Your Best Tryouts EVER

by Matt Hackenberg
Your Best Tryouts EVER


*Learn how to run your best tryout ever in under 1 hour


No matter the level, I always, always, always want to get tryouts right. The long standing impact for a player making the team or not making the team is HUGE - and that’s something I want to personally respect.

Aside from the long term impact to player, we have a team to bring together. And nothing establishes the team more than how it is formulated. To make quick decisions during a tryout, usually over the course of one to three days, a lot of information needs processed in a very short amount of time.

The last thing you want to do is feel rushed or fooled during the tryout process, leaving your team incomplete or vulnerable to chemistry issues based on the a judgement that was either uninformed or overly sentimental.

How you prepare and how you structure the tryout can play a major role in the ability to make clear decisions. The object of this guide isn’t make tryouts stress free, because that’s likely never going to be the case. The goal of this guide is to understand how to “control the controllables,” so you can make the best decisions moving forward for your program.

I’ve directly executed a dozen tryouts as the lead in my coaching career, and oversaw many, many more working directly with the youth and middle school levels of the school districts I’ve led. It’s never perfect. There are always surprises. But through the years, we’ve put systems in place to have tryouts run smoothly.

I’ve cut hundreds of players from teams - not something I’m proud of. Honestly, it’s the part of the job I enjoy the least - but it is part of the job. Being able to make cuts the the classiest way possible helps be able to move on from the event with a clear conscious, knowing you did right by all the players, even the ones that don’t get to go along on the journey with your team.

These are the lessons I’ve learned from executing tryouts, hoping that from the lessons I’ve learned you can have a cleaner and more healthier process with your tryouts.


The Coach

Varsity High School Basketball Coach 

Basketball Coaching Content Creator 

12 years of coaching experience, 9 years as a Varsity head coach

5 Sectional Championships, 4 District Championships, 1 Regional Championship, 1 State Runner-Up

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Caterory: Basketball/Strategy