November 5, 2012 | Courtney O. Campbell
Excelling at this season's basketball tryouts requires dedication and planning. Don't let all your hard preparation work go to waste. Use these tips to impress your coaches, make the team and crack the starting lineup.
Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Recognize where you need improvement. Doing so will help you become a better basketball player.
In particular, evaluate your ability to perform well at your position. For example, post players must be able to block out and rebound, and guards need to be able to dribble with both hands and hit open shots.
Tip: Ask your coach for an honest assessment of your skills and what it will take to make the team; then work to adopt his or her suggestions.
Know the Basic Drills
You have to walk before you can run. And in order to understand and be proficient in basketball, you need to know the basic drills.
Tip: If you're confident with your dominant hand skills, work on the other side. Master your weak hand layup and dribbling. Improve your ability to cross over and dribble between your legs.
Increase Your Athleticism
Use last year's roster as a benchmark for how athletic you need to be to compete. Then improve your athleticism by increasing your strength, mobility, power, speed, agility and balance.
A poorly conditioned basketball player is a liability to coaches. Demonstrate that you are in good enough shape to play a full game.
Tip: Perform interval sprints using a 3:1 ratio of sprinting to rest. Give 100% effort in all conditioning drills
, and don't forget to condition your defensive movements such as defensive slides and shuffles.
Personality & Leadership
A negative attitude will get you nowhere. Encourage your teammates, even during tryouts when you're competing against them.
Shower your teammates with positive feedback.
(See 5 Traits of Great Basketball Leaders.)