Tryouts Are Coming…. How to Make the Team

One of the most exciting times of a young player’s life is trying out for the basketball team. Yet one of the most stressful times is when they only have a few hours to show the coach why they deserve to be on the team. Tryouts are around the corner, and if you want your son or daughter to make the team, you better make sure they are prepared.

First and foremost, you need to be able to do a few basic things well: dribble, pass, and shoot are the obvious skills. After all, the first thing a coach needs before anything else, is someone who can bring the ball up the court and complete a pass. But is that enough to get you noticed? Can you do more than just dribble with either hand while keeping your eyes off the ball? Can you make a right and left handed lay-up? Do you hustle every minute you’re on the floor? Are you coachable? Do you listen and follow instructions? Do you play aggressive defense? Are you athletic? Do you have a good attitude?

The answers to all of those questions are important, but it’s the last one that I want to focus on today.

Attitude (or character) can be broken down into a few parts:

Enthusiasm, Focus, and Work Ethic

How enthusiastic are you? I love enthusiastic people and coaching enthusiastic players is a blast because they help keep the team fired up and they make the coaches job easier.

How focused are you? The only way a coach can get his points across is if the players are attentive. Tryouts may include a variety of drills, and some might be ones you’ve never seen before. Some young players have a hard time paying attention to what the coach is saying. It’s fine if you don’t know a drill, but its not fine if you don’t pay attention to directions. There might be several reasons for a poor attention span, but whatever the reason, it’s important to try and stay focused.

How’s your work ethic? iPods, Playstations, busy home lives, and busy parents are just a few of the reasons why players don’t work as hard as they use to. There were simpler times and less distractions back in the good ole days. So don’t get caught up in distractions. I can promise that the coach will have some “hustling” expectations so it’s important to give a great effort when trying out. A player that takes shortcuts in his work ethic isn’t worth keeping on the team. If you’re already in great physical shape, then great! But it can also mean a lot if you’re not in great shape, but are willing to do what it takes to get there. If you are still trying your best even when you’re tired, the coach will notice that. But, if you give up easily when you’re fatigued, you better believe he’ll notice that too.

There are a lot of players who forget to bring enthusiasm, who don’t focus or pay attention to the coach, and don’t care to hustle. All of these go a long way to help establish a young person’s character, and a long way to helping decide who should make the team.

Tryouts don’t last long, so first impressions are very important. For that reason, don’t hold anything back. Show everything you got during tryouts!

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This entry was posted on October 18th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

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