It’s that crazy time of year again! Players are making the decision on where they wish to play club soccer. For high school goalkeepers summer can also be the time to get out there and showcase their skills to targeted colleges and universities. Either way, all goalkeepers face a similar problem: how can they standout in the tryout process?
The majority of tryouts follow a similar sequence: warm up, split into teams and play.
Remembering that the 90 minutes of tryouts is the only time the player has to impress the coach… how many goalkeepers do a goalkeeper specific warm up before starting the tryout games? My guess would be very few, and this leads us into the first opportunity to be noticed by the coach.
Saying something as simple as ‘Coach, I’m James nice to meet you. Is there a goalkeeper coach who can warm up the goalkeepers or would we be able to do it ourselves?’
This quick introduction has created exposure for the goalkeeper in a number of ways:
- The coach knows that the goalkeeper is serious
- The coach knows the goalkeeper by their name
- The coach knows that the goalkeeper has personality and is not shy to communicate
Getting on a first name basis with the goalkeeper coach would help enhance exposure. This can be done with a similar introduction as used with the head coach, or thanking the goalkeeper coach at the end of the warm up. If there is not a goalkeeper coach, this would be an opportunity to demonstrate leadership by organizing the other goalkeepers and showing initiative; a quality that ALL coaches want to see.
‘During the game I didn’t even get to make one save or show my skills. How are they ever going to know how good I am?!’ In a perfect world tryout games would be evenly matched up with both goalkeepers facing numerous shots and attempts on goal. However, this is often far from reality. What can a goalkeeper do to standout in a tryout game, apart from saving shots? Here are 7 pro tips to to get recognized without saving a single shot:
1. Organization – Communication is the key! Being able to direct defenders during play or move players into place for set pieces, shows an accomplished goalkeeper.
2. Distribution – The goalkeeper must see the whole field. Being able to make a quick decision from a goal kick to play out from the back or start a counter attack with a long throw or kick, shows a coach that the goalkeeper is assertive and tactically aware of the demands of the game.
3. Starting Position – Stay connected to the game at all times! Having a positive starting position and staying connected to the game will not only increase concentration levels but will also show the coach that the goalkeeper is experienced, even if they are on a team that is winning by five goals. If the majority of play is around the opponent’s goal area don’t be afraid to have a high starting position up towards the middle third of the field.
4. Encouragement – ‘Great tackle! Keep going! Don’t worry you’ll get the next one!’ Positive reinforcement is very important when communicating as a goalkeeper, and also shows that you are good team mate. Hint: Avoid shouting ‘Nice try’, or ‘good shot!’ Why? If it was a bad shot that went 30 yards over the bar, it is not a good shot or effort and you don’t want the coach to think you believe it was actually a good shot.
5. Kicking – Having the ability to accurately pick out a player or kick a long ball is crucial, particularly in the girl’s game. Shot stopping can be taught, but the ability to kick a long ball takes a lot more time and effort on the coach’s part. Don’t have a long kick? Be smart and look for ways to play out short from the back to your defenders.
6. Confidence – ‘Play back, play simple!’ One of the biggest indicators of confidence to a coach is the goalkeeper’s willingness to receive a back pass to their feet. By creating supportive angles to the player on the ball and calling for it shows the goalkeeper is not scared to want the ball, this often carries in their overall goalkeeping play. Often times a calmer and confident goalkeeper will be a more consistent performer.
7. Appearance –‘When you look the part you feel the part. Then you act the part and ultimately become the part.’ Looking the part can do a lot for a goalkeeper in a very short space of time. Having a goalkeeper shirt, gloves and also even trousers if the tryout is on turf will only benefit in showing an experience and serious looking goalkeeper.
So there you have it! With these 7 pro tips you will be able to get exposure at any tryout or college id camp that you attend without even facing a single shot!
Looking for exposure and high quality training this summer? Check out our summer camps where our number one focus is QUALITY!
- Spacious state of the art facilities
- Only NCAA DI, II & III program goalkeeper coaches
- Only committed goalkeepers creating a competitive learning environment