The words “football trial” can unnerve even the most established players; trials can be stressful. However, it should ease those nerves slightly to know that if you have a place on our trial, you have been invited based on the athlete profile questionnaire that you completed earlier. Being nervous is normal but the more prepared you are, the more you’ll be able to overcome your nerves and smash your trial.
1. Play as you have done your whole career
Even if you’re an outstanding athlete, your competition will likely be fierce – and you might feel the need to do things that you wouldn’t normally do in order to stand out. Decision making is one of the biggest things that university coaches will look for. At a younger age, some players might be stronger, quicker and more powerful because they’ve developed more quickly than the average player. However, University athletics is effectively open age, so making the right decisions will help you stand out from your opponent when physically it’s much more of an even playing field. Of course, coaches want to see technical ability, but confidence, leadership, and work rate should be clear for prospective coaches to see on your marketing video.
2. Don’t play safe
Whilst trying to do it all yourself should be avoided, at the same time we don’t want you to play within yourself. When playing with people that you don’t know, some players might have a tendency to pass on responsibility to the ‘more vocal’ players on the team. Be your own player, and make your own decisions based on what you think is best. Ultimately you are playing for your own future, nobody else’s, so make sure you leave everything on the pitch and have no regrets at the final whistle.
3. Trust the Recruiters
The recruiters at FiveZero are experts – they have been through the process before and know what they are doing. If they ask you to play in a certain position, it’s because they see potential in that position for you to excel and achieve better scholarship offers. You may find yourself playing in a position that hasn’t sufficiently showcased what you can do, so you might be moved to somewhere that will help promote your abilities. At the other end of the spectrum, you might have really excelled in a certain position, but demonstrating your versatility will help to enhance your profile even more.
4. Be Prepared
Make sure that you have prepared correctly for the trial. Get a good amount of sleep, so that you aren’t tired for the trial as it will affect your performance. For some players, this will be the only footage that the University coaches will see of you – make sure that you make it count.
Eat early enough that your food has time to digest before kick-off. Make sure that you wake up early so that you are fuelled for game time, with breakfast and a pre-match meal. Food on the day of a game is the final opportunity to top up your muscle glycogen stores,
5. Ask Questions
Show a real desire and confidence by asking any questions that you may have. The worst thing that you can do, is to go away with something playing on your mind. Ask questions, so that you fully understand the whole process and are in the best position to make a decision on your future.