Saturday, December 11, 2010

Youth Basketball: How to Make the Team

I have given advice on how to make select teams from my experience as a coach / evaluator and as a parent watching three kids tryout for various teams over the years. I have given advice on how to make a travel or select baseball team and  how to make a select or travel soccer team. Most of the advice I gave assumed that your kid had the skills in each sport to standout.

I found some great advice on how to make a basketball team from the Back Court Academy website called The 5 Reasons You Got Cut From the Basketball Team

Here are the 5 reasons - with my commentary underneath. 

1) Moving Without The Ball

You see this all the time. Great players who do not move well without the ball. This tells the evaluator that they are lazy or not confident enough to want the ball.

2) Non-Dominate Hand

You have to be able to play with both feet in soccer and both hands in basketball. Link to the post to get some advice and drills on increasing dexterity in both hands.

3) Suspect Passing Skills

Passing is a skill that does not get enough attention from fans. To me there is nothing sweeter than a smart pass. I used to love to watch Bird, Johnson, Stockton and Kidd work their magic. Even though fans and ESPN SportsCenter do not appreciate the pass, coaches do.

4) Lack of Leadership

Coaches want leaders. Leaders are confident.

5) Matador Defense

Defense is another skill that does not get enough attention. Probably because there are few stats that measure defensive prowess. Coaches love defense.

The Main Point

Did you notice that the Back Court Academy did not mention shooting? Good passing and great movement without the ball will create easy scoring chances. Great defense will create some fast breaks for easy scoring too. The sharp shooters will catch the attention of the coach, but basketball is a team game and 4 of the 5 reasons listed above are all team related. 

The only thing that I thought was missing from the Back Court Academy list was hustle and heart. My son is not the greatest dribbler or shooter. He made the his top school team because of his scrappy play. He is always the first one on the floor going after a loose ball. Coaches notice this. You cannot teach hustle and heart, but you can teach a kid to dribble and shoot. My daughter watched my son's scrappy play and plays the same way.


  1. Stats,

    Once again you have another good post…lol...By the way your son has a place to play on my team if he goes after every loose ball...I will even let him play the point so he can work on his ball handling..

    Best of luck to you...And see you in the Back Court.

  2. Good, but I have to disagree on your main point comments. Great shooting makes for exciting basketball. Great shooting requires a practiced and disciplined athlete to make those hard shots. A great shooter can certainly be a "game changer".
    The team with the most points wins! Never underestimate the value of a beautiful shot in basketball.

  3. Great information on your blog. You may find this kickstarter project interesting as this company has developed technology to help youth athletes improve there basketball game through technology: Smart Sensor Basketball:
    Best of luck with the blog and sports!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Dad, like the blog. We made an infographic to help the visual learner kids make their team... hope it helps:

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  7. Your opponent may spot an opportunity to grab the ball from you without effort.

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  11. If you don't improve your ball handling control then the defense will strip the basketball from you. When you play against more difficult competition you will realize that you need to work harder and you may also get some motivation from your realizations.안전놀이터

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  17. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
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