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It’s that time of year again.  Basketball season is right around the corner and that means tryouts are as well.   How will you stand-out this year at tryouts?   Coach Blackwell and Coach Respress share their thoughts on the things you can do to separate yourself from everyone else.   


  1. Do what you do best.  We encourage players to work on their weaknesses throughout the year, but tryouts are probably one of the times when “working on your weaknesses” is not recommended. For example, if you aren’t a good 3-point shooter, don’t shoot a bunch of threes during tryouts.  Instead, focus on highlighting the areas where you excel.  If you are a good rebounder then set your mind to going hard to the boards, boxing out and scrapping for every rebound.  If you are a good shooter, focus on finding really good open shots that highlight your ability and try to avoid difficult-contested shots.   

  2. Do NOT over-dribble or over-shoot.   Many players have the perception that in order to prove themselves they need to have the ball in their hands.   Be careful.  When you over-dribble you will be more likely to turn the ball over, frustrate teammates and miss opportunities to showcase your other skills.   Most coaches don’t like ball hogs, and most love unselfish players.  Show you are capable of putting the team over yourself and the bi-product will likely be that the perception of your individual skills will also go up.  

  3. Focus on Defense. Defense is often about effort, so even if you are having an off day offensively you can make up for those offensive deficiencies on the other side of the floor.   Most coaches appreciate great defense and that aspect of a player’s game can very often make the difference in making a team and also playing time during the season.   A great offensive player who can’t defend can be a huge liability to a team.  A player that doesn’t necessarily have great offensive skills, but can always be counted on to defend almost always has a role.  

  4. Standout even when you’re not playing.  Sometimes the time when you are not playing can offer the best opportunities to showcase your intangibles such as leadership, communication and teamwork.   Hustle before, after and between drills.  Coaches will notice your effort.   Be vocal by encouraging others for working hard and making good plays.  Look the coach in the eyes and nod when he is giving instructions.  Your body language can communicate a lot about your attitude and coachability.  


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