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Top 5 Tryout Drills To Evaluate Soccer Players

Top 5 Tryout Drills To Evaluate Soccer Players


As soccer tryouts determine which players will make the team and which players are best suited for specific positions, understanding which soccer tryout drills to run is essential.

Before we delve into the soccer drills you should be incorporating into your next soccer tryout, we will run through some other helpful tips for conducting soccer evaluations.

How Do I Evaluate a Soccer Player?

Establish relevant evaluation criteria

Without clear-cut goals and objectives, it’s impossible to design and deliver a training camp or practice that is of any value to the player.

Ask yourself, are you prioritizing skill level, athleticism, and personal traits? Or are you specifically seeking players for specific positions? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered before deciding on evaluation criteria.

Form a committee for team selection

In most cases, committees can help eliminate common problems such as club politics, coach favouritism, and parental influence. There are various ways to evaluate teams and players, but generally speaking, the easier the method, the easier it is to come to a consensus and select the top players.

The numbered scoring system has been around for years and seems to work effectively. A simple “1 through 5” score for each of the drills makes the job of the Head Coach and Assistant Coach easier and offers a fair evaluation of the player.

Communicate effectively with parents

We’ve all had parents complain their child should’ve made the team, but many of these problems can be avoided if you have clear-cut criteria.

When talking with parents, coaches should be transparent about the club’s goals, how the tryouts will work, and the evaluation criteria used. You don’t want any ambiguity here. That way, all parents know the standards that have been set out.

Report cards to enhance coach-parent communication

Did you know, that when using our soccer evaluation app you can provide both players’ and parents’ report cards after each tryout? Players know exactly what they need to work on, and parents can visually see how their kid is performing.

This is an excellent way to streamline communication, improve player performance, and showcase the professionalism of your soccer organization. Reports like these are included with any plan when evaluating athletes using the SkillShark App. Reports are generated instantly after each evaluation.

Read more about how to evaluate a soccer player.

Soccer player report card

Run individual player reports using SkillShark Athlete Evaluation software

Top 5 Drills for Evaluating Soccer Players

1) Toe Taps in the Square

Start with four lines of players lined up behind each other. Once the coach blows the whistle, the first player in each line dribbles their ball to the cone, stops, taps the cone with their feet 10 times, and then dribbles back to their original starting point. 

When the player returns to their starting position, the following player in the line starts, and the drill is repeated until each player in line has had a turn,

If you’re looking for some awesome soccer training videos that are easy to follow at home, check out Anytime Soccer Training. They’ve got thousands of videos covering everything you need! Give their free Toe Taps and Tick Tocks ball mastery session a shot by clicking here.

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2) Shooting Box

Set up four pylons in a square formation (about 6 feet apart from each other). Start by having 1 player in the square and another three players roughly 30 feet from the player in the box — each with a soccer ball.

Now have one of the “outside” players pass the ball to the player in the square. Once the “box” player has received the pass, they should try to shoot as quickly as possible. Repeat the drill until all players have passed the ball to the player in the box, then rotate players.

3) Attack on the Cones

Create a 15 X 15-foot box using 4 cones, then place one cone in the center of the box. Divide your soccer players into two lines, around 20 feet away from the box.

The first player in each line will dribble their ball to the cone in the center and then quickly return to their starting position while trying to maintain control of the ball. As players gain confidence, the coach should encourage each player to go faster.

4) Four corners

Within a 40×40 yard grid, create grids (that are about 5×5) in each of the four corners. Split your players into two teams. The objective of this soccer passing drill is simple, players in the middle of the larger grid need to get the ball to one of their teammates standing inside one of the smaller box grids.

The players will work as a team, passing to each other while the other team does their best to defend and intercept the ball.

5) 1 vs. 1 in the Circle

Split your players into two teams. The coach starts outside the center circle and throws the ball in the circle. Two players start from different lines. Whoever gets possession of the ball first will then return the ball successfully to the coach without stepping or dribbling outside of the circle.

Once the first players in each line finish the drill, the next two players will have a turn until all players have completed 3 attempts. 

Watch the “1 vs. 1 in the Circle” drill

Soccer player dribbling ball

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FAQ — Evaluating Soccer Players

SkillShark is a leading evaluation software designed to assist coaches in assessing and improving the performance of soccer players. It streamlines the evaluation process by providing instant feedback reports after each assessment, saving coaches valuable time compared to traditional data entry into spreadsheets.

Yes, SkillShark is a versatile tool suitable for evaluating athletes in various sports. While this blog focuses on soccer, SkillShark can be applied to multiple sports, making it a valuable resource for coaches across different disciplines.

• Customize evaluation templates
• Score athletes on your mobile device
• Instantly access player data
• Provide player report cards
• Compare & rank players
• Draft teams on the app

Absolutely! SkillShark is suitable for coaches at all levels, whether you are working with beginner-level players or professionals. The customizable templates and flexibility of the app make it adaptable to your coaching requirements, regardless of the players’ skill levels.

Yes, SkillShark can be used for soccer evaluations across various skill levels, from youth players to professionals. Coaches can adapt the assessment criteria and templates to suit the developmental stage of the players they are working with.

If you have any more questions or need further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to SkillShark’s support team for assistance at

You can measure soccer players on skills such as:
• Coordination
• Shooting
• Positioning
• Passing
• Dribbling

1. Choose soccer tryout drills 2-3 weeks ahead of time.
2. Select evaluators 1 week before and communicate with them (i.e., run through the drills and explain what they should look for at each station they are evaluating).
3. Focus on positive relationships. Aside from coaching soccer tryouts, take the time to get to know athletes and provide verbal tips for improvement when you can.

SkillShark offers a free printable soccer tryout template. All you have to do is download and print, then you are ready to evaluate!

While we do offer a soccer evaluation form, we do recommend checking out the SkillShark app, removing pen-and-paper evaluations.

A well-structured baseball practice plan ensures you make the most out of your available time.

1) Set clear objectives of what you want to accomplish.
2) Schedule the necessary baseball drills & game scenarios.
3) Include time to properly take notes and provide verbal feedback during practice.

From getting your equipment ready, setting up drill stations, and assigning staff roles, a soccer tryout checklist ensures you don’t leave anything out!

Michelle Corry

Michelle is SkillShark’s dedicated marketing cognoscente. She is an avid athlete, dedicated professional, marketer and creative visionary. Michelle lived and breathed sports most of her life, being awarded athlete of the year back in early 2000, including a rugby scouting invitation from Team Canada. SkillShark has changed her perception entirely in terms of what she thought was possible in sports evaluation today.