I’ve been playing soccer in my gym class, and I really like it. Now I’d like to try out for my high school team, but I have never played before
I’m not in shape (as in I have some fat), but I’m not overweight either. I am really strong – arms and legs. I did gymnastics in elementary school, and I do a lot of heavy lifting and yardwork around my house. My running endurance isn’t really high though.
I like soccer enough to go through with conditioning, but should I wait a year to try out, or just condition as much as possible and tryout this spring?
My kicking isn’t perfect. My aim is off and I can’t kick if far very often.
I’m not afraid to get in an opponent’s space to steal the ball. I have a tendency to show up at the perfect moment and do whatever it was that everyone else couldn’t, or see a strategy or loophole that nobody else could.
What I’m asking for is advice, and lots of it.
Since You Lack Experience
Start now! Since you have not played before, you want to get as much experience as possible as soon as possible. Therefore, I recommend that you try out this year.
For that same reason, you should probably try out for the lowest team you are eligible for. What I mean is don’t try out for the Varsity team yet if you can still try out for Jr Varsity or even Frosh-Soph. It’s good to shoot high, but you want to keep your expectations realistic and give yourself the best chance to succeed as well.
It sounds like you have a lot of natural abilities that a lot of coaches crave. From your description, you are strong, aggressive, and probably agile too. As a coach myself, I love naturally aggressive players because that is not easy to teach. Until you gain the technical skills (like dribbling, passing, shooting, etc.), you’ll probably want to rely on your physical gifts a little more. Do that, but make sure you are learning the other skills as well.
Even if you do not make the team this year, the coach will know you’ve tried before and did not give up, and you will also likely gain a good deal of experience from the tryouts themselves.
To Get In Shape
If you do not have endurance, you definitely need to work on it. If you have the motivation to run on your own, you should definitely do that. Otherwise, see if you can find a partner who is willing to work with you. Working out with a partner is ideal because they might also be willing to help you practice your soccer skills as well.
Try running for about 20 yards, then jogging for 20 yards, then walking for 20 yards, then repeat. Do this run-jog-walk-run-jog-walk until you are tired. Take a quick break and do it again. This mimics the running patterns you find in soccer and will help you condition more appropriately.
Once you see your conditioning improving, try doing every other round backwards. It would be something like this run-jog-walk-run backwards-jog backwards-walk backwards-run-jog-walk, etc.
To Improve Your Kicking
For now, do not try to aim your kicks. Just make sure they are going in the general direction you want them to. Draw your leg back so that it forms a “V” and swing it forward. When it contacts the ball, the force of your kick should bring your leg forward. Do not push your leg forward once it has struck the ball.