Friday, August 15, 2014

Making The Cut for Premier Hoops by Jasen Sousa

Premier Hoops is underway with tryouts for the National Team which will travel and compete in tournaments against some of the finest talent in the New England area.  Trying out for a team can be an intimating experience.  It’s important for an athletes to prepare themselves for tryouts in order to have the greatest chance of having the coaches notice you, and believe you will be able to make a positive contribution to the team.  There are many different philosophies and strategies out there on what coaches are looking for when selecting players for a roster, below we will cover a few that will help out along the way.  

When athletes from all different backgrounds and situations walk into a gym, they bring their own styles and habits which they have learned throughout the years while on the playground or while playing on other teams.  When you attend a tryout, there will most likely be players there who can do things just as well as you, or better.  If someone has incredible leaping ability, or seems as though they never miss a shot, don’t let it intimate you.  Basketball players are often evaluated on a number of different aspects and abilities when it comes to the selection process.  

Rely on your instincts.  Basketball is a game that you know well.  You have played and practiced for countless hours and have developed instincts which are unique to you as a player.  When you repeat the same activity over and over again, you build instincts and habits, both positive and negative.  Think back on the positive instincts and be confident in them.  Maybe you have great anticipation and are good at stepping into passing lanes and creating steals?  Maybe you are a rebounder and have found a variety of different ways of boxing out your defender and grabbing rebounds?  These instincts well let the coaches know you have logged many hours perfecting your skills. Coaches will be assessing your skills, so rely on what you do best.  Ball- handling, shooting, defending, rely on your strengths and try not to get caught up in doing things you are not accustomed to.    

Trying out for a team is like trying out for a job, so you should present yourself in a professional way as a basketball player.   Have your uniform tucked in, sneakers lacked up tightly, and have on shorts that are not constantly falling off your butt.  We have all been there.  

Coaches will also be on the lookout your coachability and your attitude.  If you are unwilling to be coached during tryouts, it’s not very likely you will be able to be coached during the season.  Effort is also extremely important.   You might make mistakes during tryouts, miss some shots, and commit some turnovers.  Try and not let to impact your effort.  Run back on defense, move the ball on offense, and dive for a few loose balls.  You can bring all of your basketball skills with you, but if you leave your effort and attitude at home, things will not go well.    

Working on conditioning before a tryout is also important.  You do not want fatigue to be something that contributes to you not being able to display your full basketball potential.  I hope some of these tips help and good luck trying out for the Premier Hoops National Team!  

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

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