How to Make the Basketball Team 2024: Experts Explain

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Lock in your position on the squad using my tested methods for making the basketball team. Leveraging my knowledge and background, uncover how to captivate coaches and enhance your abilities to excel on the basketball court.

How to Make the Basketball Team: Getting Started

Basketball is not just about scoring; it’s about developing a solid basketball IQ. This means you need a comprehensive grasp of the game’s rules, various positions, and the skills required for each role. Focus on:

  • Offensive skills: dribbling, shooting, passing
  • Defensive skills: footwork, positioning, anticipation
  • Team play: moving without the ball, setting screens, understanding plays

Researching the Team and Its Play Style

Before tryouts, invest time in researching your desired team to understand the coach’s strategy and preferred style of play. Does the team favor a fast-paced offense or a strong defensive setup? Knowing this will help you:

  1. Tailor your practice to match the team’s needs.
  2. Demonstrate your ability to fit into the team during tryouts.

Additionally, attending team games or watching game footage can provide insights into specific plays and rotations the coach favors. Understanding these can give you an edge as it shows your commitment and basketball IQ.

Physical Preparation

A basketball court with players practicing dribbling, shooting, and running drills. Coaches overseeing the tryouts, evaluating players' skills and teamwork

To make the basketball team, your physical preparation should focus on honing skills, enhancing fitness, and beginning early to maximize your performance. Practicing consistently, boosting your endurance, and developing the agility required to rebound and score effectively is crucial.

Developing Fundamental Skills

Practice is fundamental to improving your basketball abilities. Concentrate on scoring techniques like shooting and layups, ensuring each movement becomes second nature. Drill into the basics:

  • Dribbling: Control the ball with both hands.
  • Passing: Master chest, bounce, and overhead passes.
  • Shooting: Work on free throws and jump shots daily.
  • Rebounding: Jump and secure the ball both defensively and offensively.

Improving Physical Fitness

Your athleticism is as vital as your skills. A regimen that enhances strength, speed, and endurance will help you play at your best:

  • Cardiovascular Exercise: Build stamina with activities such as running or cycling.
  • Strength Training: Use weights to increase muscle power, focusing on legs and core.
  • Flexibility: Incorporate stretching to prevent injuries and improve mobility.
  • Agility Drills: Quick directional changes boost your on-court responsiveness.

Early Preparation

Start your physical preparation early to stand out at tryouts. Create a pre-season routine that builds progressively, covering all aspects of fitness and skill. This way, you’ll be in peak condition when it matters most.

Remember to:

  • Begin conditioning several weeks before tryouts.
  • Integrate sport-specific drills to simulate real game scenarios.
  • Balance workouts with adequate rest to foster recovery and growth.

Mental Preparation

A basketball player visualizes success, practices drills, and studies the game plan to prepare for making the team

Building a Competitive Mindset

Consistent practice: You enhance your skills through regular practice, but preparing your mind requires different tactics. Engage in mental training for basketball, where you work on reinforcing a positive self-image and adopting beliefs that foster a competitive edge.

Positive affirmations: Remind yourself of past achievements and visualize success. Use positive affirmations to boost your confidence and maintain a forward-thinking attitude, focusing on being a proactive contributor rather than feeling anxious.

Handling Pressure and Nerves

Breathing exercises: When nervousness strikes, your breathing can become your anchor. Practice deep, controlled breathing techniques to calm your mind and steady your nerves. This helps you stay focused under pressure.

Embrace the experience: See tryouts as an opportunity to grow rather than a hurdle. Adopt the philosophy of treating failure as an opportunity for growth, helping you to approach the experience as a learning moment, regardless of the outcome.


Players dribbling, shooting, and passing on the court. Coaches watching and evaluating. Intense competition and determination

When you step onto the court for tryouts, it’s your opportunity to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be an asset to the team. Remember to highlight your basketball skills effectively and showcase your ability to collaborate as an integral team member.

