When watching elite NBA players play basketball, it's easy to think that these gifted players were just born with this skills and that's how they've managed to be so successful.  That' s far from the truth!  Just like anything else in life, you have to put in the time if you want to see results.  Playing the game of basketball is no different. 

If you want to make it on the basketball team, you have to work for it.  The space on the team is limited which means you have to work harder than the person next to you to make sure that one of those spots are yours.  To increase your chances of making the team, there are several things that you should be doing right now to help you stand out from the crowd. 

Introduce Yourself to the Coaching Team

If you want the coaching staff to notice you, simply introduce yourself.  If it's the off-season and the coach is on campus, make it a point to introduce yourself and let him know that your interested in the basketball team.  This is also a great opportunity to show that you're willing to work hard.  Ask the coach what's the best way to prepare for the upcoming basketball season; for example, does he have any conditioning drills he recommends and make sure you actually do it.  Coaches are more than happy to help a player improve his game.    

Be Physically Prepared

One of the easiest ways for coaches to decrease the number of people trying out is to let them decide for themselves that they don't want to be on the team.  And how do they do that?  By making them run and run. Basketball is a physically demanding sport and it requires a certain level of fitness in order to play the game the right way.  You'll need to be able to do a number of things including running and jumping as well demonstrate hand-eye coordination.  As a result, you should expect several conditioning drills to help the coach filter out who's ready to play and who's not. 

So make sure that physically ready for the demands of the game before tryouts even begin.  Go to your community park and do some sprints.  Find out who else is planning on trying out for the basketball team and organize a pick-up game at the park.  Get your body accustomed to running up and down the basketball court.  You should also arrive to tryouts early and do some warmups and stretching so that you're ready as soon as practice starts.     

Do the Things that No One Else Wants to Do

A great way to stand out during tryouts is to do the things thatll get you noticed.  As tryouts begin, take inventory of the type of players that are there.  Are there a lot of shooters, ball handlers, slashers?  Find out what's lacking on the team and be the guy to provide it.  For example, be the defensive specialist.  After all, a team needs to be able to play offense and defense, and someone who's capable of playing both sides of the floor is an asset to the team.  If there's a loose ball, don't just bend over and try to scoop it up-dive on the floor and go get it!  Do whatever it takes to show the coach that  you want to be on the team.     

Play like Steve Nash, not like Kobe

Don't just concentrate on scoring-be a playmaker.  There are other ways to make an impact on a game instead of scoring.  Set screens for your teammates, rebound the basketball, look for your open teammates and help them to score.  Basketball is a team game, so demonstrate to your coach you'll do whatever it takes to help the team win!

ESPN is filled with all these spectacular plays that many people think that’s the way you need to play-it's not!  Just keep it simple and stick to the fundamentals of the game.  If you see an open man, pass to him.  If you have an open shot, take it.  If your teammate needs help on defense, help him.


Basketball is a great game and being part of a team is definitely a privilege.  I hope this helps you get on the team.  Don’t forget to have fun and, above all, stay safe!