Best 12 Tips for Basketball Tryouts

“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit” is the perfect quote describing what you have to do, in order to stand out and get selected for the basketball tryouts. There is nothing you can do overnight. Tryouts just last for a week, but you have to be prepared long before the tryouts have started. If you want to get selected and be a part of your dream team, then here are the perfect tips for basketball tryouts that will surely get you through.

Tryouts can be really nerve-racking, especially when you don’t know what the coach expects from the players. I have years of experience as a player and a coach, which gives me a great insight into what the coaches are looking for while selecting the players for their team and how should one prepare for tryouts?

Tips for Basketball Tryouts

If you have participated in many tryouts before and failed to make it to the team, it might be because you are relying on a single factor to get through. But not this time. Keep reading, to get to know the amazing tips for basketball tryouts that ensure your success.

Best 12 Tips for Basketball Tryouts

1. Practice Until You Can’t Get It Wrong

You cannot become perfect overnight. Perfection and command of what you do depend upon how much you work hard and be prepared for something. The more you practice, the more you are comfortable handling the ball. In tryouts, players are under pressure and the coaches are very well aware of that.

So, you need to go the extra mile to conquer it. All you need to do is go for a run, hit the gym, lift some weights, and burn some calories. The more time you spend on the court the more you will master your skills. This will give you more confidence and will also help you cope with the stress while you are performing during the tryouts.

This will truly help you stand out, as the coach will truly notice your confidence, comfort, and command while you are playing. Remember that everyone at the tryouts has some talent, so you need to work hard and polish your skills before the big day.

2. Be in Good Shape

Practicing your skills gives you that upper hand while you are in the tryouts. But one of the other most important things that you need to work on is your physical health. Basketball is not all about scoring and skills. You need to spend hours sweating on the court. It requires stamina and a good physique to keep going through. It is one of the primary things that a coach sees in a player even before their skills.

During tryouts, you need to run, do difficult tasks, play, and also perform well. If you don’t practice well before the tryouts, then you are likely to become out of breath yourself and get on your knees easily. It will probably put you in danger. So, try to do some weights, eat healthy food, and improve your stamina by running or cycling.

It will help you as you will not get tired easily. If you have practiced well and are in good shape, then you will seem to perform well effortlessly, which will surely impress the coach.

3. A Good First Impression Can Do Wonders

Well, it is a fact that your first impression lasts longer than you think. You need to grab the attention of the coach, so you can stand out among the others. Remember that everyone out there is trying to impress the coach. Don’t worry there are some little details that you need to keep into account, to form a lasting impression.

If you focus on these minor details, then the coach might learn your name on the first day and you might have secured your place on the team, even before you have started playing.

  • Arriving on time is one of the basic things that will ensure you have a good first impression. If you arrive early on the court, this will not only show your dedication and seriousness towards the game but also gives you the opportunity to warm up before the tasks start.
  • You should be confident enough to stand out. You have to be outgoing. Don’t be the shy kid standing at the back. It will form a bad impression as you will seem uninterested. Try to interact with others and especially the coach. Get out there and talk. Your focus should be to grab his attention. Don’t feel awkward, you cannot make it to the team unless the coach notices you.
  • Another most important yet neglected point is to have good body language. Confidence is not just about talking, body language also plays a vital role. You might have noticed that all the amazing players have very loud body language. The way they interact and move shows how skilled they are. So, you have to be active, make eye contact, and show that you are attentive, focused, and dedicated.

4. Exhibit Your Skills

Despite all the other things, the main but not the only thing that contributes to your selection in the tryouts is your skills. All participants have some skills but you can only be successful if you are able to showcase your skills properly.

You might have many amazing skills, but until the coach does not find them out, they are useless. There are many individuals and focusing thoroughly on each individual is quite difficult. So, it is necessary for you to present your skills so you can get selected.

The more efficiently you are able to display your skills the more are the chances of your selection. You should be fully prepared and practiced well before, so your skills are all polished and refined. You have to be clear about how you are going to portray them and should practice it beforehand. If you are successful in showcasing your skills, then you are halfway through.

5. Focus On What You Do Best

If you have prepared well before the tryouts, then you must know what are your weaknesses and strengths. Some are best shooters, defenders, and others are either good at rebounding or dribbling. Don’t get overwhelmed by other players who are doing some fancy moves, stick to what you do the best.

In tryouts, you are able to get selected if you are able to present what you do best in a limited time. If you get impressed by others and try to do something that you don’t do or know well, then you might end up wasting your golden chance to impress the coach.

6. Hustle and Bustle

Coaches are not only looking for individuals with great skills but they also focus on players who are enthusiastic and dedicated. It is all a game of focus and portraying your skills. Even the way you move should show that you are really here to win. If you are going to a discussion or trying to pick up a ball, don’t walk, run.

