Basketball Coaching - 8th Grade Basketball Tryouts - by Ari FisherFrom the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net
This article submitted by:
Coach Ari Fisher: LSU/University Lab School/Our Lady of Mercy Middle School
Baton Rouge, LA (Afishe@lsu.edu)
On the high school level we were a small school competing with our soccer program (who had a similar playing season) for players. Once or twice I allowed an important player to participate in both because they were integral for team success and as long as they missed no practice. I excused those players for soccer games and their coach was quite accommodating. Competing with soccer lowered the overall number basketball players. Therefore I rarely had tryouts as we found a spot on JV, varsity or both for every player.
Coach Ari Fisher
While my general coaching philosophy is: the team that takes the most good shots usually wins (a 'good' shot varies from coach to coach); we attempt to play at an 'uncomfortable' pace for our opponents usually meaning we speed up the game and defend with as much pressure as possible. Secondly, I want kids that value the basketball. I am obsessed about turnovers because we get fewer shots at the goal.
Finally, I watch general demeanor and attitude. I do not want a kid who feels required to show up at practices and games. I study body language; reaction to a bad play, interaction with teammates, and how hard they play. Anyone borderline of making the team must demonstrate a 'team attitude' to be selected.
I select 10 or 11 kids so if someone is ill or goes on vacation (which happens at schools where parents pay tuition; especially among middle school kids) enough players will be left to play 5 on 5 or at worst 4 on 4. Since we play an unusually fast pace for middle school; I need bodies to consistently substitute fresh players in an effort to wear down our opponent.
I have been conducting tryouts for three seasons and it is an inexact science; my standards for selection are constantly evolving trying to create the fairest system while also selecting the best players for my style of play. Whatever you do; make sure you are consistent from season to season and communicate with parents about what you seek during the tryout so they understand the entire procedure.
Ari Fisher- age 44, has coached 30 years on all levels except professionally. At age 24 he was third assistant coach at LSU for Dale Brown. He then became a head high school coach at LSU Lab School in Baton Rouge. His teams won 2 state titles led by current NBA players Glen Davis and Garrett Temple. After a five year retirement due to burnout he now coaches 8th grade boys for a Catholic Middle School in Baton Rouge. For 21 years he has been an instructor in the LSU School of Kinesiology; teaching courses about health and coaching theory.
Coaching Middle School Basketball: Organizing a Tryout
with Nick Cammarano, Frank Antonides (NJ) Middle School Boys' Basketball Coach
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