How to Not Look Silly When College Coaches Come to Watch You Play
Oh no, two coaches read my e-mail and their coming to the GPS Tournament to see me play. I sent out all those e-mails, but I didn't really think they would actually e-mail me back! What do I do now?
Coaches really do read e-mails and if you follow the process and do it right - be professional, show interest in their college and soccer program and do your research - they will come see you play. So what do you do now when they're watching you play? I would say, don't be nervous, but that is probably unrealistic. You're going to be nervous, so get over it and just relax and play your game. Here are a few tips:
Let your coach know they're coming. This way your coach can make sure you get some good playing time and maybe a little extra. Also, he/she won't be caught off guard if a college coach approaches them. I've had that happen and it can be awkward. Also, let your coach give you their insight as to what you can do on the field. They know you best and what you will excel at.
Play "your" game. Don't try and be something that you're not. You will play best if you are doing what you do best. If you're a control player that possesses and distributes well, then don't try and become the leading scorer just because a college coach is there. Be you, as only you can be.
Focus on tactics. Skills and technique is important, but you will tend to show that in your play automatically as the situation presents itself. However, we often forget about good tactics. Ensure that you communicate well, utilize space, support your strikers as a second or third attacker, make your runs, close down space on defense and on and on. Think about playing well without the ball. I guarantee that the coaches will be looking for players that can consistently do that well.
Be a leader. Show leadership by the way you play and act on and off the field. Play hard and give it your all. Tuck your shirt in and look professional. Show sportsmanship. Communicate often. Encourage other players and congratulate them on good play. When you leave the field, keep your head in the game. Don't sit on the sidelines and chat with your teammates, or watch the game on the next field or text your friends. Stay involved in the game, watch and learn and most importantly cheer on your team...be a leader!
There are at least fifty things I could tell you to do, but you won't remember them all and you'll end up playing worse. Just follow these 4 simple guidelines and your coach's advice and you'll do fine. Relax and have some fun. You know you're good and they'll soon know it too!