NBA preseason games have already started. Can you believe that? It seems like it was just last week that the Cleveland Cavaliers captured a professional title for that city.  

But, time flies and here we are. So I thought I would give you a little checklist of what you could do to prep yourself for your basketball tryouts that will probably be at the end of this month.

Honestly, if you are just now starting to get ready for basketball tryouts, you are probably going to be in a world of hurt. But, I will humor you and give you a checklist anyways.

Here are the areas I will discuss:

  • Speed/Vertical Explosiveness
  • Strength Development
  • Conditioning
  • Basketball Skill Development


With 3-4 weeks to go, I would work on this about 3 times a week resting at minimum one day between these workouts. Let’s keep this simple shall we. Do 3 sets of 8 standing broad jumps. Rest about 60 seconds inbetween. Do 3 sets of 8 vertical jumps, jumping as high as you can each time. Same rest parameter.

Do some line jumps – forward/backward and side/side – going as fast as you can for a certain time limit. After two weeks, do them on one foot.

Finally, do some full court push up starts. Lie face down on the ground on one baseline, then get up as fast as you can to sprint to the other side.  This will help with your acceleration and quickness.


You can do this total body workout 2-3 times a week, once again resting at minimum a day between these workouts. Unless noted, keep each exercise to 3 sets of 10 reps.

  • Angled Lunges – To strengthen your legs, but account for the funky leg position your legs could be in during a game.
  • 1 Leg Bridge – Hit the backside of your legs.
  • Pushups – If they are easy do clapping pushups or pause at the bottom then clap.
  • Pullups
  • One Arm Military Press
  • Planks For 30 Seconds (if easy, then do it on one leg)
  • Supermans – For the lower back.


Week one, I would try to do a long slow run for 10-15 minutes. The second week, I would do interval training where you sprint for 15 seconds then jog for 45 seconds and repeat for 10-15 minutes.

The third and fourth week, you could do suicides for 10 minutes, resting 30 – 60 seconds inbetween suicides. Go to the foul line and back, half court and back, other foul line and back, then full court.  

Try to decrease the rest time as you get better. Once again do these 3 times a week with a day’s rest inbetween. Ideally, on days that you are not playing basketball.


I am not a basketball coach or instructor, but I did play basketball so take these suggestions with that in mind. Shoot 500-1000 shots a day all over the court. Add a conditioning component where if you miss 5 in a row or don’t make 3 in a row at any given time, you do pushups or run.

Do all sorts of ball handling drills until that ball is an extension of your arm.

Shoot foul shots inbetween to break up the monotony. If you don’t make a certain number, then have some type of penalty.

And play, play, play as much open gym, pickup ball as you can. This will develop your basketball IQ and instincts better than any practice will.

Finally, what I didn’t mention is your mental toughness development. Chances are no one will be making you do this, except you. If you can go out and do these drills effectively and consistently, that will not only improve your athletic ability, but improve your mental toughness.

You don’t have much time so get out there now and get this done!! The only thing holding you back now is YOU.

Photo courtesy of Nick Hubbard on Flickr: