The Player Evaluation Process can be a difficult and stressful experience for players, parents, and coaches at every level of soccer, but especially in youth soccer. There are countless ways in which to organize and run player evaluation events and no process is completely flawless. However, one tenet that is a foundation of all player evaluation events is that we need to see players in game situations in order to effectively evaluate their talent. 

It is our recommendation that team coaches not be involved in picking their own teams.  This reduces any chance or personal bias and aids the Youth Soccer organization in proving to parents they are providing an impartial tryout process.

Evaluation Activities

Free dribbling
Dribbling with moves
Small Sided Games (3v3 or 4v4 games)
Full Sided Games (6v6 – 11v11 games)  

Activities to Avoid (activities that don’t transfer to the game)

1) Lines where most of the players are inactive
2) Running/sprinting for time
3) Long distance running (laps)
4) Dribbling through cones (figure 8)
5) Kicking for distance

These tasks are not relevant for evaluation because the best players are those that can demonstrate the proper technique in the game, not in an isolated setting. The application of technique in the game is what we call skill. The only way to truly evaluate skills is by letting the players play soccer. This allows us to find the confident players who know how to use their skills under game pressure!

Psychological & Stress

We have to take into consideration the psychological component of player evaluation events and try to create a friendly environment for the players. The ideal situation is to try to provide a stress free environment. Coaches should make every effort to make player evaluation events enjoyable.