Basketball on the Edge – Top 8 Ways to Impress Your Basketball Coach

How can any basketball player catch the attention of their coach at tryouts or during practice? What are the things good coaches are looking for when they watch a particular player? This list is a great place to start when you want to make a team, earn more minutes, and gain your coach’s respect.

1. When your coach is talking, listen and pay attention.

This may seem simple, but for young players with shorter attention spans it can be difficult.

Try to make eye contact with your coach. When they look at you, your eyes should be looking back at them.

Don’t dribble a basketball while your coach is talking!

If your coach is speaking directly to you, nod or respond verbally when your coach is done talking. That way they’ll know that you have understood what they said.

Don’t fool around in line or on the sideline when you are not participating in a drill. This is the quickest way to turn off your coach. If you have a friend on the team that is always playing around, don’t stand by them! Guilt by association is powerful.

Coaches HATE when players don’t listen! Coaches LOVE when players listen.

2. Hustle.

Your coach can teach you how to shoot, pivot, execute a crossover dribble, etc. but they can’t teach you how to hustle! That comes from inside of you.

Hustle during drills, hustle to the coach when they gather the team together, hustle during games and scrimmages, hustling is NEVER wrong!

Hustling is not a skill that can be taught. It is a mindset that you must bring to everything you do on the basketball court.

3. Be the best at something on your team.

A coach will always have room on the team for someone who is the best at a particular skill.

The Best Shooter.
The Best Rebounder.
The Best Passer.
The Best Defender.
The Best Ballhandler.

Become the best on your team at a particular skill and your coach will notice!

4. Communicate.

Good coaches love it when players talk out on the court. Talk on defense, talk on offense.

Communication helps make your teammates better. It makes it easier for the TEAM to function together as a unit.

Great players are talking to their teammates constantly. Call out screens, direct teammates where to be, point out cutters, encourage your teammates with positive talk. “Hey, nice pass!” is an invaluable comment that goes a long way towards building up team spirit.

5. Don’t let mistakes affect your effort.

Everyone makes mistakes. That is how learning occurs. Don’t compound your mistake by pouting or not continuing to give your best effort.

Never let a mistake become two mistakes through lack of effort or concentration.

Learn from your mistakes and try to correct them.

6. Be a Leader.

Demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times.

Be enthusiastic at practice. No coach wants to beg and plead with you every day to get you to play hard.

Be a good teammate that other players want to play with, share the ball, be positive, and play with passion.

7. Show up early.

If you are the first player at practice every day and the last to leave your coach will notice the extra work you are putting in.

Be ready to go the moment the tryout or practice starts.

8. Be Confident.

Skill building is confidence building.

The more you train and develop your basketball skills the more confident you will be.

Great players are confident, not cocky. Great players have the attitude that they can compete with and beat anyone. Great players know they put in the work. All great players have a little swagger that says, “I’ve worked harder than you and I believe that I can beat you!”

Coaches love confident players who will take on the challenge of guarding the other team’s best player or taking the last second shot.

Put in the work and be confident!

Coaches love to find players who fit this description. 6 out of the 8 items on this list have nothing to do with basketball. Developing those skills is a mindset. Combine that mindset with relentless practice and you’ll be on your way to impressing your coach and reaching your basketball goals!

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