Basketball Tryout Drills
Building a Well-Rounded Team
The changing of the leaves can only mean one thing… basketball season is beginning! When running a basketball tryout, it is important to include a variety of drills that allow players to demonstrate both their skills and athleticism, since both are crucial elements of a good basketball player. Try using these basketball tryout drills to build a well-rounded, strong team. Always remember to end basketball tryouts with a scrimmage, which gives players an opportunity to put their skills to the test.
First in this series of basketball tryout drills tests a player’s conditioning and stamina. Have all the players lineup behind each other at the far baseline. The player at the front of the line has a ball. At the sound of the coach’s whistle, this player must dribble as fast as possible across the court and execute a lay-up on the left side of the basket.
The player gets their own rebound, and speed dribbles back to the other side of the court where they execute a lay-up on the right side of the basket. Play continues in this manner for up to two minutes. Once the player’s time is up, they pass the ball along to the next player in line.
Another great drill for gauging players’ lay-up skills is this one, which can be run simultaneously at every basket in the gym. Each player has a ball and begins on the left side of the basket. At the sound of the whistle, players execute a lay-up by jumping off both feet. Each player catches their ball as it comes through the basket.
When the left foot lands, players pivot on it and execute another double-footed lay-up on the right side of the basket. When the right foot lands, this is repeated for the left side of the basket. Play continues in this manner for 30 seconds. Coaches are encouraged to run this drill 2 or 3 times during the tryout, recording the number of successful baskets by each player.
Shooting and Defensive Slide
Next, try this basketball tryout drill that focus on showcasing your players’ shooting skills. This shooting requires 7 orange cones or beanbags placed in a semi-circle around 15 feet from the basket. The player begins at one of the cones by taking a shot. They get their own rebounds, and dribble back to the nearest cone to take another shot. Play continues in this manner for 1-2 minutes with coaches keep track of the number of successful baskets made by each player.
No article on basketball tryout drills would be complete without at least one drill that focuses on the defensive aspects of the game, such as this defensive slide drill. First, set up cones in a zig-zag formation, with approximately 15 feet between each cone. At the sound of the whistle, players perform a defensive slide by taking short, choppy steps without crossing their legs from the first cone to the second, then pivot 180 degrees and defensive slide to the next cone. Time each player as they complete the course, which will encourage speed. If a player falls or crosses their legs, they must return to the beginning of the course to start over.