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What Do Basketball Coaches Look For In Tryouts?

What Do Basketball Coaches Look For In Tryouts?

A basketball tryout is one of the best ways to get noticed and make the basketball team. Typically featuring some of the best athletes in the area or school, a basketball tryout will pit likeminded and similarly skilled players against one-another for selection to the basketball team.

However, while basketball skills and IQ are important aspects to have during a tryout, they alone will not guarantee placement on the team. Rather, alongside your basketball skills and IQ, players should come prepared to the tryouts with a sense of urgency, a willingness to play alongside teammates, and an ability to take direction well.

Below, we are going to review just what basketball coaches look for in tryouts. In doing so, we hope to better assist you in performing your best during a basketball tryout and being selected by the coaching staff to the team.

What Are Basketball Tryouts?

Basketball tryouts are a means for basketball coaches and their coaching staff to fill available roster positions on their teams. Typically, basketball tryouts occur in non-professional leagues and can include in the high school, college, and recreational circuits.

However, basketball tryouts typically do not include the NBA. Rather, in the NBA, players will be drafted via the official NBA Draft, wherein they can enter into the available roster of players throughout the league and its 30 franchise teams.

Basketball tryouts, however, are generally open to the public, with certain stipulations. One such stipulation, particularly in the high school and collegiate circuit, is that the player be a current student of the school.

Similarly, basketball tryouts may stipulate based on gender. Again, although the NBA specifically allows for female players, certain leagues may segregate players based on gender and only allow male or female players to attend at the tryouts.

Basketball tryouts, however, are by no means a guarantee. The purpose of a basketball tryout is for the basketball coach and coaching staff to assess the abilities of the players at the tryout and select the best players to fill available roster positions.

What to Expect at a Basketball Tryout

Basketball tryouts are typically held over multiple days. However, no two basketball tryouts will be similar to one-another. Rather, the tryouts will be based on specific core skills which the basketball coach and coaching staff believe will showcase the skillsets they are looking for.

However, generally, within a basketball tryout, you can expect quite a few number of differing trainings and workout routines.

Typically, within the first couple of days, coaches will try to weed out the lower ranked and less skilled players. This is mainly done by emphasizing running drills and drills which require stamina and physical exertion.

Once some players have been eliminated, coaches and their staff will look to make the tryouts progressively more difficult. This will include core basketball competencies, including dribbling, passing, and shooting exercises.

As more and more players are cut, coaches will typically begin running scrimmages and one-on-one games. These scrimmages and one-on-one matchups will look to test an individual players core competencies and basketball skills but will also look to ensure that an individual player is capable of playing in a team structure and with other players.

Again, while no two basketball tryouts are similar or exactly the same, you can expect for their to be an emphasis on running drills, sprints, HIIT workouts, and core basketball competencies. As you progress through the tryouts, expect more scrimmage and playing time for the coaching staff to fully determine your potential on the court.

How to Stand Out at a Basketball Tryout

As mentioned above, no two basketball tryouts will be exactly the same. However, a majority of basketball coaches will look for similar skillsets, capabilities, and core competencies in a player vying for a position on the team.

Below, we are going to review some core skillsets and competencies which a coach look for in a player during a basketball tryout.

  • Coachability – perhaps surprising to many, but one main area of focus for a basketball coach and the coaching staff is the general coachability of any prospective basketball player. No one player will excel at every aspect of the game, but being willing, open, and amiable to being coached to perform better is a key aspect to improving and improving your odds of making the team.
  • Work Ethic – as a continuation of the above, many coaches will also pay close attention to an individual players work ethic. As you progress through the ranks and the differing basketball circuits, many of the players you will be playing against will all have natural skills and athleticism. However, work ethic and the willingness to put in the time to become better are difficult to teach. That’s why so many basketball coaches look for players who already have that internal work ethic and willingness to put in the time to the sport and to bettering their abilities.
  • Endurance and Stamina – basketball, perhaps more then any other sport, requires a high level of both endurance and stamina. A player must be able to run back-and-forth the length of the court continuously throughout the game, playing both offense and defense. As such, coaches will look to players who are capable of enduring multiple sprints up-and-down the length of the court and who are able to maintain their stamina throughout the entirety of the game.
  • Position Excellence – not all positions are created equal in basketball. As such, you should ensure that for the position you do play, that you are able to excel in its core duties and responsibilities. Whatever position you do play, ensure that you do so excellently and with the proficiency expected for that specific position.