The desire to move up in soccer accompanies every player on the field. Some want to move to a better club, while others simply want to make it to the A team from the B team.
And that’s why picking a player out and moving him up is always a challenging decision for a coach!
Since every player wants to improve their skills and prove themselves on a different pedestal, it can be hard to know who deserves the promotion.
But as a rule of thumb, a player who outperforms the rest of his peers is ready to take on the challenge of a higher league.
But we’re looking at moving up in soccer from a player’s perspective today and not the coach’s. So, let’s first find out whether you’re ready to move up to a more challenging league in soccer or not!
- How to Know You’re Good Enough to Move Up in Soccer?
- How to Move Up in Soccer?
How to Know You’re Good Enough to Move Up in Soccer?
Moving up in soccer is a crucial decision for your career. And just like any other major change in sports, it has its pros, and it has its cons.
The benefit of moving up is improving your performance and skills. Playing among tough players in a tough league throws new challenges your way.
And if you can adapt to these changes quickly, you grow your experience and knowledge of the sport. But at the same time, moving up in soccer can also demotivate you, and you get overshadowed.
If you lack the skills, flexibility, mindset, or physical strength required for tougher teams, you’ll lose your spot quickly and will mostly be kept on the sidelines, which is no fun at all.
So, let’s look at a few questions that you can ask yourself to know whether you’re ready to move up!
Do You Have the Skills it Takes?
Soccer skills vary generously among players of different age groups. How a 7-year-old plays soccer is very different from how an 11-year-old or a 15-year-old plays.
And the same applies to the A teams and B teams of an academy or club. You afford fewer mistakes as you rise in the soccer ranks and need much quicker reactions.
Dribbling past players, shooting at the goal from different angles and ranges, and connecting with your teammates on the field are skills where you’ll need to be evidently excellent and confident.
An easy check for knowing if you have the skills is noticing how well you perform in your current team.
If playing against your current rivals has become too easy and predictable, it may be time for you to move up!
Are You Flexible and Will Easily Fit In?
Your flexibility and adaptability to get along with new people and places is a cornerstone for moving up in soccer.
Most coaches around the world agree on how a major reason for playing soccer is for kids to have fun and a good time. And you can’t have much of a good time if you can’t find friends on the same team.
A player with good leadership skills and attitude in a lower league can become sidelined and under-confident when matched with and against better players.
So, if you don’t already have friends on the team that you want to move up to, or you think it’ll be hard to make for you to make new acquaintances, moving up will more likely cripple your performance.
How Committed Are You?
Schedules and routines become much more intense as you move up the ladder in soccer. You’ll have more training sessions, more games, and more traveling involved than before.
And you’ll need to make time for these activities as it’s necessary for staying in the team. That means less time to hang out with friends and even fewer weekends off.
Also, amateur teams or clubs may not even finance your traveling and fixtures with other teams. So that’s another thing you need to consider before deciding to move up.
If you have work commitments or cannot afford to finance your sporting experiences, there’s no point in moving up. Because why leave your settled space in the team for something you cannot commit to?
Can You Take the Mental Stress of a Higher League?
Your confidence in expressing yourself on the pitch is everything a soccer player needs. And moving up to play with older and tougher players can shatter your confidence.
A major reason players choke after moving up in soccer is that they can’t handle the mental stress that comes with it.
Being mentally strong in soccer means performing your best even in stressful moments. Loud chants of fans, playing “away” matches, and the burden of crucial fixtures are a few examples of such moments.
If you’ve never experienced mental pressure in a game before, moving up in soccer is likely to get you overwhelmed. So do pause to ask yourself whether or not you can cope mentally in higher leagues!
Do You Have Tactical Knowledge?
The tactical know-how of a player is something few coaches ever talk about. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a vital checkpoint to clear before moving up in soccer.
The changes in formation, rules, and other tactical plays are things you should be familiar with. For example, heading the ball is not allowed for kids under the age of 10 in the US.
And neither is there any offside rule for kids under the age of 8. So, if you’re moving up to a league with different rules, you need to know what they are and should be fluent with them.
This also includes the tactical and strategic differences in your current team and the one you’re moving up to. Or it’ll be difficult to adjust in the team and perform if you’re unfamiliar with their rules and tactics.
