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How to make varsity basketball as a sophomore

Robert Griffee How to Make the Varsity Basketball Team at Your High...


Getting on the varsity basketball team can lead to many opportunities for your young career as a player. You get to compete against other high school teams, work on your game, experience high-level team play, learn from a coach and play in front of a crowd. If you’re really good and stand out by your senior year, you can get recruited by top colleges and receive a scholarship.

But everyone has to start from somewhere. Making the team alone takes a good bit of dedication and tenacity, and that work ethic then carries over to the rest of your life.

Here are eight key tips for becoming good enough to make it to your varsity basketball team.

1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

What are you good at? Are you a good ball-handler, an accurate shooter, a strong rebounder, a tenacious defender, or so on? Your strengths are what make you stand out, so make the most of them and find a good way to use them to help your team win.

What are you not good at? While it may be tempting to just do what you do and ignore what you don’t do, you should put time into working on your weaknesses. That’s what practice and off-season are for. The more well-rounded you are as a player, the more useful you are as a teammate.

Of course, you should maximize your strengths. If those strengths help shore up your weaknesses, that’s a good thing as well. Working on your game is all about making your strengths even stronger and turning weaknesses into strengths.

For instance, your jump shot may not be that good. Improving it will surely make you a better scorer and a more valuable player, so you’ll have to look into what you’re doing wrong that may make your shot wonky. A lot of times, it’s using your guide hand wrong. You can correct it by using the Shoot Natural glove during practice to keep it straight. Your shot will improve and become a strength.

But there’s only so much you can do by yourself. When in doubt, ask yourself what will make you a better teammate. At the end of the day, that’s what separates mediocre players from good players. What matters most is what helps the team win.

2. Focus and Be Present

While athleticism, skill, and size are major factors for becoming a good basketball player, what sets apart good players from great players is focus. The one quality that the all-time greats share is the ability to be in the moment throughout each game.

Everyone gets nervous, even those who would go on to become hall-of-famers. But those great players are able to set their anxieties aside once the game starts. They’re able to be in the zone and focus entirely on the game, which lets them perform with the best of their abilities.

When you’re in a game, you may be distracted by many things, like the crowd, your personal problems, and so on. But when you’re there, nothing else matters other than helping your team win. Being present isn’t just about being physically there, but also being mentally focused on the game you’re playing in.

This is especially important during your tryouts. Once you’re in the game, focus entirely on the game itself. Don’t worry too much about messing up and just power through. Make the most of every opportunity, make opportunities for your teammates, and play your best. The coaches will notice whether you’re focused or not.

Hustle on both ends of the floor and play at a good pace. When you make a mistake, make a mental note of that mistake right there and do your best not to repeat it. If you ponder on that mistake, you will slow down and get anxious. That will make your performance suffer and result in even more mistakes.

3. Get to Practice Early and Stick Around

Coaches do their best to instill discipline into their players in various ways. Showing up in practice is the most important thing you can do to show that you have discipline. Every practice is an opportunity to improve your game, so you should relish every chance you have to get better.

Your attendance plays a big part in creating a good impression on your teammates and coaches. You can get there on time every time, which is good. But if you really want to go above and beyond, show up early and get work done before everyone else does. You can also stick around after practice and get more work done while everyone else is gone.

If you’re able to do that while you’re still young, it becomes much easier to do so when you get older. Discipline is a skill, just like everything else in basketball. You can practice being disciplined, and it’s a skill that will take you far both in basketball and in life.

4. Play to Win, Not to Stand Out

This may sound contradictory, being a good player isn’t just about making amazing plays and seemingly impossible shots. No one likes to play with a ball hog, and it can be detrimental to your prospects if you’re seen as someone who plays for oneself and not for the team.

When you play just to look amazing, coaches catch onto those habits as selfish and grandstanding. You may be a good player, but you may be labeled as a bad team-player, which can get you passed up for the team. When it comes down to it, coaches aren’t just looking for potential talents, but winners as well.

Playing to win means playing for the team, and that means getting everyone involved. Let your teammates have a reason to pass the ball to you, and pass the ball to your teammates if you have a reason to. It may be players that score baskets, but it’s teams that win games.

5. Take Nutrition Seriously

You’re still growing, so you want to make sure that you eat food that will make you grow. You’re still young, so you find it easy to eat junk and be fine for practice the next day. But if all you’re eating is junk, then the body doesn’t get anything that lets it grow and be strong.

Take your nutrition seriously early on. After all, you are what you eat. If you want to be the best, you’ll have to eat the best food possible. This may be difficult if you’re not doing well financially, so you’ll have to find ways to get good food from reliable sources.

But it’s also bad if you tend to gorge and put on too much weight. Many pro careers have been derailed due to weight issues, which then make injuries more likely to occur. If you have contact with a nutritionist, take advantage of it and listen to that expert advice.

