If you’re passionate about soccer and want to make a career of it, catching a scout’s eye is your route into the sport. But how to get scouted for soccer? Start playing at local club or weekend league level to learn the basics of the sport while developing your skills and technical abilities. Soccer scouts regularly attend minor league games as well as watching county and state games and dropping into colleges and soccer academies. If one thinks you may have what it takes, you could be invited to try out for a professional club. To boost your chances of being scouted, follow these top tips.
Work hard! Start early!
How old do you have to be to get scouted for soccer? The answer is, the earlier the better. Most soccer players are scouted in their early teens (or earlier). Join a club at a young age (or sign up your kids) to be instantly ahead of the competition. Once a club member, take advantage of the training and advice given.
Be yourself during training sessions and games. Don’t put on an act to impress – scouts quickly see through that.
Remember – there’s no “I” in “Team”.
No one enjoys playing soccer with selfish arrogant players who hog the ball to steal the limelight. Scouts want soccer players able to fit into existing teams. Show them you can by encouraging your teammates throughout the game. Show up on time for training sessions. Coaches can’t create game strategies when squad members don’t turn up or are late. Scouts definitely talk to team coaches about the attitude of prospective players!
Off the field, tactics are important too
Professional soccer clubs have images to project and team members are part of that image both on and off the field. Show the scout you can communicate respectfully with everyone whether it’s teammates, coaches, helpers, and supporters. Guard any social media profiles carefully as scouts will check them out. Don’t post anything you may regret in the future.
What do soccer scouts look for in a player?
Good team and personal skills are vital but without technical ability, you’ll never reach your soccer potential. Scouts want to see that you can manipulate the ball with finesse, kicking, dribbling, passing, and shooting with precise control and total confidence.
Tactical understanding and awareness
Scouts also look for tactical understanding, knowing what your team is doing and why. Show you can “read” a game, predicting how a phase is going to play out and responding with the correct decision. To develop good tactical understanding, play regularly, work hard in training, and listen to your coach. It’s also good to read up on tactics or watch match replays. Scouts look for youngsters who are keen to learn and able to respond to constructive criticism.
To play sport at a professional level you have to be fit and, in soccer, this encompasses not just strength but also stamina, balance, agility, pace, and jumping ability. Demonstrating these abilities as well as maintaining your health and fitness, are sure ways to impress soccer scouts.
There are four main soccer positions – goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards. Within these, you have strikers, center forwards, wingers, central and wide midfielders, center backs, outside backs, and sweepers as well as the goalkeeper. Many professionals are known for their skill in one or two positions – especially goalkeepers, who rarely play in any other position. In the beginning, however, you’ll be expected to cover several positions until you find where your talent lays. Showing a willingness to adapt your skills and tactics is always a positive in the eyes of a scout.
Scouts also assess on-field behavior. Communicate well with teammates in a clear and polite manner, offer praise when play goes well, and refrain from making negative comments when things don’t go to plan. Scouts also observe your interaction with coaches and the team’s support network.
Having a “winner” outlook
To succeed in any sport you need a “hunger” to win. Show this by being eager to learn and practice so you can help your team achieve victory.
What do soccer scouts look for in a striker?
Strikers finish play and score goals. Scouts look for an attacking instinct combined with ball intelligence, confidence, and a strong team spirit.
What do soccer scouts look for in a midfielder?
Midfielders must be strong and able to combine both defense and forward play. Scouts look for stamina and ball control along with planning, marking, and passing skills.
What do soccer scouts look for in a winger?
Wingers are fast, nimble, and exciting to watch. To impress a scout, work on pace, agility, close ball control, and speedy decision making.
What do soccer scouts look for in a defender?
A defender’s role is to stop a goal being scored by anticipating an opponent’s play and having strong marking and tackling abilities. You also need stamina and pace.
What do soccer scouts look for in a goalkeeper?
Being a goalkeeper demands a certain mindset. Make a mistake and your opponent scores. Demonstrate superb concentration levels and mental toughness along with good reflexes, aerial ability, communication skills, positioning, fast decision making, and, of course, shot-stopping.
How new technologies are changing the way soccer scouts work today
Soccer performance analysis
In modern soccer, clubs have teams of player analysts. During training sessions and matches, they analyze three main areas – physical attributes, mental strength, and technical abilities. This is usually done using a range of fitness trackers, video replay, and observation.
Let Playermaker improve your chances of getting scouted
Playermaker is an innovative tool for soccer performance analysis. It attaches discreetly to soccer shoes and uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to measure foot-to-ball interactions 1000 times per second throughout training sessions or games to track your physical and technical performance Monitor, track, and analyze the results on the Playermaker app.