Free Newsletter

Get our free monthly newsletter with new drills, plays, scoring tips & coaching strategies... Signup for our newsletter

Q & A Forum

Experienced coaches are ready to answer your basketball questions! Visit our forum

Social Links

@BreakthruBball
CloseMinimize

Subscribe for FREE and Get 3 eBooks…

Just for subscribing to our free newsletter you’ll get these 3 eBooks for free…
  • 72 Basketball Drills & Coaching Tips – 136 page eBook.
  • 21 Basketball Tips & Tricks for Players – 20 page eBook.
  • 32 Winning Basketball Plays – 96 page eBook.
Plus you’ll get ALL updates to this website delivered to your inbox for free. Over 100,000 other coaches, players, & parents have already subscribed.

We will never send you spam or share your email address, guaranteed!

Your First Name:
Your Email:
Which category applies to you?
Age level:


Close

Questions From Subscribers...


Topic:  Basketball Try Out Drills

Question from Pat:
What are some good try out drills we can use?


Answers and Comments


Don Kelbick says:
10/24/2007 at 7:29:34 PM

Pat

I think it depends on what level you are coaching and how long you have to try out.

Playing should be part of any tryout but it does not have to be 5 on 5. You can play in situations, 4 on 4 or 3 on 3.

Keep in mind that you are not only evaluating who will make your team but also what skills you need to spend time developing in practice.

You should have a ball handling evaluation, whether it be a dribble weave around cones, zig-zag drill up the floor or stationary ball handling drills such as dribble figure 8's or butterfly dribbling, etc.

You should have a shooting evaluation. It could be layup lines, two line shooting ro any other shooting drill you are comfortable with. However, they should be drills you use in practice and there should be no defense.

You defensive and passing evaluations can come from your scrimmage session.

There are hundreds of basketball drills on this website and in the eBooks.
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/basketballdrills.html
http://www.winningdrills.com

Go through them and find some you are familiar with and are appropriate for evaluation.

Again, I don't know how much time you have or what your restrictions you are under, but in my coaching experience I drastically changed my opinion of tryouts. I decided we weren't going to have tryouts, we started practice. If you wanted to play on the team, you came to practice every day until I told you not to come. Everybody went throught the same drills, teaching, conditioning and competition. Naturally most of my attention was focused on the players that I knew I needed for the season, but if others stood out, then they had a shot at the team. We usually took about 3 days to make the first cut and usually had it down tot the team by 6 days. I learned a lot about the players this way, who works, who is committed, who are good teammmates, etc. It did not retard the progress of the team because everyone was taught the same things.

I hope I answered your question to some extent.

Feel free to contact me if I could be of help.

Don Kelbick
Contributing Editor Breakthrough Basketball
http://www.DonKelbickBasketball.com


Michael Reisbaum says:
10/3/2008 at 10:51:42 AM

Sir:
We are conducting a travel basketball program try out for 9-10 year old boys; 4th grade.
We will run 4 stations, a dribbling (thru cones) drill, jump shooting, passing, and an agility drill. Following that, we expect to run a group of 3-3 scrimmages to get a understanding for the boys'' "feel" for the game.
Is that appropriate for a group of this age? If not, do you have any additional recommendations?
Thanks for your feedback,
Michael Reisbaum


Joe Haefner says:
10/4/2008 at 8:15:48 AM

Hi Michael,

Those sound like some good stations to run. Something that is very important at that age level is the ability to make lay ups. Maybe, you would want to add that to your list?

Remember to keep in mind the player's potential. Some of these kids may improve 10-fold with a little practice. That's just a personal opinion. Some coaches just like to pick the "10" or "8" best.

Also, keep in mind that some players may not react well to the drills, but play way better in the scrimmages.


Paul says:
10/14/2008 at 10:48:04 AM

Hi I was wondering what defensive drills that can be used for tryouts. Some for the Junior High level and maybe for the JV/and Varisity. Is there any drills that coaches can chart for defense? I liked the idea of the scrimmages just looking for some defense drills that I can use to chart. Thanks Paul


Joe Haefner says:
10/14/2008 at 6:26:09 PM

Hi Paul,

I''m not an expert on try-outs, but here are a few ideas. Remember, your set of drills may be different based on your defensive philosophy.

