Making The Team

The team roster is posted. You quickly glance at the paper, hoping your name is there… Coach said he or she would call if you made the team. So you hang around the phone hoping you’ll get “the call”… Sometimes your name is on that list, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you get “the call,” sometimes it never comes.

Whatever experience you may have, the bottom line is trying out for a basketball team is stressful. All you want to do is your best, and hopefully show the coach that you deserve a spot on that team. What can you do to stand out? What will give you the edge? What does the coach really look for?

The logical answer of course is your skill level. Can you play the game? This is the number one factor. But I have known athletes who were excellent basketball players, and didn’t make the team. Why not? Because of their attitude. After skill, having a positive attitude is the second most important factor in determining whether you make the team. Attitude is everything. If you really want to make the team, take a good look at yourself to determine your attitude under the following conditions:

1) You turn the ball over or miss a shot. Do you:
A. Get mad at yourself
B. “Shake it off” and quickly get down the floor and play defense.

2) The referee calls a foul on you that you feel is unfair. Do you:
A. Argue with the ref
B. Accept the call, realizing referees can make mistakes and that it’s just a part of the game.

3) You accidentally knock an opponent down. When play stops do you:
A. Walk right pass the person you knocked down
B. Do you help them up.

4) Your teammate just gave you a great pass. Do you:
A. Ignore that teammate, thinking it’s about time I get the ball
B. Do you “high five” your teammate, thanking him or her for the pass.

5) A timeout is called. Do you:
A. Take your time walking to the sidelines
B. Run to the sidelines to hear what your coach has to say.

If you answered B on all the questions, you’ve got a great attitude. If you answered A to any of the questions, take a moment and think about how you can change your attitude to make it better.

Other Factors coaches look for in determining whether you make the team:

1) Get to tryouts early. Don’t show up late.
2) Ask the Coach if he or she needs any help (sweeping the floor, getting the basketballs out, etc…)
3) Before tryouts start, don’t goof around with your friends trying to shoot the ball from as far away from the basket as possible. This is the time to warm up. Work on your skills.
4) Always look at the Coach when he or she is speaking. Not paying attention will not sit well with the Coach.
5) Run, don’t walk to the next drill. Coaches like to see hustle all the time.
6) If you don’t make the team, ask the coach what things you need to work on to help you make the team next year.
7) Have fun!

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

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