Hello, my name is Zach Kammeraad. I play for Lakeshore Premier SC in Grand Haven, MI. I started playing the beautiful game for the first time this past year and absolutely fell in love with it. I began by practicing on my own and then later with my brother Max. Eventually I enrolled at Heart Soccer Academy. The coaches at Heart were a huge help. After training and developing my skills, I decided I wanted to take it to the next level and tryout for a premier soccer club.
Because I had never done anything like this before, I tried to get as much information and counsel as possible. I talked to some coaches and some players. I got tips from people who spend a lot of time around soccer such as my friend Ethan, Brent Kowalski, Jeremy Hurd and others. There is nothing wrong with seeking some advice. It can always help.
Here are 5 things I focused on for my first time soccer tryout:
1. Preparation. I had to be prepared for the tryout. I hydrated. I ate a healthy meal before. I was intentional about getting good rest. Going to bed at a reasonable time was key. Being tired would not help me during the tryout. I practiced a few days before but I wasn’t intense about it because I did not want to get injured. I went through my moves and shot on a goal for a little bit.
2. Respect. I’ve learned it’s important to be respectful to players and the coaches. I knew that I needed to show them that I was respectful. I used common manners like, please and thank you, yes sir and no sir. I respected other people’s materials and if I kicked a ball out of bounds, I was the one to go get it back.
3. Play with heart. Most soccer players have heard the quote, “Play with your heart, not just your feet.” This is so true. Although coaches want good technical players, I discovered they also want players who play with passion. I made it my goal to go into the tryout and play with passion for the game.
4. Be aggressive. I learned that I have to show the coaches that I really want to be on the team. So that’s what I tried to do. I worked hard at showing them that I was a good player all around. I put hard pressure on the attackers when I was playing defense, I intercepted passes, and I tried put my body on line in order to block shots or to keep someone from scoring. Also, to show the coaches I was an aggressive player, I tried to go hard into tackles and shoulder to shoulder with guys, constantly challenging for the ball.
5. Confidence. I couldn’t go into the tryout thinking I’m wasn’t going to make the team. I didn’t get frustrated if I made an incomplete pass, I just brushed it off and learned from my mistakes. Last but not least, I believed in myself! I took the field with pride and decided to give it my all.
These 5 things helped me tremendously. My favorite soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo said. “Sometimes you can try so hard at something, be so prepared and still fail, when you fail it causes sadness. I’ve always said a man’s character is not judged when he celebrates a victory but by what he does when his back is against the wall. So no matter how great the setback, no matter how severe the failure, you never give up.”
I am excited to see how I will grow as a player and a person. I made Lakeshore Premier Soccer Club and I’m working even harder to improve my game. I can always take my game to the next level. There is so much to learn with soccer. You really can never stop learning.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
-Zach, thanks for sharing with us about your experience. Congrats on making the team. Hope you have a blast this year.