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Old 10-23-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 13,999
Default Re: Singling Yourself Out???

Originally Posted by ILLsmak
Just ball man, **** that dude.

It's like asking someone how to get your dream girl. Just be yourself and if it's mean to happen, it'll happen. If not, work harder.

The one thing I'd say don't do is be that guy who is throwing himself on the floor to try to show that he's a hustle player. Those people are pathetic.

Just play like you would play and trust in yourself.

I was with you all the way up to:

The one thing I'd say don't do is be that guy who is throwing himself on the floor to try to show that he's a hustle player. Those people are pathetic.

As a player and now also as a coach, I'm really not sure I could disagree with you more on that angle. For my region and school, I've always had above average skills, but my willingness to do what you find pathetic was what put me on another level. As a sophomore, I definitely wasn't a shoe-in to make the varsity team. My skills were good, but so were a lot of the other players, and most of them were upperclassman. So over the course of that three day tryout, what solidified not only that I'd be making the team, but I'd end up starting come opening night? My willingness to work extremely hard and do everything I possibly could, even if it meant, yes, throwing myself on the floor for any lose ball in sight.

On the flip side, now as a coach, a player's willingness to partake in what some folks deem pathetic is one of the primary things I'm looking for. To shed some light, most of the players trying out for my teams are broken down like this:

1. The Gifted: I don't have them every year, but these are the players who are supremely more talented than anyone else on the floor and it's clear and apparent to everyone in the room, even the coaches. They tend to get noticed regardless of their actual performance.

2. The Normal: These are the toughest players to select, because they seem to mesh along with just about everyone else. They do a lot of the normal things right, but nothing at a particularly exceptional level. They're not sticking out for how bad they are, but they're not exactly sticking out for how good they are either.

3. The Defender/Hardworkers: People may want to deny it, but these guys stick out nearly as much as the gifted. As I just mentioned above, a lot of tryouts I've been a part of have been filled with a lot of the "normal" guys. The kind of folks who will make most open layups, hit some open shots, not play terrible defense, and generally live a rather unspectacular basketball existence. With that in mind, it certainly catches a coach's eye when one of those players does something effort-related to boost themselves up from the rest of the pack.

Granted, does that mean a player can just randomly swan dive and expect to get noticed? Well, yeah, but for ridiculous reasons more than good. But if we think about it, if there's a group of players all doing generally the same thing, but then there's one or a few clearly willing to go beyond, whether by sprinting back on defense, not giving up on any play (even if your opponent is streaking down the court all by himself and you have no chance to catch up), diving on any freaking loose ball in sight, boxing out and pursuing every single rebounding opportunity... those things matter.

It's true, if there's a loose ball and a pack of players are pursuing in the upright position and bent at the waist, but then one fellow decides to dive on that bad boy, my first thought is, "There's a guy who wants it! He understands what's at stake here!" And that doesn't mean he'll make my team. He might dive and hustle all he wants, but if he just flat out sucks, he still sucks. Diving gets my attention though. And to be honest, so does not diving. When I see players trying out with a seeming unwillingness to do all the extra stuff, it provides a lot more questions than answers. For one, I'm left to wonder, "Who do these normal guys think they are coming in here and feeling as if they don't have to do everything possible to make this team?"

All that aside, my general advice for making a team is not to leave any stone unturned. Meaning, do everything you can. So many players seem to have convinced themselves that scoring might be the only way to ever get noticed. This might be true for the ladies watching games in the stands, but it's not true for coaches or anyone who claims to know anything about the game of basketball. Everything counts. Boxing out. Rebounding. Hustle. ATTITUDE. Sincerity (aka none of the fake, "C'mon guys! We can do this! As a team!" motivation lines). Getting back on defense. Never giving up. Failing at a portion of the game (missing a layup, blowing a defensive assignment) and not showing the failure on your face or in the way you play the rest of the game. It all counts.

Of course, that will only take you so far. After coaching for six years or so, I secured a tryout as a player with a very small level minor league basketball squad. And with all my newfound knowledge of what it was like to be on the coaching side of a tryout, I thought I had a solid strategy now that I was once again in the shoes of a player. And you know, I followed through on my plan. I worked the hell out. I pushed myself to the limit, sprinted to exhaustion then beyond, dived on loose balls, didn't grimace when my J didn't fall, and pretty much did everything I thought I should do as a player trying out. And you know what? I still didn't make it. But (cliche forthcoming), at least I knew I gave it everything I got. And that's why I say don't try to be someone else, just do everything you know you can and leave with no regrets.

Last edited by Rake2204 : 10-28-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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