are they about their end product? Which usually in club soccer, end product is how many players have gone on to play at a college, or nowadays, gone on to play professional? That's their end product, right. So what are they all about? Are they all about, you know, the wins, the wins, the wins? Or the development, development, development? And you gotta be a little bit careful 'cause perception is very easy, isn't it? So a club can make it look like they're all about development, but when it comes to it, it's all about kick ball and winning. So you've gotta do your research. How do you do that? What I recommend is that you go to a few practice sessions before the try outs and just watch, just watch a session. How are the sessions? Is the coach organized? Is this a team that you'd wanna play for? You know, before the session starts, has the coach explained everything? Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that? Are the players happy to be there? Are they having fun? And again, just like the try out process, you can't gauge that in one session, so just go and watch a few sessions, invest your time in it. Because these people that you're gonna be around for a long time and watch a game as well. Go to a game, like, does the team play the type of soccer that you want to play for. Will you develop on this team by seeing them train and seeing the games? Do you think this is a good move for you? I've got my list down here, which is why I'm looking down. As I said, right, with their philosophy. Look at the coach and think, will this coach develop me as a player? Okay, and then we move on to our next point. Speak to current players, speak to current parents and kind of get a gauge on the coach and the club, 'cause most people will always be bang up honest with you. Speak to the coach, you know, what is their philosophy? You know, does that philosophy shine through on the field? Now we're gonna move on to during the try outs. So, easiest thing for me to say is, don't get overwhelmed. Right, during a tryout, everybody is, as I said before, trying to show them what they can do. Now, you know, the tendency is to hog the ball, right. And psychologically you can see why, right. Players wanna show how good they are. So what I want you to do is just to stick to your game. You know, if you're a phenomenal passer of the ball, show the coach that. If you're a great dribbler, you know, get in those pockets of space, get out of danger and distribute. If you're a good goal scorer, you know, it's all about spacial awareness and spacial exploitation, right. Show them that you can get into space to take those opportunities. Basically, show who you are. Now, one thing that I have my players do that is really, really powerful is flip the script. You're trying out, but really, you're trying them out. So you flip the script, and you figure out. Okay, is this a team that I wanna play for? Is this a coach I wanna play for? Is this a club that I wanna play for? You know, are they impressing me? You know, are the coaching staff impressing me with their organization and their knowledge and the way that they pass that knowledge on? You know, the way that they talk to their team. Is this a team that I wanna play for? So we flip the script, so in fact, you're trying them out. Parent wise, younger kids, obviously you're gonna wanna be there. Older kids, just, leave them alone, let them get on with the try outs themselves. Do not, whatever you do, in a try out process ever, in fact, coach the player from the sideline. Nobody wants to see that, you know, you as a parent, I'm pretty sure you'd hate it if someone walked into your job, who didn't know much about that job, and started screaming instructions, wouldn't be the best thing in the world, would it? So refrain from that. Obviously with younger kids it's important that they see you there 'cause it is an anxiety ridden thing these try outs, so they can see you calm them down a little bit. Don't get into overwhelming a coach, like if you make the team, if your kid makes the team, they make the team. If they don't, then it just wasn't meant to be. Don't take anything personal. So that wraps up my little "Do's and Don'ts with Dave" on how to succeed at try outs. And I did mention one thing in the parents section, and it goes for players as well. Don't take anything personally, right. If you don't make a team there's a reason for it. What I would say is, try to get feedback from the coach. Like, you know, why didn't I make the team? You know, I'm not mad, I just wanna. You want it to be a learning moment and a growth moment instead of maybe just stewing and being angry. So don't be scared to be confident enough to ask for that if you don't make the team. Now remember, you are trying the team or the club out. I'll catch you on the next episode.

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