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CE Tryout FAQ

Classics Eagles Responses to the Google Survey -  Click HERE to review the FAQ document.

A Message From Brandon Koons, Classics Eagles Director of Player & Parent Education About The Tryout Experience

(PLUS CHECK OUT THE OTHER FAQS AT THE END OF THE MESSAGE as these are some of the most common questions asked every year)


by Brandon Koons - Classics Eagles Director of Player and Parent Education

I’ve been coaching club soccer in Columbus for more than 20 years now and have participated in the Tryout process for numerous clubs.  Below, I’m sharing my thoughts to help limit the player and parent anxiety that comes along with this time of year.  The following is not a commentary on how Classics Eagles will create teams, but more of a general philosophy on the process at large.

Use the following thoughts to help keep a healthy perspective.

What A Coach Is Looking For

It’s not uncommon for coaches to rate players differently as each of us will prioritize varying attributes differently.  With this in mind, when deciding who will be on the Red Team and who will be on the Black Team (or between Black and Gold), it’s not possible to “get it right.”  One coach may want to increase the physicality of a team where another coach may feel that same team needs more technical players.  Some coaches build from the back and other coaches focus on attack.  Even if coaches are looking to build a team based on the same ideas, it doesn’t mean they will rate the abilities of individual players the same.

Coaches, players and parents would all agree on any age group’s top players and would likely agree on the players at the other end of the spectrum.  It’s the players in the middle that coaches discuss the most.  The final decisions on players are based on the outcome of discussions between coaches, with sometimes greatly differing views.

Returning Players

The evaluation process for players is ongoing.  Coaches and Directors update their thoughts on players year round through training sessions and from game to game.  A mistake (or a bad night) at Tryouts is not going to erase a year of progress in the eyes of coaches choosing teams, . . . the same as one moment of brilliance will not.  Players who go into Tryouts trying to add to their body of work will fare better than players who believe the Tryout process alone will make or break them.

Improvement and Promotion

One of the most challenging aspects of the Tryout process for parents, is the idea that improving players are not always promoted to a higher team.  Many parents argue that improvements are justification for being “moved up.”  The improvement however does not take into account whether or not the next team up has space to add a player, the improvement of players already on the higher team, the ability gap between the improving player and the players on the higher team, and new players trying out.

New Players to The Club vs Returning Players

Each age group in the club is different from the next.  Some groups have a wide range of abilities between players, some are more even from top to bottom.  Some individual teams will improve through the promotion of players who’ve been with the club for years and are ready to “move up,” some teams will improve when new players come to the club.  This is the nature of club soccer.  As Classics Eagles grows and improves, so does interest in the club.

The Best Player ON The Team or The Best Player FOR The Team

Attributes like passion for the game, commitment, team chemistry and potential will often be compared to skill and athleticism.  In the end, the coaching staff will make a choice on which attributes to lean toward.  No matter which way a coach leans in regard to the attributes above, a negative attitude or lack of effort can cost even a very capable player a spot in a team.  The same goes for parents who are perceived to cause problems within the team.  Players should ask themselves if they want to be the best player ON their team or the best player FOR their team, . . . of course it’s wonderful when a player can be both.

Attendance at Tryouts

A player simply needs to be registered for a club’s Tryout to be offered a spot on a team.  A player does not need to attend each night of Tryouts, or even one night, to receive an offer from a club.  This includes injured players, who obviously may not be able to participate.  It’s not uncommon for players who cannot attend regularly scheduled Tryouts to attend supplemental sessions before or after the scheduled dates.

Although a player doesn’t need to attend even one night to be offered a spot, the more the player can attend, the more appropriately s/he will be placed.  If a player is on the bubble of being offered a spot or is rated in the grey area between teams, it is important they attend each session.

It should also be understood that players missing sessions may be perceived to have limited interest in accepting a spot with the club unless the reason for their absence is clearly stated.

Parents Attending Tryouts

One of the biggest distractions I’ve seen during any Tryout is the attendance of parents at the event.  The closer parents get to the field, the more their anxiety is picked up by their children.  If you’re anxious about the process, you’ll serve your child better by staying further away from the fields.

It will be best to register your child, tell him to “have fun” and smile while s/he heads to the fields.  Then run some errands or find a nice place to read.  If your child sees no anxiety in you, s/he will have less anxiety.

The Rumor Mill

The anxiety associated with tryouts leads to exaggerated emotions and rash decisions if families are not careful.  Opposing clubs will promise to provide anything your current club lacks.  Families considering a move will try to bring families with them.  You’ll also hear gossip about coaching changes and players on their way in or out.  Being upfront and honest about your intentions (to leave or stay) is the most fair way to treat your teammates and their families.  Not getting caught up in the gossip will significantly reduce your stress during the process.

Birth Year Age Groups - US Soccer Mandate
Starting with the 2017-18 season, all soccer clubs will be required to implement the birth year mandate established by US Soccer.  The 2016-17 season was option at the Federation level, but ALL US Youth soccer associations (ie Ohio South) implemented the changes this year.  Classics Eagles made this transition in the Fall 2017.  The team formation process will again be guided by the Calendar formation process.

Some parents have shown concern in that their child seems to be skipping an age group this year as we make the transition.  This anxiety is sometimes increased by the thought of a child competing with what we know today to be two age groups up.  This isn't exactly the case however, in that the oldest players in each age group ahead of your child will also be moving up.  It's better to view this remembering children have always been placed in age groups within a 365 day period.  We've always had players born at the latest period of the timeline competing against kids who are just a matter of days from being in the next age group up.  For some kids, the US Soccer change will benefit them, for others it may present a bigger challenge, but nobody will be playing with kids born more than 365 days away from their birthday, just like the current calendar.

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