How to Prepare for a Football Showcase / Player Assessment Day / Trial

1 What to Eat before the event

2 Get a Good Night’s Sleep

3 Image Is Important – Make Sure You Look the Part

4 Always Arrive Early

5 A Good Attitude Is Important

6 Understand the Team and Coaches’ Philosophy

7 The Coach Is There to Coach, so Listen and Learn

What to Eat Before your showcase / trial / match

Food and fuel intake plays a huge part in sporting performance and helping you reach optimum sporting output. It’s important you consume the correct amount of fuel at the best possible time to fully prepare you for your showcase / assessment / trial. You want to be fully hydrated, with enough carbohydrates in your system to make sure that your muscle glycogen stores are fully stocked. Proper nutrition in the days leading up to an event or trial will allow for a better sleep pattern in the build-up to the big day. This also gives you the confidence to know you are physically and mentally prepared for your event. On the morning of your event, you must consume the right amount of carbohydrates at the right time, this differs depending on kick-off or training time. Check out our pre-match preparation plan below for a detailed plan on nutrition consumption:

Pre-Match Diet:

In the 6 hours leading up to the football trial event, you want to consume foods that settle your stomach and stop your hunger. A lot of football players have the same pre-match nutrition routine which they stick to. We suggest finding a routine you are happy with. It’s important for your body function and psychology that you do what works best for you.

Carbohydrate loading may not be necessary for goalkeepers, players who do not do a lot of running, or if you do not train often (less than 3 times a week). However, active or elite players should eat foods rich in carbohydrates in the build up to your match day.

During the 6 hours leading up to your match you should aim to consume:

1-4grams of Carbohydrates per Kg of your body weight.

Failure to provide your body with enough carbohydrates before or during a game means the body will rely on the liver breaking down fat and protein into glucose for energy. This process is very slow and will shorten your chances of maintaining your energy levels throughout the whole 90 minutes.

What to Eat Before a Football Game – Pre Match Snack

After you have consumed your pre-match meal and leading up to the final 60 minutes before kick-off, your body may benefit from a last minute snack. This snack should provide a mixture of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. In the past players may have eaten chocolate or cakes to get an extra energy boost, however, you should consume foods low in fibre that will release energy slowly.

High carbohydrate pre-game snack ideas:

Bagel with low-fat cream cheese


Energy drinks

Granola bar

Protein bar

Rice pudding

Tropical fruits

Tuna Sandwich

Whole-wheat bagels

Whole grain crackers

Yogurt (low fat Greek) + fruit

Remember to drink fluid with any snack or meal.

Image Is Important – Make Sure You Look the Part

Football trials are similar to job interviews and your first impression has a lasting effect on recruiters. If you want to be taken seriously you must take your image seriously. However, you certainly don’t need to go and buy the most expensive professional football boots! But, you need to have the correct training gear to help you be the best you can. We suggest:

* A Large Sports Bag

* Clean Football boots with studs suitable for grass. (Make sure any new boots are worn in before the trial).

* Moulded Football boots for hard ground

* Astroturf trainers (make sure that you know on which surface you will be playing)

* Shin pads

* Training tracksuit

* Shorts, socks and t-shirt or football shirt – make sure it is all comfortable. A trial is NOT the time to try out brand new kit!

* Water bottle

It may also be wise to bring a football, so you can warm up with a dribble around the pitch if you arrive early, to loosen up.

Having the correct equipment can also give you the psychological boost you need at a trial. So make sure you look and carry yourself in a manner that tells the recruitment team that you mean business.

Always Arrive Early

You want to arrive in good time so you can assess your surroundings, relax and do some light stretching. This will enable you to visually plan out your trial and perhaps meet any of the recruiters before other trialists or players arrive. Make sure that you have the full postal address of the trial venue.

A Good Attitude Is Important

Professional coaches know that skills can be taught and fitness can be trained. But a player’s attitude must always come from within. So you need to show that you have the desire to work hard, apply yourself and leave everything on the pitch. They are looking for someone to support the team’s goals both on and off the field.

“It is your ATTITUDE, not your APTITUDE that will determine your ALTITUDE.” Zig Zigler

Play with a smile on your face, be enthusiastic and work as hard as you can for the team. If you make a mistake, give your all to rectify that mistake by tracking back and making it difficult for the opponent and you’re sure to impress at your trial.

Understand the Team and Coaches Philosophy Before the Trial

Try to carry out as much research as possible on the team(s) that you are trialling for. It’s important to understand their style of play and the type of player the club is looking for. Often a team will have the same philosophy from under-9’s all the way through to the first team. Therefore, watching the professional team, especially players in your position, will give you an insight into what they require before you turn up.

The Coach Is There to Coach, so Listen and Learn

A big part of player recruitment for coaches is assessing how the player reacts to instructions and how the player learns. The best way to show this to a potential coach is to be attentive, concentrate and listen to all information. Once you have taken the instructions on board try to demonstrate what they have asked for in real game situations. This will highlight your commitment to learning.

video 1 – nutrition

video 2 – hydration and nutrition

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