As we gear up for another year of tryouts, the hardest aspect for us all to accept is that tryouts are in and of themselves a competition. Most coaches are assessing each athlete on their technical, tactical, mental and physical skills. Coaches look at each individual player, but it is also in comparison to your other teammates who are competing for a limited number of spots.
I hear a common phrase from players who are disappointed with the results of their tryouts: “But I’ve worked hard”. And I am sure the athlete has worked hard – but hard is a relevant term. An Olympic athlete can train nonstop and still not get the gold medal. That is the beauty and pain of a competition.
My best advice if your tryouts didn't go as planned this year: don’t give up. Continue to work on your skills based on the feedback from your coaches. Identify the areas of weakness in all four areas (technical, tactical, mental and physical) and create a plan to build your capacity in each area. And remember, adversity brings incredible learning. Are you able to rise to the challenge? Showing your coaches that you are teachable, resilient and dedicated to improving can change your position on the team even in the same season if you are able to make a difference on the field consistently.
I’ve always said that soccer has taught me a lot. But the best lesson I have ever learned is what it takes to succeed, even in the face of failure. My path to professional soccer wasn’t easy, but I never quit when a result didn't go as planned. Pull from all that you have learned. Prepare for the season. Be confident in whatever you do. Be resilient. And lastly be open to feedback. This is how you will grow and be your best self on and off the field.
Best of luck for the season! Remain positive and enjoy this beautiful game! - Coach Tibi