MHS Boys Soccer Tryouts
Tryout Objective: Conducting a fair and objective tryout is critical to the success of the team. All players will be given an equal opportunity to demonstrate their soccer playing abilities. Our goal is to select the best players to make our team as competitive as possible.
Selection Criteria: Tryouts will be held on Mon-Wed the first official week of soccer (Aug 19-21, 2019). We will run 3:30-6pm Mon-Wed. Players will be evaluated on their soccer skills and how they perform while playing soccer in highly competitive situations. I strongly believe, that a player's performance in 1v1 situations directly relates to his performance in 11v11 games. Likewise if a player can perform well in small-sided games, such as 2v2 or 4v4 games, it is almost certain the player will do well in full-field games. In addition to soccer skills, each day players will be evaluated on their fitness, strength, and speed, which are critical physical abilities for soccer players.
The first day of tryouts will consist primarily of rondos, 1v1, and 2v2. We will use small-sided activities to evaluate each player’s ball-skills and individual capabilities in game-related situations. We are specifically looking for “strength on the ball” (the ability to shield and control the ball) and the player’s ability to “win the ball” from an opponent (tackling ability, courage, and determination). Finally, the “skillfulness” (ball-work and game-speed) of each player will be evaluated during all games. A top priority is for players to receive the ball across their body and give advice to the player they pass to.
Day 2 of tryouts will again focus on small-sided games (4v4 and 8v8) to evaluate each player’s teamwork, game skills, fitness, and tactical decision-making. These games will be used to evaluate each player’s game skills, including passing, movement off the ball (i.e. moving to space), and decision-making under pressure. A player’s ability to play quickly and anticipate play will be a couple of key things we will be looking for during this phase of tryouts.
The final day of tryouts consist almost exclusively of 11v11 (full-field) games. This final phase of tryouts will focus on match-related performance evaluation of players at specific positions. We obviously need a certain number of defenders, forwards, and midfielders for each team, so filling specific positions could be one of the primary selection criteria in some cases. We will likely want to carry multiple players for each position on the team (starters and back-ups).
In addition to soccer skills, speed, and fitness, we will consider a number of “intangibles” in selecting players for our team. These selection criteria include academic status, leadership potential, attitude, mental toughness, self-confidence, coachability, and especially effort. We are looking for good citizens and team players, as well as skillful soccer players.
Team Selection: Based on the number of players that tryout and the quality of those players, we will be selecting players for Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman Squads. In order to have three teams we need a minimum of 48 players trying out. If we have less than 48 players we will only make a varsity and JV team. No juniors or seniors will play on the lowest level team. What this means for the juniors and seniors, is that if you don't make varsity or JV you will be cut if we have too many players trying out or you will be used as an alternate. These are always tough decisions, but we will do our utmost to be fair and equitable with all our soccer players.
The initial (tryout) selection of players to each squad is not final. The coaches will make a final decision on the Varsity and JV team rosters prior to the first game of the season. As early season training progresses, players will have an opportunity to move up based on their performance in practice and scrimmages. In addition, injuries, academic problems, or behavioral issues may result in opening on the Varsity or JV squads. Players could also move down due to performance or at the discretion of the coaches (e.g. if coaches feel a player needs more “seasoning” at the lower level of play). On the varsity squad, the younger players will have the opportunity to play on JV as well if they are not going to see much playing time on varsity, if we have three teams. Obviously we want them to get playing time as well, so this is best way to do it. At the end of the season, if the varsity roster is not already maxed out at 22 players, we will select JV players to come up.
Rosters are not set in stone. We have moved players up and down in the past after the initial tryout week. For example, if a player is really struggling to keep up at varsity after we get going, we may move him down to JV. If a JV player is really improving and dominating JV we may switch spots with a varsity player. You need to maintain a good work ethic throughout the season to keep your spot.