How to Have Fun and Succeed
at Palo Alto AYSO Tryouts
Trying out for an advanced team can be a lot of fun and an awesome experience. Tryouts are kind of like mixing training and small-sided games to see how well you can do at various skills and in various positions. Sessions are typically 90 minutes.
At the tryouts there will be various "drill stations" to play at. Like a carnival, you go to different drill stations and play the game at that station. A station might have some setup to measure dribbling, running, passing, trapping, foot skills, etc. Coaches will lead you through the drills, and evaluators will be watching and grading.
Below are some general hints to doing well. But above all, enthusiasm, intensity, general athletic ability and fitness, comfort with the soccer ball, and how you interact with others are key.
DO bring your water, shin guards, cleats, medical release form and be prepared for two hours of hard workout.
DO NOT wear a soccer jersey or uniform.
Arrive Early and Warm up with Touches
Your touches on the ball and general comfort with the ball are important. Never start a tryout, practice or game, cold. And don't take time away from the tryout, practice or game to warm up. Always warm up with touches such as juggling, dribbling and passing back and forth with a friend. Get 100 touches in before the session starts.
Athleticism is a Must
Soccer is about running. Oh, there are other things also, like kicking, dribbling, tackling, delaying, strategy and many more, but none are as important as the ability to run and dodge about. Running in sprints, and running through the whole game. Work on running in the weeks before the tryout. Move around, and be able to dart left or right at a moment's notice.
Soccer is played best when the players are communicating. While at the tryouts, demonstrate how you talk to the other players on your small-sided drill team to ensure you, and they, are best positioned.
Often, the player who wins the ball is the player that sticks to getting the ball the longest. Whether it is running forward to get the ball, rather than waiting for it to bounce to you, or tussling with another player for control of a ball. Be quick off the mark to get to the ball and stick with trying to get the ball away from another player.
Know What Position You Want
Be ready with your idea of your preferred and second position to tell the tryout coaches. But, the coaches may have a different idea for you after they see you in action. Roll with it and show your flexibility for the team.