Showcasing Your Skills

To make the team, you need to display your abilities. Begin by identifying your strongest basketball skills, whether shooting, dribbling, or defense. During tryouts, perform drills with confidence and precision. For instance, if you have a solid three-point shot, take opportunities to show that range. Here are some tips for making a standout impression:

  • Warm-up Thoroughly: Ensure you’re physically prepared to play at your best.
  • Execute Fundamentals: Display excellent footwork, passing, and court awareness.
  • Stay Focused: Give your full attention to each drill and scrimmage.

Demonstrating Teamwork and Hustle

Coaches look for players who bring more than just technical skills to the court. They want to see your hustle—how you push through fatigue, chase loose balls, and rebound with vigor.

Here’s how you can exhibit these traits:

  • Communicate with Teammates: Always talk on defense and encourage your teammates.
  • Dive for Loose Balls: Show you’re willing to put in the extra effort for your team.
  • Support Others: Celebrate your teammates’ successes; high-five them after a good play.

Post-Tryout Strategies

Players practicing layups, shooting, and defensive drills on the court. Coaches providing feedback and encouragement. Teammates cheering and supporting each other

Evaluating Your Performance

After tryouts, take the time to analyze how you played objectively. Reflect on both the strengths and areas for improvement in your game. Dig into detailed aspects like shooting accuracy, defensive skills, and on-court communication.

Consider what coaches may have noticed about your performance, such as your punctuality and how you prepared for the session. This will help you understand how you might be perceived as a team member.

Planning for Future Opportunities

If you find areas needing improvement, formulate a plan to work on those skills. This might involve individual practice, joining a local league, or seeking out additional coaching.

On the other hand, if you receive positive feedback indicating strengths, develop a strategy to continue honing these skills. Moreover, maintain a positive connection with the coaching staff and seek constructive feedback to guide your future training efforts.

Beyond the Court

A group of players practicing layups and shooting drills on a basketball court, while coaches observe and take notes

Learning from Professional Players

Watching and analyzing the games of professionals like Stephen Curry and LeBron James can teach you nuanced aspects of basketball strategy and execution. Pay attention to Curry’s impeccable shooting form and James’s leadership and playmaking skills.

Observe how Giannis Antetokounmpo expertly drives to the hoop and consider how Kawhi Leonard approaches defense. Each professional has unique skills that you can adapt and incorporate into your playstyle.

  • Kevin Durant is known for his versatile scoring ability – perfect to study for improving your offensive game.
  • James Harden is a master of creating space; see how he uses step-back moves.
  • Watch Russell Westbrook for his intensity and agility.

Engaging in Team Activities Outside Practice

Building chemistry with your teammates is just as critical as honing your basketball skills. Spend time with your team members in various activities to foster a sense of trust and unity. Whether it’s community service, team dinners, or study sessions, these experiences can translate to better teamwork on the court.

  • Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers are known for their off-court friendship which reflects in their on-court synergy.
  • Engage in workout sessions with teammates, following the example of Jimmy Butler and his dedication to fitness.
  • Group film sessions analyzing games or discussing strategies can help, akin to how Chris Paul and Blake Griffin understood each other’s playstyles.


How do you get on a basketball team?

#1 Practice and Prepare.
#2 Be Smart and Understand the System.
#3 Do the Little Things.
#4 Showcase What You Do Well.
#5 Be a Team Player with a Great Attitude.
#6 Communicate with the Team.
#7 Make the Right Mistakes.
#8 Listen Well.

How do you make every basketball team?

The Ten Best Ways To Help You Tryout And Make Your Basketball Team
Always Hustle. …
Be Vocal. …
Listen To Your Coach. …
Play Confidently. …
Come Early and Stay Late. …
Play Within Your Role. …
Stay Aggressive. …
Ask Questions.

What makes a good NBA team?

Interior offense: Getting to the paint frequently, finishing inside consistently, and crashing offensive glass. Control: Not just how well a team moves the basketball but also how well a team protects it. Pressure: How well a defense can force turnovers, both steals and dead-ball changes of possession.

If you enjoyed reading about the topic: How to make the basketball team, leave a comment and stay updated on Pinterest for more exciting basketball news.

Leave me a comment and make sure to also check out Best Basketball Games.

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Fabian Kühar
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