How To: Standout At A Tryout


"Most players go into tryouts thinking they have to reinvent the wheel to get noticed by the coaches. In fact, the opposite is often true."

Let's face it—we all hate tryouts. The uncertainty and nervousness can be overwhelming for some, but for others it's an inviting challenge. Here are a few of the ways you can stand out (in a good way) and ensure your name is on the team list at the end.

1. "Act As If"-- If you haven’t checked out the origins of this phrase, it was introduced to me by Jay Demerit (check out the podcast episode here). This simple yet profound attitude works in positive ways, specifically in uneasy environments like a tryout. Act as if you belong there and act as if you are the exact guy/girl they are looking for. Don't be intimidated by the perceived quality of players around you. Be confident. NOTE: There is a fine line between being cocky and confident. Coaches gravitate towards bold players and those who are sure in their movements, passes and play. Footy Tip: Make sure your body posture is on point from the moment you step out of the car. Your shoulders are back, your head is up and you are acting with purpose and poise. If your body is hunched over and you don't make eye-contact with coaches, you are already fighting an uphill battle. 

2. Show Character, Don't Be a Character-- Coaches want to see personality in players, they don't want to see players who are personalities. Being a character means you are merely out there for attention and you will end up being the tryout clown. Instead, demonstrate the capability of organizing your team and drive them forward through the tryout process with competitive leadership.

Footy Tip: Coaches love winners. Try to win each drill/game at tryouts and the evaluators will notice. This doesn't mean yelling at other players to "stop making mistakes" because this only makes you a negative force rather than a competitive leader. 

3. Positive Energy-- Positive energy is a must-have at a tryout if you want to genuinely stand out. Don't be afraid to be vocal and direct players around you in a constructive manner. Applaud the efforts of those around you and continually find ways to win. This will captivate the coaches and most of the players around you will respect someone taking a leadership role.

Footy Tip: If you make it, you will be on a team with some of those players and everyone will remember if you were the cocky jerk at tryouts. Not a great start.

4. Simplicity-- Most players go into tryouts thinking they have to reinvent the wheel to get noticed by the coaches. In fact, the opposite is often true. Keep your play simple and clean. Connect passes while constantly moving to provide options for your teammates. When the opportunity to hit a killer pass presents itself, show your skills. Coaches look for intelligent players and while others are trying to complicate things, you will stand out by simplifying the game.

Footy Tip: While simplicity and assuredness are fantastic, don't pass up an opportunity to highlight your skills in appropriate areas of the field. For instance, if you are an outside midfielder and have the chance to go 1v1 in the final third of the field... Do it. Don't mistake simplicity for bashfulness. 

Take these four key attributes into your next tryout and you'll set a strong foundation for making the team. We'd love to hear how these pointers did/didn't work for you! Leave a comment or connect with us on social media! 


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