I was at a U12 tryout the other day and thought for a moment I was in a movie theater watching a 2-star movie. Other than hearing the coach\’s instructions, it was very, very quiet. Granted most U12 boys and girls are relatively quiet on the soccer field and they don\’t like bringing attention upon themselves. Also when kids are nervous, they tend to clam up. However, the best thing a player can do to improve his/her chances of making a team is to be vocal and communicative.
What players and coaches at all levels need to understand is that soccer is as much about communication as other traditional aspects of the game, if not more. Refer to my other posts entitled, \”2-3 Goal Difference Per Game: Communication\” and \”Four Eyes Are Better than Two\” that describe terms, benefits, and the importance of communication.
When I evaluate players, as soon as I hear a player who is consistently communicating effectively with his/her teammates, I will rank that player higher even if he/she is not one of the top players. That is how important I believe communication is in soccer.
There are other reasons why I like to have vocal players on my team.
- More often than not, vocal players understand a lot about the game of soccer. They are usually students of the game. I believe it is easier to teach technical skills to knowledgeable players than it is to teach great athletes the finer points of the game.
- During the game, the more talking and communicating that takes place on the field between players, the less talking coaches (and parents) will feel compelled to do.
- Vocal players tend to be more congratulatory which will foster good sportsmanship and more team cohesiveness.
On the other hand, the wrong type of communication can have negative consequences.
- Don\’t voice or show displeasure if you did not receive a pass when you were wide open. The coaches will know that you were open and will see your displeasure.
- Don\’t yell or scream for the ball. An assertive, \”I\’m open\” should be enough to get a player\’s and coach\’s attention.
- Just don\’t \”talk-the-talk\”. Make sure to \”walk-the-walk\”. No one likes a verbose player (talk-the-talk) and that does not back up his/her words with actions (walk-the-walk).
Players! At your next tryout make yourself heard, even if it is only to say, \”Good job!\” to a teammate. If you do, your vocals will be noticed and appreciated and you will most likely hear Simon Cowell say, \”Welcome to Hollywood!\”