Tom Newell At Large: January 2007

Hey Coach!
I play another sport besides basketball. The tryouts are a couple of days after my other activity's season is completed. What can I do to successfully prepare for basketball tryouts?

Don't Panic!! Talk with your present activity coach and ask him/her if you can have permission to "work out" on weekends on your own (as long as it doesn't interfere with your present team's activity). Take 5 mins. everyday, one month or earlier, and begin a stationary 1 minute dribble drill, using your right hand first, keeping a tab in your mind on the number of dribbles in this minute, then switch over to the other hand, and repeat the same sequence, keeping a tab on the number of bounces in a minute. The next drill is a stationary crossover drill that has your feet apart (shoulder wide), and you crossover dribble from right to left, all the while keeping your head up eyes forward, but still able to "see" the ball in your periphery. You can also do this drill with your eyes closed! Yes, and it is a great drill to practice everyday as well. This drill should be for at least 2 minutes. The reason for keeping "tabs" on your dribble count in the beginning drill, is to remind you to improve by 1 or more dribbles each day you practice this on your own. It will increase your confidence with the ball and at the same time prepare you for the "tryouts" that loom ahead.

- tn

Hey Coach!
What are the most important things to remember when trying out for any sport?

Stay in shape!!! Coaches have a hard time with players who try out and haven't put the time in all summer or the offseason to prepare for the "days" of tryouts. If you think you can get by on 3-4 days of workout a couple of weeks prior to the tryout date... forget it. You are setting yourself up for failure and maybe even getting nauseous and sick. There is no reason a high school athlete who knows what the drill requirements will be for the activity should come into a tryout without some preseason conditioning under their belt. I have more participants in tryouts fail because they didn't prepare properly. Preparation defined as follows:
1) strength and conditioning regimen... personal trainer, select team experiences...
2) practice repetitions for experience and success...
3) playing in competitions in order to develop better habits and improved skills.., if you are competing in another after school activity this covers that area of preparation.

Important Website Addresses to seek more information on the NCAAs, NAIAs, and National Community College Association:

- tn

Hey Coach!
I have a "dream" to play college hoops someday... is that too lofty of a goal today?

Not necessarily. If you have invested the time, effort, and discipline to improve your skills throughout each season, then you will be the best judge as to whether or not your skills are comparable to the "next level" of competition. This is especially true if you are playing on an AAU travel team. That experience alone reveals many "secrets" about your game, and the talent you may possess for playing at the intercollegiate level. You must also keep in mind that there are several different levels of intercollegiate competition in basketball: D-1,2,3; NAIA 3 levels, plus Christian School 1, 2; and Community College competitions. Not all schools provide athletic scholarships, but you may find a college that welcomes your application and interest in their school and in some cases will refer your success as an interscholastic athlete to the coaching staff.  True story.

-tn

Hey Coach!
Basketball is my primary sport. We have a new coach and helshe doesn't know anything about me. What can I do to help my coach know more about me as a team player and person?

Great question! Put together a one page questionnaire that you have drafted for the benefit of this new coach. This information would allow the coach to assess your background with the sport...  what you did this past summer... whether or not you attended a basketball camp and/or played on a select team. Also include the information on community service experiences, if you have done so to date. Be sure to put down your attainable goals both for school and athletics. This information will assist the coach(es) in assessing your leadership skills as well as your commitment to competing at the high school level. Information to any coach is golden. It helps them to understand their team better and provides an insight as to the team's strength and perhaps weaknesses.

-tn