If you eat right and live right, you will play right.

6. Become a Good Communicator

Communication is the one skill that elevates all other skills. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, an engineer, a doctor, or a basketball player, you can do a lot better if you can communicate with other people.

In basketball, you have to talk to your coach and your teammates. Being able to converse with them properly lets you say what you need to say and listen to what they have to say clearly. This lets you make a good impression and be a good team member.

Good communication as a basketball player means maintaining eye contact with whoever you’re talking to, listening to your coaches and teammates, and making yourself understood.

7. Do Well in School

This isn’t just about keeping your grades up to make it and stay on the team. Cultivating a work ethic in your academics develops the discipline necessary for both college and the professional league. Also, doing well in high school can get you a better chance to enroll in a major university.

If you’re not doing well with your studies now, that gives coaches a reason to doubt your availability for the varsity team and your reliability down the line. Don’t give them any reason to doubt by having good grades and being ahead of the curve.

8. Have Fun and Be Fun

If you don’t love the game, it’s going to affect how you play it. Every game will be a slog and every practice will feel tedious. If you’re into basketball in the first place, then it’s most likely because you love the game.

But it will be hard to keep loving it once it becomes like work. There will be times you won’t find it fun for various reasons, like playing against a vastly superior team, your coach and teammates giving you a hard time, or so on.

It’s up to you to find ways to keep it fun. Understand why you love the game in the first place and what things about it make it fun for you. If you’re having fun, you’ll be more fun to play with, and you’ll be a better player. It’s a feedback loop that’ll make you want to keep playing.


A lot of the things that will get you picked up by the varsity basketball team are also things that will carry you through for the rest of your life. While it’s great to be good at basketball while you’re still young, the qualities that will make you better as you grow are what will truly define you. Now, go out there and show them what you’re made of!

How To Make Your Varsity Basketball Team - Guaranteed

You want to be a varsity basketball team member.

However, there is a problem.

There are only a limited number of spots on the team. How can you guarantee you’ll make it?

The key is demonstrating to the coach that you’re the kind of person he needs on his team. Then it doesn’t matter if your skills aren’t up to par yet.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior, if you follow the advice below, you’ll make the team.

Here’s the process that you should follow to ensure you become what the team needs:

  1. Assess
  2. Improve
  3. Repeat


Make Your Varsity Basketball Team

Let’s take a look at each step in turn.



Many people understand that you have to assess yourself, but you also have to assess the current varsity basketball team and what the varsity coach wants and needs.



This is the part where you have to be brutally honest with yourself.

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

Do you have a height, weight, or size advantage over other people on the team?

If you’re naturally tall, you have a better chance of making the team, and if you’re short, you’ll have to work harder.

If you played basketball this year, talk to your coach and ask him what you need to work on during the off-season.

Think back to the games you played and figure out why you were put into the game, or why the coach took you out.

Did the coach always put you in to play defense? To score? To lead the team?

Did the coach take you out because you committed too many turnovers? Didn’t pass the ball? Took a dumb shot?

You have to be completely honest with yourself because otherwise, this doesn’t work.

Write down all the things you’re good at, all the things you’re not as good at, and whether you have any advantages or disadvantages compared to the others on the team.

Also write down the comments that your coach made about what you need to improve on.

Don’t listen to your teammates at this point because they’re not the ones who get to decide if you play or don’t play.

At this point you should have something like this:

[av_table purpose=’pricing’ pricing_table_design=’avia_pricing_default’ pricing_hidden_cells=” caption=” responsive_styling=’avia_responsive_table’] [av_row row_style=’avia-heading-row’][av_cell col_style=”]Good[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Bad[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Other[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=”][av_cell col_style=”]Great ball-handling[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Terrible 3-point shot[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”] Coach said I need to play smarter and look for the extra pass[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=”][av_cell col_style=”]Great mid-range jumper[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]No post game[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Coach usually puts me in when our guards keep turning over the ball and can’t handle the pressure. [/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=”][av_cell col_style=”]Always hustle[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Average at free-throws[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”][/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=”][av_cell col_style=”]Fast on the court[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Get lazy on defense[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”][/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=”][av_cell col_style=”]Tall[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”]Small vertical[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=”][/av_cell][/av_row] [/av_table]



Now that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you need to figure out what next year’s varsity team needs.

Look at the current seniors who will be leaving the team. Note their roles on the team. Were they there for defense? Scoring? Something else?

Talk to the varsity coach and tell him that you’re planning on trying out for the team next year and ask if there’s any pieces to the puzzle that the team is missing.

The coach might tell you that the team needs a great passer, defender, or something else.

Even if the coach ends up not saying anything “useful,” it’s still valuable because it shows the coach that you care.

Write down the roles of the people the team will have next year and try to figure out if there’s anything missing.

