While it is still mid-January, our club will be starting the Recreation season on Saturday, March 3. We usually get two weeks of practices before matches – so February 24, 2012 will be our first weekend of practice.
So that all adds up to assessments for new and returning players probably occurring before the end of January! For many players, it will be the first time they will have picked up a ball and laced up their cleats since November.
Our club conducts assessments before both the Fall and Spring seasons. Assessments are performed for the stated purpose of leveling talent across the teams in an age group, and allowing new players to be placed onto teams to help assure competitive play.
However, many teams are kept together year after year – so the leveling has less to do with existing players and more to do with incoming players it seems.
It is not a “Try Out” as our recreation program is open to all players of all skill levels.
What to Bring
Every player needs to bring a ball and wear appropriate clothing for playing soccer given the weather.
Assessments for the U8 and under age groups all follow a similar format.
Players are split into groups of about 10-15 athletes, many times with mixed genders. Each player wears a number to help the assessor track an individual player.
An initial period covering individual skills may see each player dribbling through cones or similar drill. In some age groups, players will pair off and practice passing. The final part of the session will see a match played within the group or 1v1 play between two players.
Parents are asked to wait on the sidelines while the assessments occur. Really, this isn’t a time to either cheerlead or “coach” your kids from the side – the assessor is only trying to get an idea of how your son or daughter performs in the group and what might be their usual performance. If your athlete makes mistakes – it’s okay! What’s important is that they are not distracted from the assessor leading the session by coaching or yelling from the sidelines.