Qualities Needed to Be on a Varsity Soccer Team
In many jurisdictions, getting on the high school varsity team may not be as challenging as attaining a spot on an elite club team. Still, when it comes time for a varsity coach to fill roster spots, you want to make the best possible impression. Cultivate as many desirable qualities as you can to make yourself a well-rounded player that makes the cut.
The coach may lean toward those who have shown the ability to do a variety of things well rather than those who have one exceptional skill. Make yourself valuable by learning to play multiple positions and developing your shooting, passing, defending and dribbling skills. If the coach believes he can use you in virtually any situation, that peace of mind can earn you a spot on the team.
A varsity soccer player should be able to pass the ball proficiently. This includes not only tapping the ball to stationary teammates, but also kicking it to a spot where you anticipate a streaking teammate will be when it arrives. Work also on being able to dribble the ball and shoot it with either foot.
Coaches love a player who motivates and leads her team. You don't have to be the best goal scorer or defender to be a leader. By working harder than anyone else on the team and downplaying individual accomplishments in favor of team goals, you'll show your prospective teammates -- and coach -- that you're unselfish and have a team-oriented mindset. This is leading by example. Or you can be a vocal leader, encouraging teammates and helping promote communication. Coaches see such players as extensions of themselves on the field.
Soccer games can come down to speed. The team that has it is often the team that wins. If you're speedy enough to blow past defenders or race into place and smother opponents' scoring attempts, you have a better chance of making the varsity team. Speed pays especially for forwards and sweepers.
If you're a forward, you must be adept at shooting the ball accurately. Midfielders are expected to be able to pass, assist, defend and occasionally score. Fullbacks must have the ability to squelch opponents' scoring chances by knocking the ball away. Goalies need quick reactions to move quickly in any direction to block or catch an incoming shot.
Jeff Herman began his journalism career in 2000. An experienced, award-winning sportswriter, his work has appeared in "The Washington Post," "ESPN the Magazine" and the "Boston Herald," among other publications. Herman has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from West Virginia University.