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How Can A New Player Make The High School Team?

How Can A New Player Make The High School Team?

I’ve been playing soccer in my gym class, and I really like it. Now I’d like to try out for my high school team, but I have never played before

I’m not in shape (as in I have some fat), but I’m not overweight either. I am really strong – arms and legs. I did gymnastics in elementary school, and I do a lot of heavy lifting and yardwork around my house. My running endurance isn’t really high though.

I like soccer enough to go through with conditioning, but should I wait a year to try out, or just condition as much as possible and tryout this spring?

My kicking isn’t perfect. My aim is off and I can’t kick if far very often.

I’m not afraid to get in an opponent’s space to steal the ball. I have a tendency to show up at the perfect moment and do whatever it was that everyone else couldn’t, or see a strategy or loophole that nobody else could.

What I’m asking for is advice, and lots of it.

Since You Lack Experience

Start now! Since you have not played before, you want to get as much experience as possible as soon as possible. Therefore, I recommend that you try out this year.

For that same reason, you should probably try out for the lowest team you are eligible for. What I mean is don’t try out for the Varsity team yet if you can still try out for Jr Varsity or even Frosh-Soph. It’s good to shoot high, but you want to keep your expectations realistic and give yourself the best chance to succeed as well.

It sounds like you have a lot of natural abilities that a lot of coaches crave. From your description, you are strong, aggressive, and probably agile too. As a coach myself, I love naturally aggressive players because that is not easy to teach. Until you gain the technical skills (like dribbling, passing, shooting, etc.), you’ll probably want to rely on your physical gifts a little more. Do that, but make sure you are learning the other skills as well.

Even if you do not make the team this year, the coach will know you’ve tried before and did not give up, and you will also likely gain a good deal of experience from the tryouts themselves.

2 Students Play Soccer in P.E. Class

To Get In Shape

If you do not have endurance, you definitely need to work on it. If you have the motivation to run on your own, you should definitely do that. Otherwise, see if you can find a partner who is willing to work with you. Working out with a partner is ideal because they might also be willing to help you practice your soccer skills as well.

Try running for about 20 yards, then jogging for 20 yards, then walking for 20 yards, then repeat. Do this run-jog-walk-run-jog-walk until you are tired. Take a quick break and do it again. This mimics the running patterns you find in soccer and will help you condition more appropriately.

Once you see your conditioning improving, try doing every other round backwards. It would be something like this run-jog-walk-run backwards-jog backwards-walk backwards-run-jog-walk, etc.

To Improve Your Kicking

For now, do not try to aim your kicks. Just make sure they are going in the general direction you want them to. Draw your leg back so that it forms a “V” and swing it forward. When it contacts the ball, the force of your kick should bring your leg forward. Do not push your leg forward once it has struck the ball.

Also make sure you are utilizing this technique:
  • Make sure you are kicking the ball with your laces
  • The knee of your kicking foot should be over the ball when you are striking it
  • Your plant foot (your non-kicking foot) should beside the ball, not in-front-of nor behind it.
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10 comments

  1. Hi my name is Elias I am trying out for right back for my high school soccer team. My tryouts are tomorrow but I always have a nervousness feeling kicking in every often is that bad.

  2. I want to try out for my Middle School team next year, I love soccer and always did when I was little, I used to play on little league teams, but since then (6 years) I might of lost some experience with it, also I don’t know much about soccer, and I feel like some of the girls might judge me and how I play, since I haven’t played in a really long time. Although, I’ve always done good on my running speed, and my strong legs, I’m built for kicking and running which is something that most coaches I know are looking for. Do you think you can give me some advice on how to play? Thanks!!

    • Hi Amber,

      The first thing I would say is go out there and practice. You’ll probably find you can get your skills back faster than you think. The next thing I would say is just have fun with it. I know middle school and high school can be a stressful time, but in the end, one of two things can happen:
      1. You won’t make it, and it might cause some stress, but in the long run, you’ll be happy with yourself for trying.
      2. You’ll make the team

      Attitude goes even further in middle school than it does in high school, so stay positive and work hard.

      Good luck.

  3. Hi , im marcus and i was thinking about going for goalie this year at my high school. I have long arms , fast and agile but Not very good when it come to people coming in the box and i have difficulty throwing myself around. Any tips would be Grateful

  4. I have never really had any experience with soccer, other than playing it in gym class. I am very petite and enjoy running. I am a very good volleyball player and can get pretty aggressive when it comes to winning.After watching a soccer game with my brother, who is a swimmer and also plays baseball, I have grown very fond of it and would love to make the freshman soccer tryouts next year. But sadly, there are no camps in my area that I qualify for (being a 14 year old beginner and all). Should I attempt to teach myself soccer until tryouts?

    • Hi Elle,

      First of all, welcome to “The Beautiful Game”.

      I’m glad you enjoy running. In general, there is quite a bit of running in soccer.

      As far as being petite, that’s not a big deal. You can make up for that with speed, heart, or both.

      Now, as far as being a beginner at age 14, the first thing I would say is if there are soccer camps at all in your area, there are generally camps that allow even older beginners.

      Beyond that, you could sign-up for the local AYSO or other recreational league. Sometimes there are summer leagues that beginners can play in as well; or you can see if your area has any lower-level club / competitive teams that would take you. Next, if your area has indoor soccer, there are almost always beginner leagues there, and it’s a good way to practice and learn.

      If none of those are an option, absolutely, train yourself. Your best option is to find a friend or a couple friends that you can practice with. Check out our On Your Own section.

      If you can afford it, you might want to also check out Coach Shelley Beck’s DVD, Strictly Soccer. It’s a great beginner’s training video.

      Let me know if that helps and if there’s anything else I can do.

      Coach James

  5. I play soccer all the time with my friends outside , but i don’t play for a team and never have . I want to try out next year for high school , but I can’t decide if I want to try out for striker or goalie, I’m skinny and agile , and I score a lot with my friends , I’m a good goalie because I play comp baseball and I’m a shortstop so be a goalie is a bit natural. Plz help me should I try out for striker or goalie , and what r some ways to condition

    • Hi Tanner,

      Without seeing you play, I couldn’t give you a fair assessment. I would say go with the position you are either best at or the one you enjoy playing the most (of course if they’re both the same one, even better).

      As for conditioning, check out our section on conditioning. Hopefully that helps.

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