After spending a lot of time in the world of youth sports both playing and coaching, I figured it may help to give a few tips to athletes as school tryouts are quickly approaching! Feel free to share and give additional opinions/ideas
Stay Calm, Have Fun!
As easy as it is it to get nervous when you hear the word "Tryouts", try to look at the process of "tryouts" as another step in your basketball journey. Understand that at the end of the day - Basketball is A GAME, have fun, work hard, and enjoy the process!
Lead By Example
Be a leader, whether it's vocally or simply leading by example via your actions: don't be afraid to lead. Bring positive energy on and off the court. Whether that's diving for a loose ball OR being a "hype man" for your team/teammates - know your role and play it well!
Do What You Do
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is key in knowing how to grow/improve your game! If you're a pass first point guard - then understand that and create for your team, If you're a knock down shooter: find the right opportunities to take quality shots and knock them down ; If you are a lock down defender: lock up every possession! All in all - simply know what your current strengths are and try to maximize them every time your on the court.
The only way to execute the plan is to listen and understand, be a GREAT listener, open your eyes and ears to all coaches when they are communicating with you/your team (no bouncing balls, no looking around the gym,no talking to other teammates while coaches are speaking, say "yes Sir,Yes mam," etc.) Be ALL IN, ALL THE TIME.
Positive Mindset, Positive Body Language
Come into workouts ready to work hard and improve, be willing to take advice in stride. At the end of the day players have to understand that coaches are trying to help. Make sure to always bring positive/uplifting energy to workouts. (No eye rolling, shrugging shoulders, jogging, etc.)If you are on the court - give 110%, no excuses.
Know the meaning of "Student Athlete"
Having the opportunity to compete at a higher level comes with many responsibilities: take care of your schoolwork (maintain solid grades), represent your school in a positive manner, and many other things... Take pride in the meaning of being a student athlete. We always say "books before ball".
The Extra Play Will Go a Long Way
Don't take the "small plays" for granted. Sometimes finishing first in conditioning or diving for loose balls can be the difference in you or someone else making a roster spot. Coaches will look for the players who give 110% effort all the time - In many cases, coaches will take a good player with a great work ethic over a great player with a bad/mediocre work ethic.
Regardless, Keep Working
Regardless of the outcome of tryouts - never settle, there is ALWAYS someone out there working 10x harder than you. Each day brings new opportunities to improve - go outwork everyone!
Thanks for reading - Hope to see you in the gym soon
-Coach Ty (Carolina Hoopfest Basketball)
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