I recently attended the selections for DSK Shivajians football team in Pune which has the best training facilities in India. I knew I had not given my best and considered myself lucky when I got to know that I was selected to be a part of their academy. When I look back at how I had given my trials, I realize that I hadn’t performed so badly. Today, I will be sharing some tips on how to impress the selectors or coaches and stand-out from the rest of the people.
The Attitude you should carry on the ground
Firstly, you should not have even a drop of fear in yourself. You should be confident of what you have learnt and what you know. Your passion for the sport and self-confidence should be seen by the way you walk and talk. Interact with players who look better than you so you have an idea of where you stand. Chest out, back straight, shoulder stiff and you overall posture firm. This is the first impression on your selectors.
Things to do a day before and on the day of the selections
Rest is important. The trials normally start early morning and might continue for at least two hours. No parties, no sleepovers, no playing a day before. You can only give your best if you wake up fresh the next day. Eating a heavy breakfast before the trials gives you ample energy to give your best; I suggest having two eggs, a glass of milk and one or two chapattis. Always reach early. Reaching the venue at least half an hour early is good. You don’t want to be the only one panting and running up to the coach while others have already lined up!
At the venue of the selections
First thing you do on the ground is greet any official or coach you see who is part of the selection team in a formal manner. You will initially be asked to fill out a registration form which will probably ask you to write what position you play in. Be clear of what position you play in, you will also be asked this question before a match. Do not ever say ‘any position’ or ‘I don’t know’, these statements show your arrogance or lack of confidence. You will be given some time to kit up, wear your stockings, shin guards and studs. Always carry the full football kit and you own kit. Don’t borrow stuff from others. As soon as you are ready inspect the ground, find out whether its natural grass or artificial turf. The ball bounces a lot and much higher on natural grass and is harder to control while it is easier to control and the bounce is lower on the latter.
The Trials/ Selections
The participants will be divided into groups and will be asked to line up. The trials will mostly take place in groups. The trials that I got selected in included four stations for four drills. We had to do each drill for about 5 minutes. The coaches will either help you warm-up or give you some time to. The drills will be simple but will expose your strong points and weak points. You have to do these drills perfectly. Always listen to the coaches explaining the drills. First listen, and then clear your doubts if any. The drills will test your passing and receiving technique, your vision, your agility, concentration, speed and your attacking and defending abilities in 1v1 and 2v2 situations. It’s ok if you initially make minor mistakes in the drills but don’t let these mistakes affect your confidence and morale. One of the best ways to have the coaches notice you is calling out to the ones with whom your performing the drills; you will observe that very few people are actually doing this.
After all the drills are complete you will be asked to play a match, probably 9 to 11-a-side. This is your chance to shine, this is where most good players falter and are unable to give their best, you must always be confident and believe in yourself. You don’t need to show-off skills or freestyle tricks to grab the attention of the selectors; use only those skills that you have mastered. If you make passes which are progressive for your team, you are halfway done. Remember to stick to your position, don’t run all over the field without being needed; conserve your stamina and use it when needed. Scoring is not the only way you get selected, even if temporary you need to play for your team. If you feel someone is playing better than you or is just scoring goals, don’t try to play like him, stick with your natural playing style and try to show your strong points.
After the Match
After you have finished your trials don’t go and ask the selectors if you’re selected, this really irritates them; there are going to be hundreds of other people giving the trials after you, so be patient. They will let you know if your selected through an email or SMS whether you are selected or not. Do not forget to cool down after the match and change into relaxing slippers or floaters. Very less players cool down after the trials; the ones who do, catch the eyes of the selectors.
Some important things to keep in mind. Never play with the ball unless instructed to do so. Always listen to the instructors when they are speaking, if you have any doubts clear them after they finish. Talk respectfully and formally with the coaches and the ones around you. Do not fight with anyone on the field, always keep your calm.
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