How to schedule a tryout

So, you are finally ready to start trying out for some basketball teams. Brilliant! This is one of the most exciting parts next to actually attending a tryout session. Before you start scheduling in tryouts with teams there’s a few things I advise you to do.

As a starting point I have given you a link to the planner I use when scheduling in training/ tryout sessions. This template helps me stay organised, not only planning my training sessions but also my meals and rest periods. After all, diets and rest is just as important as attending the training sessions. This allows me to perform at my very best.

Blank Tryout Schedule: http://bit.ly/1W0zt3L

Example of the Tryout schedule: http://bit.ly/1rrsWlQ

This template is a weekly planner that I usually start on a Sunday. I enter in my scheduled training sessions that I have confirmed and during the week enter in all the other session when they are confirmed. My whole week is operated out of this schedule. Before doing anything I consult the planner to ensure that I have nothing else booked during the proposed time. Discipline is the key with this planner. 

Stick to a central location 

When scheduling teams to tryout for ensure that you are sticking to a central location that is close to a cluster of basketball clubs. This will enable you to limit the travel between training sessions and give you the best possible chance of staying fresh without the fatigue of travel. Rule of thumb, try to keep a max of one hour travel time from where you are staying and the venue where the practice will be held. 

On my first trip to Europe I based myself out of Eltham London. I set myself a radius of an hour and a half from where I stayed and tried out for all the clubs within this radius. In a space of a month and a half I had trained with around 6 different clubs in various leagues. By working out of a town/ place that is central to multiple basketball clubs you can 

  1. Tryout for multiple clubs in a limited time
  2. Reduce travel and thus not being tired from travelling 

Schedule ample travel time

After locking in teams you’ll get the times when they will be running their training sessions. When you know these times and enter them into your planner the next step is to schedule travel time. With Google maps it is easy to punch in an address and find out how long it will take you to drive, walk or use public transport. You also want to be at least an hour early to the venue, so that you have time to get hydrated and get your mind on the tryout.

Scheduling meals

Timing your meals is key to a good training session. If you don’t eat you’ll be flat and as a result have a poor performance on court. This during a tryout could be costly. Ensure time is scheduled in for a hearty meal 2 hours before a training session and follow that up with a snack 45 minutes before the training session; something like fruit or a chocolate bar. 

When I travelled to tryout sessions an hour or more I pack some snacks that I eat while I’m on the way to training. It usually is a fruit salad and some small chocolate bars. The sugar gives me energy for the training session. I try to avoid heavy meals as my body responds poorly to high carb meals before training sessions or games. Having said that I do have a solid meal 2 to 3 hours before a training or a game. 

Scheduling meals also means scheduling hydration. Within the hour before training starts it is highly advisable to have between 600ml and a liter of water. Dehydration effects concentration; this is something you don’t want to have when a coach explains drills and you are not retaining instructions.

Schedule rest times

This is something not too many basketball players I know do. Most of the young basketball players that were in the same boat as me, attending various tryout sessions in England with the hope of making a team, never scheduled rest sessions. They bounced from one training to another. I admire them, but I couldn’t do that. After one training sessions I was pretty beat. By not scheduling rest sessions such as days off or recovery sessions, your body will burn out early. If your tryout period is the whole of summer and you are getting in two tryouts a day, you’ll be burnt out within the first month.

1.Take some time out to experience the culture
​​If you are in another country trying out, use the chance to get some sights in. Experience the culture and take some time out from basketball. I’m not saying get out and party. I’m saying go experience what the locals do. The moments I cherished when I travelled for basketball was the culture and sights I saw. The world is a beautiful place, so take the time to see it.

How’s this going to help your basketball, I hear you ask. Your brain and body needs some excitement. With the grueling training and focus on basketball, it is important to give the mind and body a rest from the riggers of training. 

When I was with the Eltham Admirals getting ready for the London Met league to start, I took some time off between training sessions and went to Scotland. I jumped on a bus tour that took me all around Scotland. I got to see some historic sights, make new friends and most of all come back to the next training session fresh. The proceeding weeks training sessions saw me play some of the best basketball I have ever played. Which resulted in me being selected as the starting point guard for the Eltham Admirals.

2. Recovery sessions
​​Basketball sessions are not easy on your body, especially if you are a physical player like me. As you get older, the more you need to take care of your body so it is vital to schedule in recovery sessions. What’s a recovery session? It could be a host of things such as a stretching session, pool session, yoga, meditation and so on. 

When I schedule rest sessions I usually do an activity that’s a light form of exercise. Such as walking in a park or sightseeing if I am overseas. A few of my previous team mates swear by pool sessions and yoga. As these activities are non impact and they do wonders keeping the body limber. Walking for me allows me to keep my body in motion even when I am sore and allows me to clear my mind by taking in things that are not related to basketball.

Most of what I have discussed in this article is common sense but it amazes me how many people take scheduling these activities for granted. Maybe I am being over organised but it works for me. You want to create an environment with the least amount of stress when it comes to trying out for basketball teams. Your focus should be towards your goal of making the team. Not having to remember when and where your next tryout is. Keep your mind on a positive training session and don’t crowd your brain with the details of the training session.

Got another way of scheduling in your daily tasks? I’d like to hear about it, maybe it’s better than the method I use. Please use the comment section below to tell me all about it.

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I am an average basketball player that has been fortunate enough to play professionally around the world. Click here to find out how I can help you achieve your dream of playing basketball overseas.

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