Pro Soccer Trials: How to Ace Soccer Tryouts and Impress the Coach

Omar Elhussieny

Soccer tryouts are a crucial part of the process for any aspiring soccer player and a skill itself. Mastering the skill of acing an opportunity for players to showcase their skills, potentially be discovered, and ultimately get a chance to play for a club or team can boost a player’s soccer career significantly. However, pro soccer trials can be nerve-wracking and intimidating, especially for those who are new to the process. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of pro soccer tryouts, including what to expect, how to prepare, and tips for standing out during the trial. While this may seem like an intimidating process, it’s actually quite simple. So let’s dive in and make sure you are fully prepared for this exciting opportunity!

What is a Pro Soccer Trial?

Soccer trials can vary depending on the team and level of competition, but generally, they involve a series of drills, exercises, and games to evaluate the players’ skills and abilities. Coaches and scouts will be evaluating each player based on their technical skills, physical fitness, tactical awareness, and overall performance on the field. The trial may also include interviews or assessments of the player’s character and attitude towards the game. If scouts and coaches like what they see, they’ll invite those individuals back onto the field again later on so that they can try out some more. In professional soccer, most trials are typically five to six training sessions plus a friendly game. In soccer academies this format can be different as it mostly happens in soccer camps. 

Set a Goal!

Understand why you are attending the trial. Is it to be hired by a scout or team? Are you looking for college opportunities? Or you want to assess your level compared to pros?

Once you’ve determined your reason for attending, set goals for yourself that help achieve those ends. For example: if your goal is to sign a contract by clubs and coaches at a particular club, then make sure you research the team and league you are trying out for. This can provide you with valuable information and insights that can give you an edge during the trial. Here are some tips on researching the team and league.

Researching The League and Soccer team

Know the Team: Research the team’s history, playing style, and tactics. Understand the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and key players. This can help you align your skills and show how you can contribute to the team’s success.

Know the League: Research the league’s level of play, competition, and rules. Understand the league’s style of play, game format, and any specific regulations that may apply. This can help you adapt your game accordingly during the trial.

Watch Games: If possible, watch the team’s games or matches in the past to gain insights into their playing style, strategies, and formations. This can help you better understand the team dynamics and how you can fit in.

Connect with Current Players: If you have the opportunity, try to connect with current players.

Pro Soccer Tryouts Expectations:

Knowing what to expect during the trial can help you better prepare mentally and emotionally. Here are what to expect during a soccer trial:

Evaluation: The coaches and scouts will be evaluating your skills, technique, and overall performance. They may also be assessing your attitude, work ethic, and ability to work with teammates.

Competition: Expect to face tough competition from other players trying out for the team. Be prepared to give your best effort and showcase your skills against other players who are trying to find their spot in a soccer team.

Different Drills and Scenarios: The trial may involve various drills and scenarios to test your abilities. These may include passing drills, shooting drills, small-sided games, and tactical exercises. Be prepared to adapt to different situations and follow instructions from the coaches.

Feedback: The coaches may provide feedback during or after the trial. Listen carefully to their feedback and use it as an opportunity to improve your performance.

Physical Preparation For Professional Soccer Tryouts:

First and foremost, it’s imperative to prepare physically for your soccer trial. Soccer is a physically taxing sport that calls for strength, stamina, and agility. You want to be in shape, so that you can perform at your best and impress the coaches. Here are some tips to help you prepare physically:

Regular Conditioning: Make sure you are engaging in regular conditioning exercises to improve your overall fitness level. This includes cardiovascular exercises like running or cycling and strength training exercises like weightlifting or bodyweight exercises. It is important to work on your fitness so that you can be ready for 90 minutes of running around on a soccer field.

Soccer-Specific Drills: Incorporate soccer-specific drills into your training routine to improve your skills. This includes dribbling, passing, shooting, and agility drills such as ladder work or cone drills. Practice with a focus on your position and the skills required for that position.

Rest and Recovery: Make sure to get enough rest and allow your body to recover. Adequate sleep, nutrition, and hydration are essential for your performance on the field.

