Coaching Today

Tryouts Procedures for the Basketball Coach


By Carl Normandin 

Tryouts Procedures for the Basketball Coach_DBDepending on your coaching situation, you may need to run a "tryout/team selection process.” The procedures listed below are just an example of a simple seven-station format to help the basketball coach in the process of reducing the total number of players to a more manageable number for the season. 

The skills and tasks are designed to highlight aspects of the game of basketball and can be used to give a coach a reference to work from when composing his/her team. It also provides an informal assessment tool to use when you are asked to justify who made your team and who did not. This seems to be a common scenario in team sports these days. 

Listed below are some examples of player assessment items that can be used as a part of a tryout/team selection process. It may be helpful to recruit some responsible upperclassmen to assist you in running a particular station and recording the scores at their designated stations. (Consideration should also be given to holding a scrimmage as the final assessment piece to any tryout process) 

  1. Jump and Reach - (equipment) stand and reach tape measure 
  • 3 trials/jump attempts per player 1 step approach 
  • player jumps and touches tape 
  • to obtain vertical jump distance (subtract standing reach mark,   
  • i.e., the actual players arm extended up the tape measure) from the actual jump measurement recorded = vertical jumping distance 

2. Control Dribble - right hand, left hand, crossover, through chair or cone. Obstacles, 5 chairs, 15 feet apart - record total time down and back for the skill. 

3. Agility - Bench jumping, plyometric-type jumps for time – Box Jumps, Slides using the center court jump circle time timed for the number of slides across the circle for 30 seconds using correct "defensive " technique. 

  1.  Arm shoulder strength 
  • 50-pound bench press - 30 seconds 
  • wall passing - 30 seconds right hand and left hand from a distance of 4 feet from the wall  
  • baseball pass - from behind the base line.  ½ court = 1 point, 3/4 court =2 points, full court = 3points 
  1. Shooting 
  • across the lane (low block to low block)     1 minute       
  • across the lane to second hash mark (using backboard)     1 minute 
  • right hand layup - no dribble (right hand)     1 minute 
  • left hand layup - no dribble (left hand)      1 minute 
  • cross out drill - (layups from opposite foul line elbow)     1 minute 
  • Mikan drill (layup)     1 minute 
  • shot from foul line extended      1 minute 
  • 3 point shot     1 minute 
  • 1 minute full court layups     1 minute 
  • jumpshot, run touch foul line, retrieve ball then shoot from the spot you retrieve it from.     1 minute 

6. Ball handling 

  • 2 bounce, figure 8 through legs      1 minute 
  • figure 8 through legs without dribble     1 minute 
  • hand exchange(spider drill)     1 minute 

7. Speed - forward - backward running with and without the ball End line to End line 

Scoring - The player's scores are then ranked based on where their athlete scored among their teammates 

  • Players 1- 5 = 5 points 
  • Players 6-10 = 3 points 
  •  Players 11-15 = 2 points 
  • Players 16-20 = 1 point 

The players with the top 15 scores in the 7 categories and the addition of scrimmage assessment will make the team. 

Special Note: The Tryout/Assessment scores do not guarantee a starting five position on the team. These score are only used to determine who makes the team.   

About the Author: Carl Normandin, CAA, is director of interscholastic athletics and executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Section 10 office in Canton, New York. He previously was a teacher, coach and athletic director. Normandin is a member of the NFHS Coaches Publications Committee. 



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