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  • In try-outs, too many players focus on the shots they get and whether they drop or not.

    Unless you’re only a shooter, that won’t likely determine if you make the team.

    If you want to stand out in your upcoming tryouts, focus on these three things instead:

    1. Effort
    2. Last summer, I attended a pre-draft workout which included 8 of the top players in the country. I knew within minutes which players I’d want to coach because of the effort they were giving from the moment they began. Effort is defined as a vigorous and determined attempt.

      Here are three ways you can become more vigorous and determined in your approach.

      • Jog everywhere
      • You can stand out from other players by giving a little more effort than everyone else. While your teammates walk to get water, jog. While your teammates walk to the back of the line, jog. While your teammates walk to the coach after a drill, jog.

        Most players use these moments as an opportunity to rest.

        From now on, don’t. Not only will this get you in shape quicker, it will also speak volumes to the coaches.

        They’ll think, “Sarah is the type of player I want to coach…she never stops hustling.”

        It’s simple, but it requires a little more effort.

      • Be low.
      • Remove standing straight up from your body language. Give the impression you’re more athletic than you actually are.

        When you’re on the perimeter waiting on a pass, be low. When you’re in the back of the line during a drill, be low. When you’re waiting for a drop-down pass at the block, be low.

        Too many players drop passes, don’t get shots off, and move slowly because they stand straight up too often. Train your muscles, lower your center of gravity, and become more athletic.

        It’s simple, but it requires a little more effort.

      • Run hard in the little things
      • Everyone knows you’re supposed to run hard, but few do it consistently.

        When you make a cut to the rim, burst. When you move into a position to set a screen, run hard. When you get back on defense, bust your butt. When you run the lanes in transition, sprint.

        Every. Single. Time.

        The greatest distance in the world is the distance between knowing and doing. Take what you know and actually start doing it.

        It’s simple, but it requires a little more effort.

    3. Talk
    4. Communication is something coaches want and players rarely do.

      It’s hard. But, talking on the court shows you’re a smart player who thinks the game.

      “Billy, screen left. Jay, I’ve got help this side.” By opening your mouth and talking to your teammates, you’re helping them play better. You’ll also increase your activity level because movement follows the sound of your voice.

      The more you talk, the more you move. Talk more and you’ll give more effort. When you do this, you’ll lift up your team, earn respect, show you care about more than just your stat line, and stand out to every coach in the gym.

    5. Compete
    6. Every high-level coach I talk to wants players who compete. Players want to compete, but they often don’t know what that means.

      Competing is constantly working for small advantages over your opponent. For example, when you don’t have the ball on the wing, do you stand and wait for the ball, or do you constantly drift and ‘hide’ to elude your defender? Small Advantage.

      When you’re crashing the boards, do you allow the opponent to effortlessly box you out, or do you spin or swim get to the ball? Small Advantage.

      When you’re running the lane, are you content to run neck and neck with a defender, or are you sprinting to get one step ahead? Small Advantage.

      When you set a screen, do you walk into the position, or do you sprint into the screen to get your teammate more open? Small Advantage.

      That’s what it means to be a competitor. Constantly competing for small advantages. That’s what it means to be a tough-minded player.

    To come back to where we began…

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking scoring points is the only way to stand out. It’s not. If you show up each day giving great effort, talking to your teammates, and competing to the best of your ability, you’ll show up on your coaches radar at tryouts!

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    About PGC

    PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.

    We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.

    Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.

    To learn more about PGC Basketball, including additional basketball training tips and videos, visit our YouTube Channel or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.