It’s serious now. Your parents or sponsors are going to invest a lot of money for your trip abroad to participate in the next tryout or showcase and you cannot afford to blow this life time opportunity to kick start your professional football career on high.
If you’ve already received the Invitation letter, you know the country, the date and the club, then it is time to do some research.
First, find out the season and the weather forecast for the appointed dates in the country and city where you are going for the trials. Find out how such weather can affect foreign players and what are the best possible ways to acclimatize, especially for players coming from tropical West African region.
Second, find out the club’s football culture and the head coach’s best formation and style of play. If possible watch several videos of the team’s most recent games and take some careful notes. Research on difficulties foreign players face at the early stage of their arrival in the club.
Third, medicals! Cure yourself of tropical infections such as malaria, typhoid and yellow fever, that may become active due to change of weather and may ruin your fitness level.
Part of the acclimatization is also dietary. Food and water intake plays a huge part in sporting performance an helping you reach optimum sporting output. It’s important you consume the correct amount of water at the best possible time to fully prepare you for your football trial.
You want to be fully hydrated, with enough carbohydrate in your system to make sure your muscle glycogenstor are fully stocked. Proper nutrition in the days leading up to a trial will allow for a better sleep pattern in the build up to the big day. This also gives youths confidence to know you are physically and mentally prepared for your trial.
On the morning of your trial, you must consume the right amount of carbohydrates at the right time, this differs depending on kickoff or training time.
Having all these information in your hands then you begin to analyze your skills and game techniques in line with your finds. For instance, ball holding skills and passes if you are going to a club in Europe, Quickness and speed is very important,. Generally, work to sharpen your best skills and work to improve on your weakness…your passes, your shooting, your quickness and speed…
Divide your training plans into two phases. First phase, while you are still in your country do more ball work and skills projection program such as shot at goal, set piece conversion, crosses from the flanks… Discuss the clubs formation (where you are billed to go for trials) and let your coach work on how you can better adapt to such formation and style of play.
Second phase, work more on your fitness level and follow an acclimatization program. You may need to engage a fitness instructor or a personal coach to help you adapt to the weather. That means, you should plan to arrive early in the city where you are going for the trials;.
Your attitude and passion to play matters. How eager you want to get into the flow of the game, how confident you are with the ball and willingness to push beyond the bounds of the game.
Despite initial cold feet and discrimination, show that you are largely a team player both on and off the pitch. Subtly display leadership attitude to influence other players towards the goals and objectives of the team. Arrive early on the trial dates and don’t feign injury when things are getting tough in the test.
Some clubs use technology to determine your performance. And these are some of the things the machine will be recording
1. Distance covered all though the game
2. Your speed level (distance x time)
3. How many tackles and balls won
4. How many passes completed
5. How many shot at goal
6. How many goals scored….
We wish you all the best!