Tips For Running A Youth Soccer Tryout
Anyone familiar with soccer evaluations will have seen the same scenes a number of times – stressed parents sitting uncomfortably in the bleachers, nervous players, and patient volunteers and staff members checking in, organizing and evaluating athletes.
Saying soccer evaluations are stressful is an understatement, but it doesn’t have to be so if you follow the tips listed below.
Ideally, directors ought to start preparing for the tryout sessions months in advance. Details of tryout dates should be sent to both players and parents – this should also include details about registration and requirements for evaluations.
Staff members and volunteers should also be informed and their roles should be spelled out to avoid confusion on evaluation day. Most importantly, evaluators should be adequately trained on the software that would be used beforehand. Be sure that you can record and assess the skills of every player and make an analysis at the end of the tryout. By using an intuitive app, volunteers will have no problem learning it and being prepared in advance for the soccer evaluation.
Get the proper equipment
Compile a list of equipment you’ll need for the evaluations – including whistles, balls, bibs, numbers, and cones.
Assign specific staff members to follow up on this equipment and they should ensure they are available on D-day. The staff should also make sure the equipment is set up for every drill. By assigning these tasks to others, there is less stress for the event organizer on the day of.
It is important that the registration process is seamless and goes over smoothly. When there’s a delay in the check-in process, the entire tryout session may be thrown off schedule.
Make sure every player is correctly registered – ensure they have the right number and are assigned to the right try-out group.
Train all staffers and volunteers on the check-in process weeks before the evaluation, as this would eliminate all forms of delay. On the tryout day, try to be on-site as early as possible to make sure nothing is out of place.
Ensure there’s a process for players that don’t show up, those that arrive late and those that register onsite.
Carry out warm-ups
This is overlooked most times, but warm-ups are an important part of the evaluation. Most directors fall into the trap of concentrating on skills the players will be assessed on and drills – they shouldn’t forget that the warm-up is important too.
By warming up, athletes loosen up and are stretched. It is also good because players can keep busy while others are checking in. This way, there’s no one idling around and everyone will be in one place.
Another advantage of warm-ups is that the players are separated from their parents. If coaches or directors want to talk to the parents before the try-out starts, they can use this period to do so.
Follow a strict schedule
With drills, every player can display their skills for the evaluators to record their scores. Drills also allow the directors and coaches to observe players for qualities the evaluators aren’t paying attention to like attitude and hustle.
When the drills are on schedule, there’s every chance the try-out will run smoothly. Directors and coaches should fight the urge to give advice during evaluations, this will ensure everything goes according to plan.