If you are on the court or off the court, hustle hard to show that you are more motivated than anyone else there. Whether it is a shooting drill or a running task, show the stamina and energy that you have gained from the endless hours of training.

7. Stay Focused and Listen Well

In order to get selected by the coach, you have to not only be a skilled player, but also the one who can work according to his instruction. The coach is the one in charge, so it is necessary to be attentive when he is talking. He will give you the instructions and the guidance you need. He is the one who plans the overall strategy of the team. So, if you are not following and focusing on what he is saying, then you might get in trouble.

You should attentively listen to the coach and make sure that he is well aware that you are focusing on what he is saying. Make eye contact and nod to ensure your presence. Once you have listened to the coach now you can plan your own individual strategy according to it. The coach is there to teach you. You can learn a lot during the tryouts, even if you don’t get selected, still you are not walking out empty-handed.

8. Communication is the key

Talk, it is the most essential thing other than your performance that will help you to get noticed. Basketball is not an individual’s game, so try to be interactive and make sure that the coach knows it by speaking out loud. As your voice can grab the attention of the coach. Even if you are not shooting, just talk while moving. You can say “I got the ball”, “pass here”, “run”, and “move”.

If you are helping other players by assisting them then you can say “I got your back” or “ keep going” or “ I’m here”. All these small phrases can help you stand out. The coach will now surely notice that you are not only a good player but also a good teammate. So, try to be the one who communicates loud and often. Believe me, this little thing can make a great difference.

9. Don’t Fear To Make Mistakes

Remember that the coach is not there to select a perfect player, rather they focus more on individuals who can work well in difficult times. Sportsmanship is not about being faultless players, it is about how you behave even when you fail. The difference lies in your mind and how you perceive things.

So, even if you cannot perform something well or if you make a mistake, don’t get gutted. You should be positive and learn from your mistakes. Own your mistakes, it will show your level of maturity as a player. If you argue, get frustrated, downhearted, and start to throw hands, then it can lower your chances of getting selected.

10. Teamwork

If you are a great player you might have a chance to get through but if you also know how to take your team with you during the game? Then you are definitely selected to be a part of the team. Remember that teamwork is the heart of success and alone you cannot achieve anything, especially in basketball. In tryouts, most individuals think that scoring is the only thing important, but it is not.

It is also necessary to help other team members. You can help them by assisting them, defending the shooters while they are going to attempt a shot, or even by verbally motivating them. There must be a leader in the team. Don’t let any chance of becoming one slip through your hand, because great players are the ones who take their other team members along with them. So, be interactive on the court. Encourage other members and appreciate them.

11. Attitude

Coaches are not focusing only on your individual play. Your attitude and character is also vital contributor to your selection. Stay positive, motivated, and encouraging. You should have great sportsmanship. Help your fellow team members. If you want to win then it is important that each member of your team is performing well.

Winning is not just about you performing well, it takes consistency and the contribution of each and every member. So, you should be the one who keeps others motivated. If a player falls down, help them in getting up. If someone is not performing well, guide them and encourage them. All these qualities will definitely help you in getting selected, as all these are the qualities that the coach is looking for.

12. Be an All-Rounder

You should have the competitive fire in you. You should not focus on one thing. You should show your dedication by taking a part in every aspect of the game. Don’t stick to one role. If you get the chance to shoot, then shoot. If you get a chance to defend then try to play a defensive role. Only good shooters are not responsible for the success of the team.

You must have a good defense system to win. So keep your heads up during the game. If you get a hold on the ball, then go for a shoot. You must not only aim at scoring, as little things can make a significant difference. Even a single move you make can matter.

Are basketball tryouts hard?

Tryouts are very nerve-wracking as it focuses on your physical and mental performance on the court. You have to go through a number of challenging tasks that are designed to test your skills. It includes shooting drills, running, and team play. You have to present your skills within a limited time, in order to impress the coach and secure a position in the team.

What usually happens at basketball tryouts?

Basketball tryouts are a specially designed set of drills by the coach to select individuals for his team, on the basis of their performance and skills. The coach judges you on the basis of your performances during the different drills. It includes the teat of your dribbling, jumping, shooting, rebounding, attacking, defending skills, and stamina.


Tryouts may seem difficult, but they are not once you know what to expect? and how to perform? I have gone through all the minute details that you should know in order to excel during the tryouts. Don’t overstress yourself. You just have to keep all these things in mind and prepare yourself for the best.

All you have to do is to be prepared, master your skills, know your shortcomings, build your stamina, be in good shape, present your skills, be fearless of making mistakes, learn from them, focus on what you do the best, have a good team spirit, be competitive, communicate well, hustle hard and be consistent.  These are the perfect tips for basketball tryouts that you will ever need. If you have mastered all these things then you are definitely going to get selected.

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