For example, you might notice that the team has 4 people who want to be high scorers, but no great defenders or passers.

That means that you have a very easy way of making the team: improve your defense and passing!


Putting It All Together

After you do the assessment you have to figure out what it is the team needs and whether you’re already good at it.

If the team badly needs a great defender (which most teams do), and you are a lock-down defender, then you’re in a great position.

If you improve your defense even more while getting better at a secondary skill that the team needs, the coach will love to have you on the team!



Once you figure out what it is that you have and what the team needs, you gotta start working hard.

You should train every day, and you should spend 75% of the time developing the key skill that will allow you to make the team, and 25% of the time on polishing your other skills and making sure that you don’t get worse.


The Key Skill That All Coaches Love

There is one skill that is nearly guaranteed to get you a varsity spot.


Many people can play good defense. Some people can even play great defense. But most people can’t play great defense all the time.

That’s the key.

Coaches want players who are able to shut-down the best player on the opposing team, and who they know they can count on.

Most coaches love the peace of mind of knowing that they have someone who will go out there and play defense until he falls down from exhaustion.

If you want to make the team and you’re not amazing at anything else, you need to become a defensive beast.


Demonstrating Improvement

It’s important that the varsity coach sees you improve and work hard. If your high-school offers a summer basketball camp you should sign up, and be the first one to come and the last one to leave.

If there is no basketball camp, you can talk to one of the current varsity players about organizing “open gym” practices at the high school where people can come to play and practice.

You don’t need to be the one to organize it, and you can let the varsity player take all the credit for it. What’s important is that you come to all of the open gyms early, leave late, and work hard while you’re there.



Every 3 months you should re-assess yourself and figure out where you stand compared to all of the other players you’re competing against.

You might now be able to guard everyone on the team, and now you realize that you need to also be able to score if you want playing time.

Maybe you realize that you can shoot from anywhere, but now you need handles to get you to different spots on the court.

Whatever it is, the most important thing is to constantly improve.

where to study, salary, pros and cons

Author: Professional Guide

Updated by

Basketball player is a professional basketball player. Such a team game is popular, first of all, in the USA. In Russia, it is somewhat inferior to football and hockey, but still quite in demand. By the way, the ProfGid career guidance center has recently developed an accurate career guidance test that will tell you which professions suit you, give an opinion about your personality type and intelligence.

  • Professional knowledge
  • Famous basketball players
  • Examples of companies with basketball vacancies
  • See also :

    Brief description: who is a basketball player?

    The basic rules of the game of basketball are usually known to everyone: two teams enter the field, the one that scores more points wins. Points are given for hitting the ball into a basket hanging at a height of 3. 05 meters from the floor. The number of points that is counted for each hit depends on the distance from which the throw was made. In the process of moving around the field, players must dribble the ball, beating it off the floor, and not hold it in their hands.

    Features of the profession

    A professional sports career requires a lot of energy, effort, time and dedication. A basketball player must always be in good shape, his salary and popularity largely depend on the performance of his performance on the field, and he must work closely with other team members. The main duties of a basketball player are as follows:

    • Daily attendance at training.
    • Compliance with the regime of the day and nutrition.
    • Participation in matches.
    • Participation in non-match events of the club.
    • Regular medical examination, following the recommendations of the doctor and trainer.

    A basketball player must be prepared for the fact that he will periodically have to change the clubs he plays for, participate in international competitions from his country, and even during the match, cooperate with different groups of players (frequent substitutions are very common in this game).

    Pros and cons of the basketball profession

    1. Prestigious profession with a decent salary.
    2. Opportunity to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
    3. Opportunity to travel, communicate with representatives of different countries and peoples.
    4. The joy of victories and the support of the fans.

    See also:

    1. The need for talent or extensive experience to gain recognition and sign expensive contracts.
    2. Negative emotions from defeats.
    3. Occupational diseases (herniated disc, knee problems, Schlatter's disease).
    4. Age restrictions on career length.

    Important Personal Qualities

    In order to successfully fill the position of a basketball player and succeed in this field, an athlete must be in very good physical shape, he must not have serious chronic diseases, he needs excellent endurance, concentration, speed of movement and reactions, perfect coordination. Most often, very tall athletes become successful basketball players. Analytical thinking, the ability to follow the strategy developed by the coach, make decisions quickly, and work together with the rest of the team will also not interfere.

    Basketball training

    Russian universities and colleges do not offer basketball training as such. You can learn how to play basketball in sports schools, and then improve your skills in basketball clubs. In parallel, you can get a sports education (including to successfully work as a coach after completing a career in big-time sports). In this context, the specialty "Physical Education" in colleges (code 49.02.01) or the same name in universities (code 49.03.01). A certificate is sufficient for admission to a secondary school, in addition to it, the results of the Unified State Examination in the Russian language, biology and physics are required for admission to the university.


