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Simple Advice for Dealing With Youth Soccer Tryout Season

Coaches who think they can figure out which kids have good attitudes and coachability from a couple of tryout sessions with 80 kids on the field are kidding themselves.

Tryouts stink.

Let’s not kid ourselves and pretend. Reducing children to numbers and putting them in artificial playing environments is not a fun thing to do.

As the “Hey, He Knows Soccer” person in my circle of friends, I get inundated at this time of year with people asking questions. Some are legitimate — we’re new to travel, we’re considering a couple of different clubs with different philosophies, etc. Some are simply a product of deeply flawed systems for selecting players. Every situation is different. The college prospect has different needs than the 8-year-old just looking for a new challenge. Some families don’t mind the occasional four-hour drive for a league game; some do. Some kids are athletes who need to learn soccer skills; some kids are fluent in soccer and need coaches who’ll be patient while they catch up in terms of speed and strength.

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