Tip #1-How To Guarantee Your Spot

A lot of players spend their preseason just working on arbitrary skill sets and then they go into try outs and find everyone is doing the same thing. What we suggest is developing your skills in general, but in addition knowing the specific needs of the program and developing specific skills sets that match it. This is what we mean by “Don’t focus on making the team, but focus on making the team better.”

Keys to remember:

  1. Evaluating the team needs- Knowing what the team lacks and developing skills to fulfill the need
  2. Evaluating your current skills and abilities-Evaluation of where you’re at with your current skills
  3. Coaches values- Knowing what the coaches are looking for
  4. Knowing the style of play- For example, if its uptempo fast break, then running miles and getting in the best condition you can be in should be your number one priority. If its dribble drive, then focusing on your ball handling skills. Whatever your program style of play is, develop skills that match.
  5. Know your role and master it-Taking the time to practice things that are directly related to a role that you can fulfill better than anyone else.
  6. Looking at the skills and abilities of the people who will also be trying out- When you’re in open gym or you played on the team last year, take an inventory of whats there /what needs to be there and figure out how you can fit in a way that improves the team, then developing towards that.

Tip #2 Get In Tip Top Shape

One of the most underestimated elements of any great athlete is their superior physical condition. Throughout all sports there are greats that have made history, such as:

  • Jerry Rice
  • Michael Jordan
  • Alan Iverson
  • Carl Malone

Whether they were skilled, not skilled, effort players or not- the fact is these players made a career out of superiors physical conditioning.

Superior physical conditioning will give you an advantage in many circumstances throughout your season and in tryouts. When other players are suffering with conditioning throughout practice or games are get tired from running lines, get dizzy, become fatigued-their skills and ability to execute drop. If you know this and you condition yourself as an athlete to the point that when you’re in tryouts, even a game, you can be sharp when the other persons skills drop. No matter if you started off as equals or if they started off with a higher skill set than you, once fatigue sets in you can take over and become the dominant player.

This is why it’s important to get in tip top shape going into tryouts, and that will carry in through the season as a foundation for dominant performances.

Tip #3 Hack Away At The Unessential

This tip, I feel, is extremely important. When you go into High School basketball seasons the game changes up from what you were used to playing in your summer league or AAU teams. There is less room to be creative with you’re moves, and instead focusing more emphasis on:

  • Defense
  • Helping the defender
  • Zone plays

In these situations the more you can score the more you can contribute. Getting your shots up will lead to you having a more positive effect on the team. The less amount of dribbles and the least amount of movement, the better. You want to take a look at your game, see what habits you have and fix them.

For example,

  • If you have a habit of tapping your foot  before you shoot- you want to get rid of that.
  • If you have a tendency to do huge cross overs- you want to do the smallest thing that you can do to be the most effective. What this does is conserve energy as well as allow you to do more in less time, which is critical in the game of basketball.

Key points to consider:

  1. Look at your game
  2. Assess your game
  3. Evaluate your game
  4. Understand the difference between highlight plays and solid basketball play
  5. Get your mind set for tryouts and for high school basketball season wrapped around solid, fundamental basketball plays that you can make again and again and again.

This is why we say hacking away at the unessential movements is critical in high school basketball and in tryouts.

Tip #4 Discover Ways To Dominate The Game Without Dominating The Ball

There are very few players who work on this tip because everyone is focusing on their dribbling and shooting. Be the person whose working on dominating on defense.

  1. Figure out how to dominate on the offensive rebound;
  2. Figure out how to dominate rebounds;
  3. Pick a nitch that fits your body type and personality type;
  4. Figure out how to be a dominant force in the game that doesn’t have to do with having the ball in your hands.
Doing this will really give you a great opportunity to make the team and find yourself as an invaluable producer on the team that earns a lot of playing time.