Now that the United States didn’t make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it’s time for all of us to analyze how we are contributing to the success of the sport in America. As I considered the purpose of USSoccerTalent.com I don’t think my efforts have been in vain. I believe in long term project that produce long lasting results. So, I won’t stop bringing you the latest information about tryouts.
Based on the feedback I received from many of you, you have found the information on the website to be useful to advance your soccer career. However, I also received some comments complaining about the reality of tryouts and the fact that they are a scheme, and that “it’s all about who you know”. So, I wanted to clear up the air for this tryout season, to help point people in the right direction.
First let’s start with what tryouts are not.
Tryouts are not a Get Rich Quick scheme for teams. Think about it. Even if a team charges $200 to try out (I’ve never seen them charge that much) and 100 players register, that’s a total of $20k. Though that might sound like a lot of money to you, that’s not even close to what the worst paid player of the MLS makes a season. So, don’t think that they need your tryout money to run their business, because what they bring in from these events it’s barely enough to pay for the use of the equipment and facilities. One key thing to look for, is how often the team hosts tryouts. I’m always concerned about teams that host more than two tryouts per season. Unless they are holding them in different parts of the country searching in different talent pools.
Tryouts are not a guaranteed way to a contract. Most soccer players are extra confident, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But just because you think you are better than everyone else in your travel team doesn’t actually make you better. If you go to a tryout thinking that everyone is going to be mesmerized by your skills, then you probably need to do some self-examination, and find the areas that you need to work on. I bet you that humility is one of them. So work on that first, and you’ll see how everything else will follow.
True or False: Tryouts are all about who you know!
It depends on how you look at it. Yes, it is definitely easier if you know people, but if you already know someone then you wouldn’t be trying out. Or at least you wouldn’t be paying for the tryout, they would be inviting you. However, knowing people doesn’t guarantee you success. At most it guarantees you more opportunities, but it’s up to you to take advantage of the opportunities that life gives you. You have to think of a tryout as a job interview.
It might help you prepare better if you think about it this way…
You see a job opening for a company you would love to work for. On paper it looks like it would be the job of your dreams, and you really think that you are the best candidate to fill it. So, you apply. You wait for a call for an interview. At this point, the only difference between the interview and the tryout is the fee, but don’t get caught up on that. You still don’t know how many positions they have to fill, you don’t even know how many other applicants there are. All you know is that’s the job YOU want. So, they call you to schedule an interview. At this point you are as excited as you can be, but you waste no time. You read up about the company, practice in front of a mirror, shave (or not), get a haircut, and pop every pimple you have so you can look perfect for the interview. The time comes, and it’s YOUR opportunity. You shake hands, start taking, and they ask you a question. Soon you realize that the people interviewing you are not really paying attention to your answers. That’s when you start thinking “I bet they already hired someone” or “I’m probably just wasting my time here”, but you keep going at it because you really don’t know. Maybe you are just making it up in your head. A few minutes pass by and things come to a close.
At this point is when you better make sure you take advantage of every second that’s left. When things are over, make sure you walk up to every coach and re-introduce yourself. Thank them for their time. And I hope you are taking a few copies of your resume with you to hand out to them. If you are not, shame on you! Your goal is to make them remember you. To show them that you are a professional on the field and outside of the field. You see how it works? Now you are getting to know someone, next time maybe they invite you to try out. After all, it all about who you know, right?
My Commitment To You
I will keep improving our platform so that you can send us feedback of the tryouts you’ve attended. This way together we can help everyone create a better environment for players looking for an opportunity.