    Stremlenie Basketball Club

    It is necessary to think about where to get the profession of a basketball player, if you have the appropriate inclinations, from childhood. Therefore, most basketball schools offer training for children and teenagers. One of these schools is the Stremlenie basketball club, where individual and team trainings are held. Members of the club also take part in competitions.

    The best universities for basketball players

    1. MSPU
    2. RGSU
    3. MGOU
    4. RGUFKSMiT
    5. RGUFK them. P.F. Lesgafta
    6. RSPU im. A.I. Herzen

    Read also:

    Place of work

    Basketball players play for basketball clubs, national teams. At the end of their careers, they work as coaches (both in adult clubs and in children's sports schools).

    Salary of a basketball player

    The level of income of such an athlete directly depends on his talent, experience, professionalism and fame. The more useful a basketball player can bring to the club, the higher the salary will be offered to him.

    Basketball player salary for October 2022

    Salary information provided by hh. ru portal.

    Russia 100000-250000₽

    Career growth

    Building a career for a professional athlete is about improving your skills and getting more and more lucrative offers from clubs. With age, it may also involve a change from activity to coaching.

    Professional knowledge

    1. Human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.
    2. History of physical culture.
    3. Psychology of physical culture.
    4. Management of physical culture and sports.
    5. Biomechanics of motor activity.
    6. Rules of the game of basketball.
    7. Team strategies when playing basketball.

    Famous basketball players

    1. Michael Jordan, one of the Chicago Bulls' most popular players, was on the club's winning streak six times in the NBA.
    2. Shaquille O'Neal, recognized as one of the best players in the history of the NBA, also known for releasing rap albums and starring in several films.
    3. Clyde Drexler, one of the best basketball players in the NBA, Olympian with 20,000 points in his entire career.

    See also:

    Examples of companies with vacancies for a basketball player

    Regional stages of the School Basketball League "IES-BASKET" and "Lokobasket" - "Ingushetia" - Internet newspaper

    Physical education teacher Islam Khakiyev trains young champions. Honored Teacher of Ingushetia spent 37 years working with children.

    During all the years of his work at the school, he was engaged in the popularization of this fast-paced and dynamic sport, which he himself became a fan of while studying at school. However, the real work of preparing a school basketball team began just a couple of years ago with the creation of a school basketball section.

    Basketball players were provided with comprehensive support from the school administration. All conditions were created for training. Islam Isaevich's junior friend, physical education teacher Ali Khuchbarov actively joined the training process. Being quite young, he showed by personal example how to give all the best in training, and also took on some of the administrative work. In addition to training in physical education classes, all students of this educational institution were introduced to this sport, which develops almost all muscle groups, helps to create a team spirit and the ability to make decisions in a rapidly changing environment.

    As a result, a school team was formed, which received the sonorous name "Eagles of the Caucasus". The School Basketball League tournament consists of several stages, each of which has become a stepping stone to victory for our children. At the regional stage, which started back in November last year, the Eagles of the Caucasus became the best in a tough fight and got the right to take part in the preliminary stage. Here they were opposed by the strongest teams of the city of Malgobek and the village. n. Trinity. Already at this stage, according to the coach, our guys were opposed by experienced technical basketball players with good physical shape and the desire to win.

    Islam Khakiyev's wards survived and got the right to participate in the semi-final duel with the team of secondary school No. 5 in Nazran - with multiple participants and winners of such competitions and tournaments. Despite the numerous regalia of rivals, the Eagles of the Caucasus won a landslide victory and reached the final.

    In the final, the Sunzhen people were opposed by the team of Lyceum No. 1 in Nazran "Wild Division". It draws on the long-standing basketball tradition that exists in this educational institution. The multiple winner of the tournaments of the School Basketball League "Wild Division" represented the republic at the interregional level outside the republic, at all stages it was considered the undisputed leader of the tournament.

    All of the above factors exerted strong psychological pressure on the Sunzha team. We are talking about a difficult victory in the finals of IES-BASKET. The first two quarters of the meeting were held with varying success, and the first half ended with an equal score of 15:15. This tied score became the starting point. During the break, the coach cheered up the guys, told them to take the initiative into their own hands and play their own game.

    Fulfilling the coach's instructions, the Eagles of the Caucasus from the very beginning of the second half created a large gap in the score and managed to keep it until the final whistle. The score 34:27, shining on the scoreboard, testified to their convincing victory. According to the results of the tournament, Aslan Dzeitov, a member of the Eagles of the Caucasus team, was recognized as the most valuable player.

    Young winners received well-deserved awards from the champion of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, ​​Honored Master of Sports of International Class Svetlana Antipova.

    This victory brought our guys to a higher competitive level. Already in March, they will go to represent Ingushetia at a tournament in Smolensk.

    The victory of the Eagles of the Caucasus team caused a powerful wave of interest in this sport.

    Learn more