I’ve written several articles on tryouts: one for coaches entitled, “The Worst Part of Coaching” and one for players entitled, “Be More Vocal at Tryouts”. The most important thing a player has to do at a tryout is to get noticed, preferably for a positive action. Being a good player certainly helps and being vocal will draw attention to yourself. The other way to get noticed is to attempt a bicycle kick.
I say bicycle kick because it is one of the most recognizable, beautiful and yet most difficult moves in soccer. Any time I see a player attempt a bicycle kick, it tells me the players is:
- Knowledgeable about the game of soccer
In addition to a bicycle kick, these actions will also get a player the attention he/she needs to stand out from other players:
- An excellent and unselfish assist
- A beautiful goal
- Great dribbling moves
- Crisp, well-positioned passes on the ground.
- Comfortable with both feet
- Long throw-ins
Conversely, attempting a bicycle kick or any other move when it is not necessary (for example, a defender performs a bicycle kick in his/her defensive third just to be cute) can have the opposite effect. It can get a player noticed for the wrong reason.
Before a tryout, ask yourself (and ask the advice of other coaches and parents) and write down your strengths (initiative should be a strength since you are taking the time to think about your strengths). With your list in hand, try to apply and demonstrate these strengths at every opportunity you have during the tryout. But don’t force these strengths–strengths should come naturally.
Actually, I lied. The most important thing a player has to do at a tryout is to enjoy the experience and have fun! Good luck!