Can You Cope Physically?
As you move up in soccer, the sport becomes more physically intense as it does tactically. Apart from the foul-play and tackles, the legal challenges become harder to deal with.
You may have the skills, know the tactics, and have the mental strength to move up. But these skills and experience are of little use if you can’t go shoulder-shoulder against another player.
Higher leagues’ speed and strength requirements will undoubtedly be harsher than your current level. And without the ability to push another player off the ball, you’ll barely get to shed light on your skills.
If you can’t handle a little tumble and stumble well in a game, staying at your current level and improving your strength is a much better idea than moving up right now.
Will You Improve?
Before we wind up with what it takes to move up in soccer, you need to consider how much you’ll improve with the move.
When you move up in soccer, you’re either placed at the bottom of the lot or the middle.
Ideally, you should place yourself in the middle of the lot when moving up. In simpler words, it means that you shouldn’t be too good or too bad for the team you’re joining.
If you fall near the new team’s lower vacancies, the moving up may not be for you yet. Because things will get much more challenging, leaving you with fewer chances for improvement.
But if you’re somewhere in the middle where things are just challenging enough, you have much more room to grow and improve your game.
How to Move Up in Soccer?
If you’ve answered yes to all the questions above, you’re ready to move up in soccer. Pat yourself on the back!
With that aside, now comes the quest of putting yourself up for consideration for moving to a new team.
Your coach should typically know about your performance beforehand and get you ready for moving up in soccer himself. But if you think you’re not attracting his attention, you need to step up for yourself.
And here are four common ways of doing that. Depending on your situation, you can try either one that best fits your condition!
Prove your Point on the Field
Being superior to your fellow teammates in skill and movement is what’ll get you noticed on the pitch. A smart player who always performs is in the good words of every manager and player.
Not only that, you’ll catch the eye of coaches from different teams in different leagues. And luckily, a coach of the team that you’re hoping to move up to.
If you can make it evident enough from your game that you’re too good for the pool of players you’re in, your coach will consider you for moving up.
Talk to Your Coach or Parent
Though performing well on the field should be your priority to move up, your coach still may not always notice your effort and skill.
In which case, you can specifically talk to your coach about your intentions of moving up. And if you’re too shy to talk to your coach yourself for whatever reason, ask a parent to talk it out with him.
Sometimes, you need to draw people’s attention by pointing it out to them. After you or your parent has talked with your coach, he’ll definitely look out for you on the pitch and help you move up.
Try Training and Games with a Different Team
When players grow out of an age bracket or are transferred out, it leaves many vacant spots on the team. And sometimes, players from the B team are matched up in the A team for a quick fill-up.
As a player aspiring to move up, that’s your queue!
When your coach comes looking for players to fill up the A team, you should always volunteer. If you perform well on such occasions, you might end up securing a permanent spot on the tougher team.
If you’re a permanent player on your club’s primary team and still outperform the rest of the players, moving up for you may mean switching your club.
You can simply scout for the academies or clubs in your area and give out trials. And then choose the one that’s challenging enough for you and will surely improve you as a player.
But if you’re a pro and among the paid players in the sport, asking for a transfer is more relevant to you. You can talk to your manager to put you up for a transfer or even loan out to a different club.
Help Your Team Move Up
Talking to your coach or considering a club transfer are both good options for moving up. Unfortunately, they only apply to the players already enrolled in a club or academy.
So if you’re a weekend warrior or have a casual team that you want to move up from, this one’s for you!
Unlike the other methods mentioned above for moving up, here, your only way out is carrying your team with you.
As you may have noticed, Sunday leagues and Casual tournaments don’t exactly attract many scouts or are properly coached.
But if you can lead your team to win cups and tournaments, you will catch the attention of some important people in the clubs and academies around you, who may also extend their invitation to you!
Most people start playing soccer to have fun with their friends several times a week. And so, they have little interest in moving up and committing more to the sport than an everyday activity.
But for players like you who have a soccer career marked in their minds, moving up is an integral part of growing as a player.
For which I have shared my experience in pocket-sized suggestions above to help you move up in soccer.
However, before you pack your gear and set out to join a stronger team, do take a moment and ask yourself the questions above to know whether moving up is the best option for you!
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!