Most keepers dream of playing professionally but just how do you get invited to a trial or tryout with that big club? This is an all to critical question facing aspiring young goalkeepers as they train hard each day to make something of themselves. We know the struggles keepers face while trying to get to the next level and notably many of these critical soul searching moments happens during tryouts.
Assuming you’ve done your part, put in the work on and off the pitch to develop your soccer fitness and mental strength how do you convey that skill when the eyes are on you? We’ve got a few tips on how you can maximize your chances of succeeding during your next big goalie tryout and edging out the competition.
Here are a few tips sure to impress during your next tryout:
Don't overwork yourself in preparation - Rest well and keep your practice and workouts to a minimum in the days leading up to the tryout. Training sessions the days prior should be more mentally stimulating than physical. Keep training sessions light, focus on keeping your muscle loose and pliable while reinforcing your technical skills.
Here's a quick guide in developing your footwork.
Just be yourself - Remember, during a tryout most players tend to always think big. What this means is every player, and we’re all guilty, takes the pressures of a tryout and responds differently in how they perform. Remember, if you weren’t Messi when you walked on the pitch, we suggest not attempting to replicate him. What does this mean? We simply mean play within yourself, stick true to your strengths on the field. Many players feel that they have to somehow be something they’re not every other day of the week. For field players, this may be dribbling instead of distributing or vice versa. For keepers instead of simply just keeping to the basics of the position, we encourage you to also focus on ways that you can set yourself apart during open play. One of the easiest ways to impress during a tryout is by your communication and organization of the players around you. Impress through your authority in net and prove that you own your area and demand respect!
Keep a positive attitude - although you will be competing with others, you’ll need to maintain a positive attitude during this pressure situation. We assure you, coaches pick up on players who have not only bad attitudes but also cause conflict with others around them. During tryouts especially as coaches seek to form teams or add new players they’re always thinking about how YOU will fit in. If a coach thinks you may be a goalkeeper that would bring drama to their side, or, not offer a personality that meshed well with the existing squad it’s very possible they may overlook your quality because of this. As stressful as tryouts may be trying to remain positive and upbeat while secretly having the passion of a crazy person. After all, that’s what goalkeeping is all about at the end of the day!
Be coachable - understand what a coach is trying to tell you and remain engaged with them. If you can display your ability as a player to remain coachable then you will be sure to stick out in their eyes. All coaches love players who respond to feedback not only positively and respectfully but also through their immediate actions.
Lastly, play intense but try to relax - Enjoy the moment and experience, and rely on the fact that you’ve worked your butt off and will succeed because of the hard work you did when no one was looking.
And remember, even if a tryout doesn't work out the way you planned, consider it as a learning experience and one small step closer to where you want to get to. Though no one likes to fail it can always be used as an incentive to succeed in the future.
“Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding.”
– Jim Valvano