The Coach's Playbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Football Tryouts

March 06 2024 – Power Rich

A team of football players at a tryout practicing on the field during sunset
A team of football players at a tryout practicing on the field during sunset

With every new school year comes a new season of football. You've got your hardened veterans ready to go and, of course, an influx of enthusiastic newcomers eager to join the ranks. If you've stumbled upon this article, it's a safe bet that you're looking for some advice on how to get stars in football recruiting. Tryouts are more than just a selection process; they are an opportunity to nurture potential, evaluate skills, and foster a sense of unity within a team. Whether you're a seasoned coach looking to refine your approach or a fresh face eager to make an impact, this guide will equip you with the insights, strategies, and general things you need for football for successful tryouts.


Coming up With a Plan for Success

A little prep goes a long way when it comes to getting the most out of your football tryout. First things first, set your objectives straight. As a coach, having well-defined goals not only streamlines the whole operation but also helps in shaping your dream team. It provides a framework for evaluating skills and potential, making the decision-making process focused and effective.


Next up, sort out the logistics. Imagine planning a big party; you want the right place, the perfect time, and all the party essentials ready to go. Football tryouts are no different. Getting ready includes:

  • Choosing the right field.
  • Finalizing your timing.
  • Opening up registrations.
  • Ensure you have all the necessary gear (check out the football gear list here).

A well-organized set-up reflects professionalism and creates a seamless experience, leaving a positive impression on athletes and their families.


Lastly, let's talk about creating some buzz. Promoting your team tryouts is the final piece of the puzzle. This involves reaching out to potential athletes through various channels, leveraging social media, local sports networks, and school communities to create awareness. The more diverse and talented roster you draw in, the richer the talent pool you'll have to select from.


How to Prepare for Football Tryouts

It's time to dive into the nitty-gritty of game day essentials – the kind of stuff that'll make you look like a pro without breaking a sweat.


First things first, let's talk about structure. Start football tryouts with an excellent warm-up to get those muscles ready, then move into specific skill drills and hold some scrimmage periods to see how they perform under pressure before wrapping up with some cool-down exercises. Going through this step by step will help you know how these potential team members work together as well as perform under game-like pressure.


Now, let's tackle skill assessment. These tryouts are like the ultimate showcase. We're talking leg power for strong kicks, sprint speed for those breakaway runs, and honing those throwing and receiving skills for the perfect touchdown moment. To ensure you can accurately judge their skill levels, make yourself a list of football tryout drills to cover all your bases.


Lastly, let's wear the scout's hat and discuss evaluation criteria. All football recruiters have their way of doing things, but for the sake of this article, we're going to use Rivals as an example. Each player receives a rating from 1 to 5 stars based on a comprehensive evaluation of their talent, size, skills, and overall potential.


● 5 stars = This player is a game-changer and is ready to make waves from day one. They possess the skill, size, and talent to step onto the field and be a difference-maker right out of the gate.

● 4 stars = A highly promising recruit, this player has the potential to make a significant impact early on. They're primed to be standout players and contribute to the team from the start.

● 3 stars = A solid prospect demonstrating the potential to contribute to the program. With some development, they could earn a starting position and make their mark as a valuable team member.

● 2 stars = An average player who needs time and development to reach their full potential.

● 1 star = Evaluation pending or insufficient footage to gauge their talent. The potential of this player is yet to be determined, and further assessment is needed to determine their rating and potential impact on the team. Let's watch their progress and how they shape up on the field.


But remember, we're not just looking for raw talent; we're looking for a team player. Skills matter, no doubt. But teamwork, attitude, and how well they sync up make the team legendary. So, as you gear up for the tryouts, remember that it's more than just a solo act; it's about finding the right fit for the group.


How to Run Tryouts Smoothly

Let's look at how to orchestrate football tryouts seamlessly. First and foremost, good communication is non-negotiable. Ensuring crystal-clear instructions and setting the right tone is critical. We want to motivate and support our athletes, making them feel at ease while they showcase their skills. Confidence is the name of the game, and it starts with us, the coaches, being transparent and encouraging from the get-go. Here are some tips for setting up and running things properly:


● If possible, start football tryouts early before the heat kicks in.

● Set up the spots for athlete registration and check-in.

● Arrange an area specifically designated for volunteers and evaluators to place their personal belongings and enjoy complimentary snacks.

● Complete the athlete list and distribute it to the evaluators.

● Start with a warm welcome, introducing yourself and any other coaches or staff involved. Briefly share your coaching philosophy, goals, and expectations for the tryout. This sets a positive tone and lets the participants know what to expect.

● Throughout the tryouts, offer words of encouragement along with constructive feedback to highlight what they did well as well as areas for improvement.

● Finish the tryout with a clear overview of the following steps and allow players to ask any questions they may have.


Time to Find Your Perfect Team

In football, success isn't just measured by touchdowns and victories on the field. It's also about nurturing raw talent, fostering growth, and building a dedicated, unified, and resilient team. Creating the perfect football tryout program is an art, blending strategic planning, keen observation, and fostering a love for the game. So grab that playbook and hit the field. It's time to create a legacy of champions, both on and off the field.