For any defense, you should work on these drills in the half-court: close-outs (positioning and movement off the ball and 1 on 1 defense), 1 on 1 (on-ball defense), shell (watch movements away from basketball), LIVE basketball (see if they can still move well outside of the shell).

If you like to do play full-court defense, maybe you should play some 1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, 4 on 3 (overload drill), and 5 on 5 in the full-court.

If you like to see how the defender moves you could do some lane slides or also the defense reaction drill: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/defensivereaction.html

Here are some drills that may be useful that are on our website: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/basketball-overload-defense-drill.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/123progression.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/ChargingDrill2.html


Jay Mayer says:
11/17/2008 at 10:32:51 PM

I volunteered to coach six and seven year olds basketball. I played in high school but I don't know what drills and what the appropriate strategy is to teach these youngsters. I could use some tips.

Thanks.


Joe Haefner says:
11/18/2008 at 7:21:25 AM

Hi Jay,

We have answered these questions on other pages. you can check out these links:

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/qa/q1-verybasicyouthdrills.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/youthbasketball.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/teach-youth.html


joe says:
11/24/2008 at 6:08:15 AM

I will be coaching boys 16-19. They attend a Charter school and all at-risk kids (fighting, drugs, school attendance etc). Only one has played at the high school level but all seem motivated to play. I told the other coach that I wanted to keep the number of plays to a minimum so not to overwhelm them. I would like to know your thoughts about my idea, as well as any other ideas about coaching boys who only have experience with street ball.

Joe


Joe Haefner says:
11/24/2008 at 5:53:23 PM

I like the idea of keeping plays to a minimum. Less to remember and more freedom to just play. Maybe, you just want to have some basic rules to promote team basketball, such as 5 passes before a jump shot.

We have recently released a motion offense product that may be of interest to you: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/motionoffense.html


Will says:
12/14/2008 at 11:13:44 PM

May be too late for school tryouts, but maybe for AAU (plus I like it at practice, too -- I have 12-year old girls)

Three-man weave, back to a 2-on-1.

The first part is probably understood, but just in case, three lines for a 3-0 fastbreak . . ball starts in middle, player passes a wing and follows their pass, running to fill the spot they passed to. I'll say the ball went to the player on the left wing . . the new ballhandler takes one dribble to the middle (optional, depending on level, could be no dribbles) then passes across to the right wing, then passer runs to right wing, etc. until you get close enough for a layup.

On the way back, the shooter hustles all the way back to play defense while the other two run a 2-1 break.

Teach the defender to get real deep and the offensive players to not stop with the ball until they are challenged and stay wide to keep 1 from being able to guard 2.

As a bonus you may find some players near the end of the first trip down always make an extra pass (so they don't have to shoot and be the one to play defense) . . you can learn something if you see it repeatedly from the same kid(s).

After they understand this, I go 5-man weave back to 3-on-2 where the shooter AND last passer get back on D. (Set up in a top-bottom tandem, top player gets back, bottom gets first pass).





Will says:
12/14/2008 at 11:17:39 PM

Couldn't edit my post. Last graph had a typo and should read:

After they understand this, I go 5-man weave back to 3-on-2 where the shooter AND last passer get back on D. (Set up in a top-bottom tandem, top player gets BALL, bottom gets first pass).


ariel says:
6/23/2009 at 2:55:55 PM

because i did my math and study my work.
then i do is play ball and shots 15shots
+5shots and it(s 20 shots


patrick says:
7/15/2009 at 1:54:33 PM

I have a question. I coach 6 and 7 year olds. I am trying to find one offense play that these first timers can use to score and at the same time not be ALL around the dribbler, can you help?


Joe Haefner says:
7/15/2009 at 6:17:13 PM

Hi Patrick,

If you get them to run a play, tell me your secret. I have enough trouble getting 15 & 16 year old kids to run a play.

To be honest, you will not have any luck and it will be a waste of your time. You MIGHT get them to run it correctly with HOURS of work, but most likely not.

Children's (especially at that age) brains aren't wired to sit there and learn a play. They seriously can't help it. Their brains are wired to be easily stimulated. That's why you can't talk to them for more than 20 seconds without doing something fun. Otherwise, they might start talking, going to la-la land, or start messing around with each other.

