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1️⃣. Do they turn up on time?

‘I regularly see players turn up late for trials and walk in as if the coach should be glad they’ve turned up at all. It’s so important to make a good first impression. My advice would be to arrive at least 15 mins before the meet time, it doesn’t go unnoticed!’

2️⃣. Do they take the warm-up seriously?

‘This is another simple way to help get you noticed early on by scouts. I often watch the warm up intently so that I can spot the players who understand the importance of injury avoidance and getting up to speed for the game.’

3️⃣. Do they listen intently to the coach and take on information well?

‘I often try and get as close as I can to listen in to the pre match and half time team talks, so I can understand more about a players’ attitude and ability to adapt their game based on the coaches feedback.’

4️⃣. How do they react to being substituted?

‘This is always a key moment for me. It’s often that a trialist is subbed as a test of their attitude. My advice would be to jog off with a good attitude (even if you are on a hat-trick!) and always shake the coaches hand and thank them for the opportunity.’

5️⃣. Are they happy when other trialists or members of the team do well?

‘One of my favourites is when I see a player (especially a striker) celebrate when another player on their team scores. Often trialists make the match about themselves and fail to acknowledge other members of the team doing well. Simple things such as praising another player for a good attempted pass, shot or tackle can go a long way.’

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Tips to improve your weaker foot

To be a top player, it is key now more than ever to work on your weaker foot. If you can improve your weaker foot and use it effectively in both training and matches there are many benefits and advantages you’ll have over your opponents.

Being able to play the game with both feet will allows you to become unpredictable to your opponents, gives you more options on the ball and means you can make split-second decisions in a game without having to ensure that you first move the ball to your strong side, which can be the difference between winning and losing.

Here are some tips you can work on in training to improve your weaker foot:

Consistent Practice: Regular practice is key. Set aside time in your training sessions specifically dedicated to using your weaker foot.
Progressive Drills: Start with basic drills and gradually progress to more challenging exercises as you build confidence. Include activities that focus on passing, shooting, dribbling, and ball control.
Match Simulation: Try to replicate game situations in your practice. Imagine scenarios where you'd need to use your weaker foot during a match, and practice accordingly.
Persistence: Improvement takes time, so don't get discouraged by slow progress. Stay patient, remain dedicated, and celebrate small victories along the way.
Feedback: Seek feedback from professional coaches. If you don’t have access to this at your club – check out Ellevate’s coach feedback feature!

Fun fact: As a youngster, Kevin De Bruyne was banned from using his natural (right) foot by a neighbour after destroying grass plant pots and flowers in gardens. And De Bruyne is the only player in Premier League history to score a hattrick all with his weaker foot.

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