Tryouts, Part 3 of 3: What to Do If You Get Cut

Every year, young athletes get excited for tryouts. And every year, plenty of kids get cut. As a coach, it is emotionally one of the hardest things to do. As a player, there are things you can do to stand out to better your chances of making a team. This will be a 3-part series about tryouts: Week 1: Common Assumptions Regarding Tryouts Week 2:How to Stand Out During Tryouts: What Coaches Look For Week 3: What to Do If You Get Cut


Getting cut can be one of the worst feelings that athlete’s will experience. The feeling of rejection and not being accepted after putting in weeks of time and effort preparing can be crushing emotionally. However, you can’t let getting cut ruin your love for basketball (or whatever sport you play). And if you are an underclassman, you can’t let it stop you from continuing to work on your skills and athleticism.

Here are 4 things you can begin doing right now to help you make the team next year.

1. Become the team manager

Usually, most people have too much pride to help out at practices without receiving a jersey. However, becoming a manager for the team allows you to be a part of the program. By being at practice everyday and involved in game day preparation, you will be able to observe and learn what the coach values. Also, you can pick on up the teams plays, schemes, and defensive principles.

2. Join a city league

Finding a good league to play in is important. Having officials and a score clock is something that you can not get in pick-up games (which are also important to play in). While it is not as organized as school ball, finding the right city league can provide you with good competition and the opportunity to play competitively.

3. Develop your strength and athleticism

Most players, when they are in-season, end up losing strength because they neglect to strength train properly. This is a good opportunity to make some gains since you have more time and energy to focus on becoming stronger, faster, and more athletic overall.

4. Improve your skills

You have over 3 months to become a dependable ball handler and a knock-down shooter. When open gyms begin at your school in the spring, there is no excuse for you not to be a much improved player. There is no time to waste. And there is no reason you can’t train. Can’t afford a trainer? Get on YouTube and search up drills. No access to a gym? Find a park. Don’t have a ball? Collect cans for a week and go buy something round that can bounce.

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Remember, your coach didn’t cut you because he hates you. As much as you don’t want to admit it, you are currently not good enough to play. If you love the game, you won’t quit. You will take the necessary steps to improve. You will be ready for spring open gyms, and prove yourself when summer league starts.