You don’t see that in soccer

I saw a social media post for tryouts for an 8u baseball team. It said players should already be able to catch and throw with ease and hit a ball off a pitching machine at X speed.

Have you seen prerequisites like that for competitive tryouts for soccer? I haven’t.

Here are a few that I would post if I were putting a team together: Players should already be able to trap, dribble and pass the ball with ease. Players should already be able to drive the ball 20 yards.

Why? If they don’t already have these basics, chances are low that they will work on their own to bring them up and I will spend so much time in practice on the basics that I won’t have time for much else.

Folks unfamiliar with soccer may need more specifics on what these basics look like.

Trapping and passing the ball with ease means they can use the inside of both feet to trap the ball and then pass the ball, accurately, 5-10 yards in multiple directions with 1 second or less between the trap and the pass. If it takes your child 2 or more seconds to get the ball under control and get the pass off, they aren’t ready for competitive soccer. If they can’t pass 5-10 yards accurately, they are not ready.

Dribbling the ball with ease does not mean kicking the ball and running after it. It means moving with the ball, touching it with each step of the dribbling foot, turning while maintaining control and shielding the ball.

Driving the ball 20 or more yards with intentional direction and accuracy to within a 3-5 yards of where you want it to go.

I say this from the perspective of seeing fair numbers of teenage club soccer players with years of experience that still can’t do these with ease.

Maybe they exist, but I can’t imagine teams of teenage competitive baseball players who can’t catch and throw with ease.

I think I just uncovered why. In baseball, they expect players to have the basics BEFORE they start playing competitive ball.


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