By Julianna Fabrizio
The many youth sports seasons are upon us, bringing with them something that kids everywhere stress about: tryouts. Everyone has nerves when it comes to trying out for a sports team, whether it’s their first time or if they’ve been doing it for years.
Four basketball coaches from elementary school level to college provided tips for a successful tryout.
Macky Bergman, a native New Yorker founded Steady Buckets, a free program based in Lower Manhattan, said coaches always like to see kids trying their hardest and added that those trying out shouldn’t feel that they have to be perfect. “A lot of kids focus on making a shot. They think if they miss they are having a bad tryout, or if they make it they are having a good tryout. Coaches know that kids never make all of their shots,” Bergman explained. “Even if you miss every shot you take, if you follow through and show good form, the coach will still be impressed,” he said.
Being prepared for a tryout means more than just practicing skills. For Philip Fisher, who coaches boys varsity basketball at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, organization is key. He mentioned that it is important that all paperwork and forms be submitted on time for the tryout. “It would be helpful if players made contact earlier with the coach so that they know that they have a real interest,” Fisher said. He added that, “players need to be good citizens during tryouts, meaning they should be good teammates, and not act like it’s all about them.”
Mike Finnen is the Co-Founder of the East Side Escalades, a program for 4th-12th graders. “I’m looking for the kid who hustles, the kid who has played basketball before and has experience, and the kid who has a good attitude, follows directions, and always pays attention,” explained Finnen. He also noted was that it is equally important for kids to work as hard as they can when playing defense as it is for them to be a good shooter in the tryouts. “It might not be your day, so you may not make your shots. Tryouts are one day and you can’t rely entirely on offense,” he said.
Many agreed that being fit is important to standing out during a tryout. “Basketball is a rigorous sport and you need to have your body in tip top shape. This is a way to really impress the coaches and show your dedication,” noted Veronica Mullen, the director of women’s basketball operations at St. John’s University. Mullen, who also helps run the Joe Tartamella girls summer basketball camps and clinics at St. John’s University, added that coaches are analyzing more than players’ skills. “Coaches want to visually see that you hustle, as well as your attitude, and enthusiasm for the game. If these are poor, they will immediately turn away,” she said. Finnen echoed the need to be in shape. He recommended the Syracuse Basketball Running Program as a good way to do so. Coaches also like to see players take initiative when playing basketball. Being quiet is not beneficial to any player during a tryout. “Communicate throughout the tryout. Basketball requires everyone on the court to communicate, calling out screens, defense, offense, etc. You need to have a positive voice in order to help assist your teammates,” Mullen said.
Julianna Fabrizio is a member of our team of junior journalists. She is a 9th grader at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan.See more New York Sports Connection articles
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Stay ahead of the deadlines. Sign up for the Weekly Sports Alert