Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Niagara College men's tryouts

It was with great excitement that I started tryouts through my new position as coach of Niagara College's Men's Soccer Team.

Over the past two days, 46 players have come out to show their stuff.  My biggest accomplishment to date is that I now know all of their names.  For me, this is important so players know they are not operating in anonymity.  You never want somebody who wasn't selected to suspect you never knew who they were in the first place.

The sessions have been basic.  Dynamic stretch, personal stretch, warm-up drill to help evaluate individual technical levels then on to a game.  It's tryouts and they want to audition.

The first day, things went OK and I saw everybody play.  The second day really showed me what I was working with.  We have  plenty of players how can compete at the college level, but I can't keep them all.   The pace and intensity of the game today was promising.  There was a lot of communication on the field and players were really working to combine to develop smart plays.

We have several lefties out and the type of players available cover the spectrum.  They are all good athletes with suitable physical characteristics for competitive soccer.  Technical proficiency is what will separate players in the end.  The players know that their "hustle" and physical gifts are not useful if they can't control a ball and make decisions under pressure.

I shared one thing with them.  Tryouts NEVER end.  You are trying out to win a spot on the team.  Then you are trying out every session to be one of the 18 players dressing, then to be one of the 11 on the field. If you're not on the field, you want to be the first one I call from the bench..  If you're not one of the 18 dressing, you want to be the next one called.

In support of LTPD, I work to make this experience encourage the guys to be players for life.

They have 3 days off until we reconvene Friday.  The group will be trimmed after Friday then again after Monday.  We have a pre-season game Aug 30.  The season starts September 8.  Some players still have club commitments and we'll have to see how that plays out.

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