Basketball Coaching And Skills

How to Prepare for Basketball Tryouts

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"How to Prepare for Basketball Tryouts"
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Going out for the team

Basketball tryouts can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people, particularly if the competition is stiff and there are a number of people trying out for the team. The game of basketball is obviously a contest of physical skill, but it is also a mental game that requires concentration and focus. Some players have enough talent and play often enough that they do not necessarily have to engage in a great deal of specific preparation. However, it behooves some players to be very intentional about their preparation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for basketball tryouts.

Ready to run

One of the most important things to do when preparing for basketball tryouts is to get in solid physical shape. Coaches appreciate the player that is ready and willing to hustle around the court, and in some cases a player may make the team due to their impressive physical conditioning. Players should do some basic distance running to build up stamina, but they should also do short sprints as well. This will get the player ready for the quick transitions that are required in basketball and prepare them to use bursts of speed that are often needed during the game.

Drills and repetitions

Another key part of preparation is technical practice. This includes a number of drills, which may not be exciting, but are often more important than just shooting around. Players should practice various ball handling skills, passing, footwork, lay-ups, and positioning on the floor. Granted, some of these may be difficult to do individually, but sometimes a player can get together with other people and emphasize certain maneuvers that will enhance their preparation.

Don't forget the D

When preparing for a tryout, players should make sure that they do not forget about defense. Coaches often appreciate the player that is tenacious on defense, which is why a potential player should work on their defense just as much as they practice their offense. Much of defense is connected to fitness, so if a player must prepare on their own they should put in extra running time so that they are not exhausted by the time a tryout is concluded.


Sometimes the best sources of information are other players, coaches, and observers. When people are getting ready to try out, they should seek out people who may be able to give them some perspective on what to expect. This can include a number of people who may be able to provide insight about focal points, priorities, and areas to work on prior to the tryout. If potential players have a sense of what will go on, they can budget their time accordingly on concentration on areas that will be tested.

Film session

Finally, a person who is trying out for a basketball team might think about watching some film. If they choose to do this, they should attempt to watch a level that will provide a solid overview of fundamental skills. In other words, watching the NBA might not be the best choice. Even though NBA players are amazing athletes, a middle or high school student might not easily emulate the style of play.

Putting in the time

The bottom line with a basketball tryout is that the player has to be willing to work extremely hard and not be discouraged if the outcome is not positive. As mentioned, coaches appreciate the player that takes sports seriously, and the player that is in top physical condition will be able to respond more quickly in a tryout situation. Fitness will not guarantee that the player makes the team, but it will certainly help them avoid mental errors that result from fatigue. Even if the player does not make the team, they should at least know that they worked hard and did their best.

More about this author: Todd Pheifer

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