THE PLAN OUTLINED
45 MINUTES PRIOR
1. Set up.
2. Have session and transitions ready to go. Equipment ready and available.
3. Dress the part. Wear the club gear for the day.
4. Hydrate. Bring your own water. Gather thoughts. Get focused.
15 MINUTES PRIOR TO
1. Welcome players. Be a greeter. Get to know names.
2. Check EVERY PLAYER in EVERY DAY. This record memorializing important components of your team building process.
3. Communicate the expectations to the entire group of players. Introduce staff. Set a tone you wish to sustain going forward, and
75 MINUTES: SAMPLE SESSION TO CONSIDER:
1. 5 MINUTES: Warm-Up (often players will show up and begin this process on their own). Create a quick "prep" activity to help you transition from "welcoming" to "coaching" and "evaluating" and "deciding".
2. 8 MINUTES: Warm-Up Extension: Technical Review. It does not take long to see a player "comfortable" or "uncomfortable" with the ball. Any juggling or dribbling or passing activity involving high reps will serve the dual purpose of: 1. prepping the player 2. provide coach insight into player's technical proficiencies.
3. 8 MINUTES: Rondo (probably skip passing patterns and get into Rondo). See ball transfer ability. Observe defending close-outs, footwork, and intensity. Simple Rondos are great to evaluate player's capacity to "see" and play with "vision". If 11U-13U you may skip this depending on your level.
4. 8 MINUTES: Speed. Test speed. Either in a fun relay setting or racing directly or timed runs. It probably will take no more than 3 runs per player for you to identify the gifted runners.
---- HERE YOU ARE 30 MINUTES INTO SESSION ---
---- At this stage outliers should show up by speed & technique ---
---- Make notes of the outliers (both ends) by speed & technique ---
5. 45 MINUTES: Play. Depending on your numbers and need you'll set up space and numbers to create the environment you'd like to use for final evaluations.
6. 10 MINUTES: Final Review. Cool Down. Use this time to evaluate one other aspect of play you might find valuable. Sample Cool Down Game: I prefer to evaluate players in the "air" and to see GK's handle services. Set up a game of goals 20 yards apart, with services coming in from opposite sides. Play 3v3 inside the box area. It is a great cool down and will take only 2 reps each player (i.e. in 12 minutes you can play 6 games @ 6 players per game - and evaluate up to 36 players). Goalscorers tend to "show" in this game as well as back-4 and 6's who can manage balls in flight.
7. 5 MINUTES & EXTENDED COMMUNICATE: Do not exit the session without communication to the entire group. Be sure EVERY PLAYER understands one of 3 deliverables: 1. Made the team & register. 2. Called back. 3. Did not make the team.
8. EXTENSION: Provide time to players of special importance: i.e. any returner you may not select or any player who was new and you'd like to select.
Nuggets of Advice From Roger....
1. Keep your "teacher" hat on while entering the evaluation phase of your job.
2. Kids being offered and making the team, should be led by coach towards a spirit of humility to ready her/him self to sacrifice and serve for the team's shared goals and collective vision. Be great here!
3. Kids not making the team should be empowered to know your evaluation is not a final definition of them as a player, and encouraged to continue in the game. Be great here!
5. Welcome the "new" players. Teach your returners to be a good host by welcoming the players.
6. Parents who want "feedback" should be asked to set up a phone call or a meeting for "later". Tryouts are not a great place for feedback. Feedback as a tool is diminished when it's viewed as an "end" rather than a "means". Let's do our best to maximize the feedback tool. Emotional settings don't concur with rational, useful feedback.
7. Staff your tryout well. Be sure you have ready hands available to help with check-in, notes, communication, organization.
8. Develop an "exit" plan for your tryout.
9. Do NOT DELIBERATE. Be DECISIVE. A "Decided Heart" can conquer. An apprehensive soul can be conquered.
10. Breathe. Selecting a team is a significant task. It is not the ends to your season or any player's career. You did not just make or break any player's career. What you do next will be far more important. Thank you for all you do!