Be a hustler – Show the coach you’re not lazy and hustle every chance you get. If there are a loose ball…dive on the ground. If no one is running back on D…you run back anyways. If the coach tells you its time for a water break…sprint to the water fountain. If you’re doing layup lines…dribble at a faster pace than the next guy. Just show everyone that you care to be there by hustling.
Fundamentals over Flashiness – There’s nothing a coach hates more than a show-off. No matter how good you are, you will be looked down upon if you are “hot dawg” it. Yes, an unnecessary behind the back pass may look good, but you’ll probably get yanked from the game real quick. Just remember to keep it simple and let your fundamentals show off.
Distribute the rock – Some players will think a tryout is a success if they score 30 points in a scrimmage. X that thought, its all about using your teammates and showing the coaches you can play nice with others. I’m not saying pass up open shots, take what you can and distribute the rest. Your offensive skills will show up on individual and small group drills. When your in an exhibition game, remember coaches are looking for teammates first, not players.
Be punctual – Try to be one of the first ones at the facility and the last to leave. Coaches want someone reliable, not someone that’s going to show up 10 minutes after practice starts. The best way to show them is to arrive on time from the get-go. Coaches will remember you more and realize your dedication if you stay a couple of minutes after everyone else has left. Plus, it benefits you as a player to get in extra shots while your peers are packing up.
Be coachable – If you do something wrong and the coach lets you know, whether he teaches you or not, fix it the next time out. Coaches don’t want their players to keep making the same mistakes because then they can’t be coached. If your questioning something, go up to him or her and ask (it can’t hurt). Be coachable but don’t be a suck-up, you’ll lose the respect of your teammates.
Know Your Strengths – Do what you’re good at and show your skills. Sometimes coaches look for certain skills and how it’s going to mesh with the team. If your a guard and you shoot 15 footers well, there is no need to step back to the three-point line. If you’re a big guy and set picks well, then set picks and roll to the hoop.
Pay attention – Always be alert and listen to what the coach has to say. Don’t talk to your friends during warmups and especially while someone else is talking. If a coach catches you talking, he may not say anything. But when you mess up because you missed what he says, then there will be a problem.
Prepare – Eat pasta and get plenty of rest the day before. It’s wise to have a bag packed and make sure everything is all set for the next day. You should bring a water bottle or a Gatorade to the tryouts. Also, don’t wear brand new sneakers, make sure you break your basketball shoes a week or more before. There’s nothing worse than competing when you have blisters and your sneakers are stiff.