The Tryout season is upon us again …. groan …..
The very thought of attending a trial puts fear into most of us adults. Think of how you feel when you go for a job interview? Can you imagine what a child feels when attending a tryout? One of the OSA’s guiding principles in Grassroots Soccer, is that there are opportunities for all players. We want all children to be allowed access to programs they have decided they want to join and an opportunity to develop and improve at their own pace. Here are 8 reasons (in no order) we are not fans of the Tryout Model most clubs use to select teams.
1. Many times the majority of the team has already been selected from the players who played last year so there really isn’t much opportunity for new players.
2. Most clubs have no program to offer players who “Do not make the team”.
3. Cutting players does not help them. The “thanks but come back next year” mentality means players fall even further behind the players they are trying to compete with for a space on the team. These players need a program to help them get better before next years tryouts.
4. Its very hard to assess a players true qualities based on a couple of hours of seeing them play or participate in some drills most of which is largely subjective.
5. Some players develop at different rates to others. By excluding a player that was on the edge you may have given up a player who would have developed into one of your best players in the 6 months this article from England highlights why the Tryout method is getting it all wrong http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35054310
6. Under the new LTPD (Long Term Player Development) model that is recommended by the OSA (Ontario Soccer Association) there is no reason to limit how many players you have. There is no such thing as a roster for a single team anymore. Clubs are no longer required to actually register a roster for a single team so you don’t need to cut players you just need programs suited for them. So when a coach says they can only have 14 players on the team that is their choice.
7. Competitive play & TRAVEL soccer as you think of it where scores are recorded and deemed to mater does not start until the U13 level so why do coaches need to pick the best players if winning is not their focus? Because they want to win and developing players is more difficult than just coaching a team to win games.
8. Tryouts are stressful for young players and are the resulting in many players dropping out of the game as they see no opportunity for them to play.