LA Orange County’s Woodcock On Tips For Soccer Tryouts
Preparing for soccer tryouts can be a stressful affair for both player and parent. Planning ahead and understanding what will be expected of you is as important as maintaining a well-balanced diet and being at top fitness during tryouts. Many more components go into successfully competing over the days of training. We asked the question, ‘What can be done to be well prepared?”
SoccerToday interviewed LA Orange County’s Tim Woodcock and asked his recommendations. Here is the advice from a Technical Director who has been overseeing youth soccer tryouts for years.
Related Article: Who Is Los Angels Galaxy Orange County?
Youth Soccer News: Everyone wants to shine at soccer tryouts and as players become older, success on the pitch in a high-stress environment becomes even more important. With college roster spots and scholarships on the line, being on the right team at the right club can be critical to a player’s future. What does it take to have a successful tryout?
SoccerToday spoke with Los Angeles Orange County‘s Tim Woodcock on the importance of preparation for soccer tryouts and other components of the process.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are the key factors at tryout? What do coaches really look for?
Tim Woodcock: There are lots of good players around and all have different strengths.
Our coaches are looking for players who can affect a game in a certain way.
We also look at the long term potential of the player and how much upside they have –are they early developers or late bloomers? We, as coaches, need to be conscious of that.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is most really important?
Tim Woodcock: We would like to see a player with a strong foundation of technical ability which has been formed and developed over a period of years.
While coaches should always be looking to improve a player’s technical ability, at the U16 age level and older, we are looking to focus on refining the tactical understanding of the game and game strategies — and assume a certain level of technical capability.
Diane Scavuzzo: Parents and players often hear about the importance of First Impression and the benefits of a player introducing him or herself to the coaching staff. Does this really matter?
Tim Woodcock: Yes. We want to know above everything else that the player is polite, hardworking, coachable, willing to learn and has a good attitude towards the game and others involved in the game.
Diane Scavuzzo: Does size matter? Do coaches really select players by physical characteristics?
Tim Woodcock: Size and speed do matter, however, there is a lot more to a player than just physical attributes.
We all know that the 4 components of soccer are tactical, technical, physical and psychological. It is important that players at a decent level for all 4 components and maybe excel in one or two.
The question is: Can the player ‘affect the game’ with his/her strong suit?
Diane Scavuzzo: Do players really benefit from watching professional soccer on TV?
Tim Woodcock: Definitely. We all need to emulate our heroes in whichever sport we participate in.
We are very fortunate that there’s a ton of soccer from all over the world on the TV. We encourage our players to watch as many games as possible and we often give out position specific homework to our players so we can understand how ‘they’ see the game.
Diane Scavuzzo: Any tips for reducing stress?
Tim Woodcock: Just play, try hard and have fun. If you try your best and the coaches like you, they will offer you a place on the team. If not, there’s always another team, another tryout, so keep going.
Diane Scavuzzo: What if the tryout is a disaster? What can the player do?
Tim Woodcock: It’s hard to judge some players in a 60 minute tryout. Some stick out straight away and say ‘pick me’ but others need a closer look over a period of time. There’s always going to be another tryout, another team ….
If a player notably underperforms, I think most coaches will give a player another look — so keep trying.
Diane Scavuzzo: Are the soccer tryouts for your club one day?
Tim Woodcock: At LA Galaxy Orange County, we hold our tryouts over a period of two days. We do this so that we can get a second look at players who maybe under performed in the first tryout or couldn’t attend the first tryout etc. We ask that players try to attend both tryouts, but it’s not mandatory to attend both.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why should players tryout for your club?
Tim Woodcock: At LA Galaxy Orange County, we believe that we have a clear pathway for all players to achieve their goals and dreams. Whatever level you are at, we can help you to develop great skills, learn a better understanding of the game, be completive and develop a passion to love the game even more than you already do.