7 things coaches look for in a Basketball tryout

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Name of Post 7 things coaches look for in a Basketball tryout
Original Poster BW-Ryan
Date of Post 2014/09/16
Post URL http://www.reddit.com/r/Basketball/comments/2gglk8/i_didnt_make_the_jv_team/
Post Topic Coaching Discussion


What do you look for during tryouts?

Great question, surprisingly not often asked by players. I can tell you in a tryout with a large amount of kids (you said 50+ if I remember) which is generally held in anywhere from 2-5 days it can be very difficult to get as good of a look as you'd like at each individual kid. There will obviously be some at the top and bottom talent wise but if you put any sort of work into your game that should net you at least to the middle of the pack. This is the most difficult place to be and I'll try to give a few tips on how to stand out:

- Attentiveness and eye contact. I can't tell you how important this is. A kid who's constantly maintaining eye contact and listening (not joking around with his pals or staring off into space) will stick out in my head.

- Coachability: If a coach gives you a pointer or a tip, do everything you can to try to execute it. The difference between player 14/15 on a roster is slim and I may only have time to make a coaching point to a player once individually throughout a tryout. If they show me they're trying to put what I said into practice that tells me they can be coached.

You can generate the above situation I mentioned giving yourself an opportunity to be coached and noticed. At an appropriate time (you're on the sideline/coach is free or not talking) go over and ask a question you have regarding the current drill or play. The coach will watch you to see if you execute.

Strength on par with level: If a kid will be physically outmatched or is not in shape enough to play at the pace they are trying out for this is a bad sign. You can resolve this through weight room commitment and continuing to play throughout the year. 

Hustle Plays: If you're not the most talented player you better be the damn hardest working guy out there. I have had players who couldn't shoot a lick but they were the toughest defenders, best screeners, and were first to the floor for every loose ball. 

Basketball IQ - Many players in tryouts worry that if they don't get enough shots up for the coach to see them make one this works against them. I'm not worried about seeing you jack up bad shots, I know 4th graders that can make threes. I'm looking for when a player gets the ball swung to them at the top of the key do they make the next pass to the opposite wing? Do you maintain spacing on the weak side or are you only concerned with getting the ball? Read up on the game, attend camps and clinics, and watch college/high school games to understand not only what the players with the ball are doing but what the players without the ball are doing.

Attitude - Constantly complaining about fouls? Not good. Pouting and not getting back after missing a shot? That's a bad look. How you treat other players and your reputation in school is as important as how you act in front of coaches. If I know for a fact that your a jerk in your classes (teachers talk) but put on a good show during tryouts, I know this attitude will probably surface during the season. Nobody is perfect but coaches have to balance if they want to be coaching a player for the entire winter and I'll take a less talented kid with a better attitude anyday.

Versatility: Become a player who does a lot of things well and don't settle for being good at just what comes naturally. If you suck at something, work on that the most. If you're a great shooter but don't play defense I'm going to wonder how often I'll be able to have you in the game if your a liability in a certain phase of the game. 

If you're a player that's been cut it can feel like you don't have any hope of changing a coaches mind but I can tell you that's generally not the case. A lot of your hard work may go unnoticed ... the days in the weight room with no one watching, getting 150 shots up in the gym by yourself, or going for a run to stay in shape. The truth is you have to work more than the people that have beaten you out in the past. Every minute that you work while they stay satisfied is another minute you've gotten better while they haven't. You may make that team next year or you may not and there's no doubt that natural given talent matters. I can promise you though that you will come out of that tryout with no regrets on the effort you put in to make yourself stronger.