Book My Demo
Tips For Running A Soccer Tryout

Tips For Running A Soccer Tryout

Posts •

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 tryouts are stressful is an understatement, but it doesn’t have to be so if you follow the tips listed below.

Inform parents and players

After selecting the logistics for the tryout day(s), send an initial email to players & parents 3-4 weeks before tryouts. Contents of this email should include: the date, time, and location of tryouts. If there is any necessary paperwork that parents or players need to fill out, make sure to attach all forms ahead of time.

In addition, send a reminder announcement 1-2 weeks before tryouts. Contents of this email should inform players what to bring and how to best prepare before the big day.

Gather evaluators

Parents, family friends, and former coaches are all examples of biased evaluators. With close ties to an athlete, they are likely to have a negative impact on final scores.

In order to ensure fairness in evaluations and create a level playing field for all athletes, choose evaluators who have no personal connections to the athletes. As a result, athletes will be assessed purely on their technique, character, and skill level, ensuring equal opportunity for all.

Tip: To streamline your soccer tryouts, designate one evaluator for each drill to ensure efficient flow. This allows evaluators to become proficient in the specific drill they are assessing.

Select a mix of tryout drills

Positioning, shooting, dribbling, coordination, and passing. As a soccer coach, you are likely going to evaluate your players across all of these core skills. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, choose 3-4 drills for each skill. I.e., When evaluating passing, a few soccer drills would be the triangle, four corners, and square passing drills.

If you’re looking to get started with drill selection, check out these top 5 soccer tryout drills.

Obtain 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.

Organize Registration

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. Instruct volunteers on how to ensure every player is correctly registered — double checking they have the right number and are assigned to the right try-out group.

Lead warm-ups

This is overlooked most times, but warm-ups are an important part of the evaluation. Most coaches fall into the trap of concentrating on the drills that will be run; however, they shouldn’t forget that the warm-up is important for athletes to get their blood flowing and muscles stretched.

Provide assistance

Last but not least, soccer tryouts are ready to begin! Although you should have enough evaluators to cover each station, walk around frequently to make sure drills are being run according to schedule and answer any questions evaluators might have throughout the day.

Try SkillShark for FREE

SkillShark gives you a completely customizable experience that allows you to run soccer tryouts, camps, and clinics with ease.

Start Free Trial
  • 25 Players
  • Easy Set Up
  • Fully Customizable

FAQ — Tips for Running Soccer Tryouts

Coaches should prepare for soccer tryouts as far out as one month in advance. This provides sufficient time to secure a tryout date and inform athletes.

Inform parents and players
Gather evaluators
Select a mix of tryout drills
Obtain proper equipment
Organize registration
Lead warm-ups
Provide assistance

Make a list of soccer skills that are most important to measure. I.e., Shooting, passing, dribbling, and coordination.

Choose 3-4 drills under each skill. For example, when measuring passing, a few soccer drills would be the triangle, four corners, and square passing drills.

Players want to hear back within a reasonable time frame regarding their team selection process and what position they made. As a general rule of thumb, post results within 48-72 hours after the tryout.

Although sticking to a timeline is important, ensure you have taken the time to thoroughly review athlete scores (i.e., rank and compare players) and debrief with other evaluators.

SkillShark offers a streamlined solution to save coaches countless hours typically spent on data entry and report creation.

This soccer evaluation app serves as an all-in-one tool for scoring players, generating insightful reports, drafting teams, providing athlete feedback, and more.


Elanne is SkillShark’s marketing aficionado who is equal parts passionate about sports, marketing and sports marketing. She can usually be found with a golf ball or three in her purse, and her favorite way to spend downtime is out on the course with friends and family.