Player Development

What Coaches Look For At Youth Soccer Tryouts

Here's what coaches are looking for in players at soccer tryouts and how players can stand out.
coaches at soccer tryouts

by Griffin Lloyd

Former college athlete and video editor. Current content creator, sports enthusiast and dog dad.

Whether you’ve been through it before, or are a first-timer, soccer tryouts can be a stressful time for all involved. Players are being evaluated and are under pressure to prove themselves. Every coach has different methods for evaluating and preferences for what they want to see in athletes. Regardless of their coaching style, here are five elements they’ll be looking for come soccer tryouts.


A positive attitude alone can get you a long way in itself. Sure, technical and physical skills can take you far, but remaining optimistic and collected shows any coach that you can be an encouraging member of their team. Coach’s want and need players they can count on, so make sure you start on the right foot and don’t let little things get you down during a key evaluation. Here’s a brief explanation as to why optimism is so critical in sports.

happy soccer players

Technical Ability

Special technical ability will have you noticed by any knowledgeable talent-seeker. Yes, it’s important to have a positive attitude, but technical ability in this game is less common, and arguably harder to find. In any game, there is typically a player or two who sets the tone of the game and often looks like they’re on another level. Be that player! With an advanced technical skillset, coaches will have a much more difficult time turning you down. If you’re in need of some inspiration, enjoy these breathtaking skills from some of the best in the world.

Physical Ability

In order to compete at a top level, physical attributes such as speed, conditioning, and strength are vital. While some of these are natural for players, there are most definitely some things that you can do to prepare yourself. Come to soccer tryouts in your best possible shape! If coaches see that you’ve put in work and stayed game-ready, they’ll notice your devotion and commitment to the game and will often see this as a positive sign moving forward. Check out how to quickly get in game shape below.

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Consistent Team Player

Are you a good team member? Can you work well with other individuals for a greater good? These are all questions coaches will be looking to answer with every player trying out. Pairing well with an optimistic attitude, showing evaluators that you can pick up those around you and always look to involve others on your team, are both reassuring signs. Sure, a large part of the game is scoring goals, but why not be the individual who assists the goal or is key to the buildup play?

High Soccer IQ

Knowledge and tactical awareness of the game are both very underrated skills, but easily noticeable. As a player, it’s important to devote time outside of team activities to study the game, whether it be a professional or grass-roots level game. Studying the game and how it’s played by the best in the world is a great way to develop and hone in on position-specific movement and decisions. More importantly, consistently studying film of yourself on the field. Reviewing film of you and your team’s play is a great way to assess both the good and the bad on the field. By seeing everything in a different perspective, it’ll allow you to take advantage of your strengths and work on your weaknesses.


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