October 22, 2004, Newsletter Issue #185: MAKING THE BASKETBALL TEAM

Tip of the Week

Coaches look for players trying out for your team to do the little things that make teams better. Who is always in stance, contesting shots, grabbing loose balls with two hands, running the floor, and moving the ball by passing to the first open player? Those are things that may not have a statistical value, but contribute to the team, greatly. Who is the player who passes the ball to the players that gets an assist? Sometimes is a player that sees the floor, and understands how to attack a defense. Who stes great screens to free up his teammates? Who settles down the team when things start to get a little crazy.

Coaches take special note of players who are more alert, anticipate what may happen next, and encourage their teammates. Who will help their teammates and share their thoughts and knowledge in a positive manner.

In practice, who is the first to get there and the last to leave. Who works harder and tries to get their teammates to do the same. On and off the court, who attempts to get everyone focused on the task at hand,and thinks positive at all times.

Finally, coaches choose players to fill out the roster that will contribute to the team off the court and in the locker room. Many times those players are older, more mature players who love the sport, want to be a part of the group, and understand that they may not play much. They may almost serve as "student assistants" who act as leaders by taking younger players under their wings. If a senior is not going to play much and does not embrace this role, he may be a distraction and hurt team morale. These types of players should not be on the final roster.

There is always room for good people. Some players who do not make the team can serve as managers, student assistants, or help with statistics and video. These students can make a coaches job easier and contribute to the quality of the program.

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