Here are some helpful articles you may want to take a look at:

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/should-we-teach-basketball-skills-to-kids-under-the-age-of-10/

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/four-great-ways-to-keep-your-teams-attention/

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/should-youth-coaches-avoid-plays-and-patterned-offenses/

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/could-3-on-3-basketball-be-the-best-for-youth-players/

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/important-lesson-for-youth-basketball-coaches/

You can find plenty more information in our youth basketball section on the site:

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/youthbasketball.html


Nate says:
11/2/2009 at 3:35:02 PM

Don,

Haha, you said

"I decided we weren't going to have tryouts, we started practice. If you wanted to play on the team, you came to practice every day until I told you not to come. Everybody went throught the same drills, teaching, conditioning and competition. Naturally most of my attention was focused on the players that I knew I needed for the season, but if others stood out, then they had a shot at the team. We usually took about 3 days to make the first cut and usually had it down tot the team by 6 days."

That is called having a Tryout!


Brad says:
2/16/2010 at 4:32:32 AM

I was the assist coach last year for a 4th grade aau team. This year i am going to be coach them by myself basically. I played ball and coach but teach the basic and trying to not overload them with a lot of plays. My question is should i run the team as starting 5 unit press hard, run and gun for 3 mins then begin in the second unit. Its work at the 8th grade level. I dont know if it work at the 5th grade level.


peter marino says:
7/25/2010 at 6:15:56 PM

basketball for 32 weeks


Carlos says:
10/19/2010 at 12:12:25 PM

I volunteered to coach 4th-5th grade (9-11 yr olds) basketball. I've played in high school and many leagues ... but I don't know what drills and what the appropriate strategy is to teach this age group. Help or tips? Thanks...


Jeff Haefner says:
10/19/2010 at 2:30:32 PM

Carlos,

Spend the majority of your practice teaching skills (dribbling, passing, shooting, footwork). Do not run plays. Instead teach a free form motion offense so kids learn "how to play". You can also teach skills and build your motion offense at the same time so it's a more efficient use of practice time.

Teach man to man defense. Do not press or play zone defense.

Keep the drills lots of fun. Check out these pages for more information about coaching youth basketball:
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/youthbasketball.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/teach-youth.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/bigelow-youth-right-way.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/fun-youth-drills.html


Bosworth says:
12/2/2010 at 5:21:30 PM

You said: "I decided we weren't going to have tryouts, we started practice. If you wanted to play on the team, you came to practice every day until I told you not to come. Everybody went throught the same drills, teaching, conditioning and competition. Naturally most of my attention was focused on the players that I knew I needed for the season, but if others stood out, then they had a shot at the team. We usually took about 3 days to make the first cut and usually had it down tot the team by 6 days."

Love it.

Our junior high 7th grade has over 80 boys being "evaluated" (can't call it tryouts) over 3 days, 6 hours, for 22 slots.

The coach is a PE teacher for this age group and although PE time is not suppose to be for "evaluation" the youth have been playing basketball for the last 2 1/2 weeks. The coach has to be using the time to get a feel for who he is interested in and who are without a doubt no's.

Your approach is more realistic than trying to evaluate over 80 boys in 6 hours with only two coaches and 7th grade girl managers to track/score the boys at each evaluation station. Or using PE time and denying it.






aaron says:
1/23/2012 at 4:33:03 PM

i wanna know how long i should train before i see results and after that how long should i wait to try out


Ken says:
1/23/2012 at 4:50:51 PM

Aaron -

This all depends on your age, level you are trying out for and your skill level.

To put it simply, you can never work to hard at improving your game. What is your training going to involve?


Darren Clay says:
2/20/2012 at 2:54:14 PM

i coach a girls AAU 7th grade team ,last year we had about 15 girls tryout for 10 spots this year i anticapate having @ 25 girls. We are trying to form an "A" and a "B" team with that many girls what drills should i focus on.I do have quite a few girls that would be on the fence for the A team.
thanks


Leave a Comment
Name
:
Email (not published)
:
Four times four is equal to?  (Prevents Spam)
Answer
:
 Load New Question
Comments
:
Leave this Blank
:
    Check this box to receive an email notification when someone else comments on this page.