We’ve reached that time of year on the basketball calendar where players will begin the tryout process for making their middle school or high school team. This can be a stressful time for aspiring basketball players, even for those players who have put in diligent time preparing for this moment.
While each coach and team may play a different style and have a unique hierarchy of what they consider important, it’s safe to say the following criteria will play a factor in their evaluation:
Grades – How you do anything, is how you do everything. If a student-athlete isn’t prioritizing their work in the classroom it speaks volumes to the work ethic a coach can expect from the player during a very long basketball season.
Citizenship / Character recommendations – What do people who interact with this individual say about the person they are? How you treat people and make others feel will factor greatly in a team being able to reach its fullest potential.
Coachability – Are you open to new ideas, different ways of doing what you do or do you already have all the answers? Learning is the act of changing behavior.
Attitude – Are you someone who is turning the light switch on when you enter a room or does your very presence dampen the mood. Positive attitudes are contagious.
Hustle – A player’s decision to play hard on every play and give great effort in everything they do speaks to their passion for playing the game.
Physical Conditioning – Are you ready to play basketball on Day 1 of tryouts or are you going to require several weeks of conditioning to be “basketball ready”? Your physical conditioning speaks to how much you truly prepared for this opportunity.
Shooting, Passing, Defense, Rebounding and Footwork – Ultimately any coach is going to want players who are skilled. Performance counts when the lights are on. Being great at any of the skill areas will make an impression on the coaching staff.
Here’s a little insight into decisions a Coach has to make during the season that may impact how a team is constructed. During any particular game, a Coach may be looking to put on the floor the right players for the following scenarios:
- Best Free Throw team
- Hurry up offense team
- Need a stop team (best defense)
- Best Rebounding team
- Last shot, execution team
- Get a steal/trap team
Does your skill set qualify you to positively impact your team in any of these areas? Coaches aren’t necessarily looking for a “finished” product. Coaches at the Middle School and High School level are prepared to develop athletes and players. Differentiate yourself in some way and you’ll catch the coaches attention.