Greensboro United Soccer Association

Players Training Up

From Director of Soccer, Forrest Collier


As we all know, tryout time at any soccer club is a stressful time – for players, families, volunteers and coaches alike.  The GUSA staff understands that, and we also understand that kids, for a variety of reasons, may have great days at tryouts, or play well below their level.  That’s why it is critical that as a staff, we are constantly evaluating players and seeing them perform in familiar environments, meaning with their own teams.  It is also critical that we evaluate them in less-comfortable environments, as they most likely, for a variety of reason, will not play for the same team for their entire youth soccer career.  


We often tell folks at tryout time that we evaluate kids all year long. That is 100 percent true.  We have been very proactive with all of our coaches, asking them to identify players who have earned the right to "train up."  Training up simply means to train with a team at a higher level of play, be it a higher division within the same age group, or an older age group altogether.  


We are very specific with our coaches about what a player needs to do to earn that right.  It is NOT always about who is the "best" player on the team.  Rather it is about identifying players who have shown the highest level of commitment to the team, continued personal improvement both technically and tactically, as well as leadership skills and maturity.  As you might imagine, this does not mean that it cannot be the "best" player on a team either, but the selections are not simply based on skill level.


Having players train with higher-level teams enables the staff to get a first-hand look at how those players perform in those environments, as we continue to look towards what will be best for that player’s long-term development moving forward.


This is not about tearing teams apart. It is simply about rewarding players and showing them that we recognize their effort and development.  What we have consistently found is that the overwhelming majority of players that have been selected to train up are very happy that they have been identified and take advantage of the opportunity.  Of course, we will never force a player to train up if they do not desire to do so.  Our coaches have been very helpful in the identification process and always welcome other players to their training sessions that have been selected.  Another really positive aspect of this process has been that teams that have the “training up players” added into their training sessions have welcomed the players with open arms and have elevated their own play because of it.  


We are constantly striving to develop our players so that they can reach their ultimate potential as soccer players and as young men and women.  We feel strongly that this process aids in doing just that. Additionally, we see it benefiting our overall evaluation process and helps us ensure that they are consistently playing at the appropriate developmental level.  

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118 S Cherry St, STE B
Kernersville, North Carolina 27284

Phone : 336-993-2137
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