7 Ways To Prepare For Basketball Tryouts

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7 Basketball Tryout Tips

Written By Lamar Hull @ Google+

basketball tryout tips

Do you want to tryout for your basketball team this year? There is so much talent around you, do you have what it takes?

These are some of the same nerve racking questions that raced through my brain back in my younger days, but guess what? You don’t have to be nervous any more!


Here are 7 basketball tryout tips that will help you impress your coaches and give you a better chance to make the team. However, a lot of the work is still up to YOU!

Before we get in to the tryout tips, the first thing you want to do is make sure you aren’t trying out for the basketball team just because your friends are, peer pressure, or a parent wishes you were more athletic. Having a genuine passion for basketball helps you know your purpose for what you are trying to accomplish. Your passion will validate your hard work and the effort you show in every drill during tryouts.

You want to impress the coach who is also watching several other players competing for limited slots. Now you just need to know how to prepare for your basketball tryouts in a way that’ll help you make the team, so here you go!

#1 Be Confident

Most successful basketball players have a certain swagger, but true confidence comes from knowing you’re good in a way that you can knock down those shots without looking like you’re showing off. Basically, you should be the one who makes it look easy – like nailing a couple of dozen free throws in a row is nothing special. We all know confidence comes from hard work and many hours spent working on your game!

I used to spend time on Fridays and Saturdays working out instead of hanging out with friends. When it was time to tryout, I had a built a level of confidence that no other player had because I knew I worked hard on my game during the summer.

The coach is going to be tough because he wants to weed out the weak players who aren’t able or willing to put in the effort. Don’t let this rattle you because it’s nothing personal.

#2 Listen to the Coach’s Instructions

Okay, an active basketball court is pretty noisy, but you can impress the coach by being the one who actually hears what he or she is saying and show him or her that you heard by following their instructions.

If he wants to see a dozen lay-ups, do a dozen lay-ups even if everybody else is going every which way. By being first, this gives you the opportunity to lead! Don’t forget to use your fundamentals while competing on the basketball court.

#3 Communicate

This is one of the easiest tips but is very rare to see, especially with younger players. If you communicate from the very beginning, the coach will keep an eye on you. I have noticed so many young players afraid to talk and use their voice to be heard.

You might be the only one on your team who sees that an opponent is trying to steal the ball from another player by chasing from behind. Most teams have codes for this like shouting, “Wolf!” or “Fire!”. Let the coach know you have the basketball IQ to communicate effectively during competition. 

#4 Hit the Gym

Work on your weaknesses well before basketball tryouts. I will say it again, hit the gym! Here is an offseason basketball workout guide to get you prepared for the tryout.

In addition, work on your strength, agility, quickness, and speed. If you work on your game by spending time in the gym and weight room, the chances of you making the team increases dramatically. I was only cut once from a basketball tryout and I vowed to never let that happen again.

How did I do it?

I spent 2 hours in the gym everyday working on my game.


#5 Don’t be Selfish with the Ball

You will naturally want to be the one who scores, but this isn’t a fantasy basketball league. The whole point of having five team members on the court is to collaborate when it comes to scoring. Basketball is about winning games as a team, not ramping up your own stats even though you know you might be capable of leading your team in several categories.

Work on your passing because the coach looks for that as part of your ability to be a good all-around player. By the same token, don’t be ashamed of high-fiving another player who just pulled off a nice move.

#6 Follow a Good Nutrition Plan

basketball diet

While you’re training and preparing for basketball tryouts, stay focused on your nutritional plan. That should include drinking plenty of water and getting a good, well-rounded diet. Go to your local fitness gym and ask questions!

If anything on your nutritional plan is unclear, don’t be fooled by fad diets like the low-carb diet because, while you should avoid the garbage carbs found in most junk foods, your muscles will need the good carbs to function at a high level.

When you’re getting enough sleep and drinking enough water, you will perform at your peak in a way that coaches will see you outperform the competition. Start by making sure you get at least eight hours of quality sleep a night even if it means cutting back on your social time. Drink a tall glass of water the night before tryouts – though preferably not right before bedtime to reduce the risk of getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

#7 Ask your coach for ways you can Improve

A coach will be more impressed by a player who recognizes that he or she have weaknesses and is seeking constructive feedback. Even if it’s “just tryouts,” he might be able to show you a couple of methods you can use to improve your game. The feedback that the coach provides, you can use that insight to quickly adapt and adjust. This will show the coach your attention to detail and basketball IQ.

In addition, you can use the coach’s feedback if you don’t make the cut but want to try again next year. You will then be able to spend the entire year ramping up your game. Oh yea, it is likely you may not make the team! If you don’t, how will you respond?

Intelligent coaches don’t forget the feedback that they provide young players! They will be impressed that you worked on the skills that they recommended the prior year and because you listened they will know you’re ready to be part of the team in a meaningful way.


You know you’ll be a good basketball player if you can make a great first impression, especially in a tryout setting. Like Eminem said, you have one shot! Give your best effort, leave everything on the court, be confident, and the coach will give you a chance to join the team. These tryout tips can be applied to middle school, high school, college, and professional basketball tryouts!

Just remember, preparing for tryouts in a meaningful way will start several weeks, months, before tryouts actually begin. It takes time, patience and persistence to actually be noticed by the coach. This is your chance to work on any weak points you have in your game and nail that one chance to make an awesome first impression on a coach that might not have otherwise looked twice at you. Lastly, don’t forget to communicate with the players you are competing against. Go get what you deserve!

What ways have you prepared for a basketball tryout? What are some other basketball tryout tips?

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7 Ways To Prepare For Basketball Tryouts by

3 Responses to “7 Ways To Prepare For Basketball Tryouts”

  1. Anthony Barnes Jr.

    I have a question my goal is on a hill so when I shoot on it I have to shoot higher than normal will this mess up my shot on a normal goal?

    • Lamar Hull

      Anthony – thanks for the comment! As you know basketball is played on a flat surface, so I’m assuming that could cause your perception when playing on a flat surface to be different. It also depends on how much time you spend shooting on that goal, gaining repetition on a hill. However, shooting the ball high is not a bad thing, the more arc you have the better!


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