UOG Triton Athletics
The week leading up to tryouts make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. If you already to have a routine and set sleeping schedule get into one. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. This will help with your energy and alertness level. You should always to hydrating well, but be diligent about it the day before and the day of tryouts. Bring a water bottle, empty milk jug or anything else with you to school to help keep you hydrated and also remind you to be hydrated. There are some neat apps out there that can help track your hydration level if you would like to track it. This will help your energy level throughout the day and into tryouts and also help with recovery. The saying, “you are what you eat” might be cliché but is still very true. Put the correct things into your body such as vegetables, fruits, protein and carbs. After tryouts get in plenty of fluids and quality food. Bananas are a great food to eat after games and practices. Sleeping, hydrating and eating well are all things that will help you perform at your peak and things you should continue to do throughout the season.
Regardless of your skill level coaches are always preaching to bring energy and effort. This is something that can help set you apart from others. Get excited for your teammates and cheer them on, be excited after making a nice play or receiving a nice pass from a teammate. Let your teammate know they made a nice play or thank them for the play. Finally, run to the huddle and run to drills or different stations. When it comes to effort it is about diving on the ball for loose balls, taking a charge, helping a teammate up and all those little things that add up.
Be a Leader
Everyone is nervous at tryouts and it can take a lot to put yourself out there in front of a group of coaches or peers, but to stand out you need to be a leader and take initiative at tryouts. Be the first volunteer to demonstrate a drill, ask questions if you don’t understand and overall just lead by example. Pick up basketballs, jerseys and anything else that might be in the way or need to be picked up. If you are playing 3 on 3, 5 on 5 or any team game, huddle your team up during breaks. Going back to energy and effort, just do all the little things that coaches ask for.
Eyes and ears on the coach when they are talking. This will show coaches you are listening to them and will help you out when you go back to a drill or game to remember what the coach asked or emphasized. Remembering a drill or what a coach emphasized is something simple, but something that players at all levels have forgotten or not paid attention to. Coaches are trying to help you improve and will try to help you improve on a skill, situation, or drill. Don’t take coaching negatively or personally. What I mean by that is often players are told to do something else and they see it as the coach doesn’t like them or they aren’t good or the coach is yelling at them and some players can shut down after this. Instead of shutting down, listen to what the coach is asking and do your best to correct what was asked.
Talk with the Coach
If your school/coach makes teams/cuts face to face then this is a valuable time to ask questions. You may be disappointed with being cut or with the team you made, but you may not know it now but this is a valuable lesson. Failing or disappointment is ok and is something that will happen throughout life. Being able to grow from this is what can make you a better person or player. Ask the coach what areas you can improve upon. If you made a team, ask the coach what role he/she sees who playing on this team so you have clear expectations. If your school/coach does not meet face to face to make teams or cuts then I would ask him/her if you could meet with them to discuss how you can improve and where they see your role on the team. If you are cut, but would like to still be apart of basketball and a team, then you could possibly discuss taking stats or doing film for the team with the coach.
Make the Best out of your Situation
No matter what team you make or if you do not make a team at all, make the best out of your situation. If you are a key contributor to your team then be a leader on and off the court and be a great teammate. If you are a player who made a team, but aren’t getting a lot of minutes then come to practice every day and improve. Work your tail off to be prepared for when your opportunity arises. Be a great leader, teammate and bench player that keeps the energy up in practice and games. If you did not make the team and would still like to be a part of basketball there are still opportunities for you. One of them being a team manager to stay close to the game you love and continue to learn about the game. Other options are to find a playing opportunity outside of school whether it be AAU, YMCA or some other local organization. Many school districts also have intramurals that you can participate in as well. If you are serious about continuing to play, you must not take the year off and find ways to work out and find quality games.