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11 Tips on how to WIN at Rep Basketball Tryouts

Updated: Oct 5

Signing up for basketball tryouts can be a nerve-wracking experience. Even if you’re confident in your basketball skills, the idea of going up against other great players in order to compete for a spot on a rep league can be intimidating. Thankfully there are a number of things that you can do to help yourself prepare for tryouts, and help ensure that you put your best game on display for the coaches.

Burlington Basketball is home to the Burlington FORCE youth rep basketball program for boys and girls ages 8-18. We compete in Greater Toronto, throughout Ontario and beyond! Our local basketball programs and camps are second to none. Sign up and tryout for the program suited for you!

Top tips for winning at basketball tryouts


1. Communicate with coaches and other players

Talking to fellow teammates and other coaches can help players gain a better understanding of what you might be in for when you sign up for rep league tryouts. Find out what matters and what in particular rep-level play is about.

2. Introduce yourself to the coaches

If you don’t already know the coaches, introducing yourself is a great way to stand out in their mind. If their decision making has them looking at several equal players, coaches are often more likely to choose a player that they know or remember. If you do already know the coaches, making an effort to chat with them before and after practice or asking them for feedback can have a similar effect. A player that shows that they want to improve is a player coaches like!

3. Look for Prep for Rep programming

Training sessions and practices that are geared towards competitive athletes will prepare players for the scrutiny and pressure that coaches can put them under during tryouts.

4. Focus on fitness

A great rep team coach will be looking for players who possess a variety of different skills. However, the one thing they will all no doubt have in common is their physical fitness. A rep team player needs to be able to run up and down the court all game and demonstrate strong stamina. Preparation will increase your fitness level.

5. Curb those nerves

Although trying out for a rep team is sure to make players nervous, keeping these nerves in check can help their performance during tryouts. Coaches are used to seeing nervous players so it’s not something that they will hold against you, however nerves can hold you back from performing your best. *And remember* don’t get hung up on missed shots or react to them. A coach looks for someone who can shake off a miss – even an easy basket – and rebound with strong hustle play.

6. Be a positive teammate

While coaches are no doubt looking for players who have great skills, attitude is also a significant factor in their choice. Showcasing that you will be a positive voice on the court with a great attitude and good sportsmanship can help a coach want you on their team, even if your skills may not be quite as great as another players.

7. Listen to the coach

A player that will listen to the coach and take in their teaching will be a valuable asset to a rep team. Whether it’s instructions on a drill, coaching during a game or simple directions during a practice, a player that listens to their coach is one that will ultimately be a positive part of their team.

8. Show hustle

Working hard and hustling every chance you get, whether on the court or off, shows the coach that you are eager to win. During tryouts make a point of trying to win every sprint, pass, play and shot. This will show coaches that you aren’t afraid to work hard to reach a goal, and can push through the pain it might take to get there. Someone with less talent but enormous hustle always catches the eye of coaches!

9. Use your voice

A player that will talk on the court is valuable on a rep league. Not only will this help you stand out to coaches during tryouts, calling out to fellow teammates shows that you are a confident and strong player. Displaying signs of good leadership and teamwork is a great way to grab attention and showcase your expertise.

10. Be first

Stepping up to be first in drills can show your potential coaches that you are a leader. Even if you are shy and not apt to put yourself at the front of the crowd, doing so during tryouts can draw the coach’s attention to you.

11. Focus on fundamentals

While fancy footwork and crazy shots can be impressive, they also have the potential to go badly. The best way to impress during a tryout is to show that you have a great grasp of skills like passing, dribbling and shooting.


Tryouts don’t have to be scary – so go for it!

Trying out for a rep league team is an exciting time for many young ball players, and these tips will help them excel in their efforts. Remember, a coach is not looking for “perfection”, they’er looking for athletic kids who work hard. If you want some “tryout like” training, a Prep for Rep training session might be just the ticket!

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