Warm-up and Stretching: Always warm-up before your training sessions or trials to prevent injuries. Dynamic stretching exercises can help improve your flexibility and prevent muscle strains.

Mental Preparation For Professional Soccer and Academy Trials:

Soccer is not only a physically demanding sport but also a mentally challenging one. Once we’ve gotten ourselves into shape physically, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally for your soccer trial. Here are some tips to help you prepare mentally:

Visualize Success: Visualize yourself performing well during the trial. Close your eyes and imagine yourself making successful passes, scoring goals, and showcasing your skills. Visualization can help boost your confidence and mental readiness.

Positive Self-Talk: Use positive self-talk to motivate yourself and boost your confidence. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and believe in your abilities.

Goal Setting: Set specific goals for yourself for the trial. These can be performance-related goals like making accurate passes, winning duels, or staying composed under pressure. Having clear goals can help you stay focused and motivated.

Stay Calm: It’s normal to feel nervous before a soccer trial, but it’s important to stay calm and composed. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness to keep your nerves in check.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude:

Having a positive attitude during your soccer trial can make a significant difference in your performance and impression on the coaches. Here are some tips to help you maintain a positive attitude:

Stay Confident: Believe in your skills and abilities. Remember all the hard work you have put into your training and trust yourself to perform well during the trial.

Stay Positive: Avoid negative self-talk or dwelling on mistakes. Stay positive and focus on the next opportunity to showcase your skills.

Be Coachable: Be open to feedback and constructive criticism from the coaches. Show a willingness to learn and improve, and don’t take feedback personally.

Support Your Teammates: Be a team player and support your teammates during the trial. Encourage and communicate positively with your teammates, as it shows your ability to work well in a team environment. Here is how you can achieve that:

Getting Along with Team Players:

Team chemistry and dynamics are essential in soccer. Coaches not only evaluate your individual skills but also how well you can work with others. Here is how you get along with team players during your trial:

Communicate: Good communication is crucial in soccer. Talk to your teammates on the field, provide support, and communicate about the game situation.

Collaborate: Work well with your teammates during drills and games. Understand and respect their positions and movements and coordinate your efforts to create productive opportunities.

Show Sportsmanship: Display good sportsmanship by showing respect to your teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials. Avoid any negative behavior or conflicts during the trial.

Be a Team Player: Show your willingness to be a team player by putting the team’s interests above individual interests. Share the ball, be unselfish, and contribute to the overall success of the team.

Showing the Best Side of Yourself:

Be Punctual: Arrive on time for the trial and be well-prepared. This shows your commitment and professionalism.

Dress Appropriately: Wear proper soccer attire and equipment for the trial. This includes soccer cleats, comfortable athletic wear, and bring any needed equipment such as water bottle or shin guards. In most cases, professional clubs will provide necessary kit and equipment.

Show Respect: Show respect to everyone involved in the trial, including coaches, officials, opponents, and teammates. Be polite, attentive, and follow instructions.

Stay Focused: Stay focused and attentive during the tryout. Avoid distractions, stay engaged, and give your best effort in every drill and game.

Remember, as you prepare for your soccer trial, it’s important to approach it with a positive mindset, be confident in your abilities, and show your best side. Keep in mind that soccer trials can be competitive and nerve-wracking, but with proper preparation and a positive attitude, you can make a lasting impression on the coaches and increase your chances of success.

In conclusion, take the time to prepare both physically and mentally for your soccer trial. Follow a well-rounded training program, take care of your body, and practice your skills. Additionally, focus on maintaining a positive attitude, getting along with your teammates, and showing the best version of yourself. Researching the team and league can also give you an advantage and help you align your skills with the team’s needs. 

Remember, soccer trials are opportunities for you to showcase your talents and potentially earn a spot on the team. Approach it with confidence, determination, and a positive attitude. Regardless of the outcome, always stay respectful, professional, and continue to work hard towards your soccer goals. Remember to enjoy the experience and have fun! You’ve got this!