Why youth goalkeepers struggle during tryouts

Have you ever seen goalkeepers who go to tryouts or games and nearly fall apart due to nervousness or fear? Being nervous is a NATURAL behavior but it can quickly turn into fear.

ZPro Futbol Goalkeeper trainingBut wait, today some clubs are changing the name from “TRYOUTS to KICK-AROUND”, just see what happens if you don’t show up or don’t perform well during these “kickarounds”. Some clubs must really think parents can’t think any longer.

Today, young athletes are under MORE pressure than ever, either to get in a higher team/level or to go play in college etc. However, this comes with high stress and lots of emotional issues that could potentially harm the athlete’s confidence.

Let me share few QUICK points about why some kids under perform during tryouts or games.

Keep in mind, these are only FEW of MANY issues. Plus, NOT ALL athletes will suffer from these problems.

One of the biggest reason why some athletes struggle during tryouts or games it has a lot to do with  SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE.

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not reaching their goal: Playing for a higher team, or go to college
  • Fear of disappointment:
    • Letting people or themselves down
    • WORRYING about disappointing their parents (fear of letting parents down is very common and the most damaging emotionally)
  • They DESPERATELY want approval: from parents, team, coaches, teammates
  • Feeling inferior: They don’t feel they are good enough or not ready
  • Negative past experiences: if they failed once, they will remember it during tryouts

Unfortunately, youth clubs are set up to boost their own business reputation and/or increase their revenues by offering, and in some cases, guaranteeing that if your son or daughter plays for their version of “higher level teams or clubs”, they will get better training, better competition, better coaches, more showcases and college exposure.  You know how this goes!

The point is,  to gain access to these “opportunities”, kids have to try out for these teams, as a result, some kids feel, sense, hear and know that the upcoming tryouts or games are very important, so now the pressure is on THEM.  

For some kids, the simple idea of disappointing their parents is an ADDITIONAL pressure they will carry into tryouts!!!

It is so important to understand the mental part of being an athlete. Modern athletes not only have lots of physical and technical training but we are now training our athletes to be mentally strong. This is the most neglected area by most youth clubs in the United States.

On later blogs, I will cover how to get rid of some of these fears or how to help release some of the pressure off these young athletes.

But here’s a quick advice: no matter what happens at try-outs, your kids need to know they are more important than soccer and ANY sport. They need to HEAR that from mom and dad!

More to explorer

Understanding Athlete Burnout

Athlete burnout is defined by Sport Psychologists as: physical/emotional exhaustion, sport devaluation, reduced athletic performance and accomplishment”. Burnout can occur at a VERY YOUNG AGE. I’ve personally met many 12 yrs old with serious signs of burnout. But sadly there are a number of parents who refuse to believe their kids are too young to burnout, instead they insist that

Goalkeeper coaching styles

There is a BIG difference between TRAINING a goalkeeper and DEVELOPING a goalkeeper. I’m very sure that you have encountered many coaches, who, before they even say their names, they talk about their winning records, championships, their “national rankings” and their tons of certifications they’ve gained over the years. It seems as if their egos and history of winning records

Leave A Comment