General Athleticism and Potential
Some players who try out for your team may be strong [tag]athletes[/tag], but may lack in-depth knowledge of the game (ie. the high flyer who can [tag]dunk[/tag] from the dotted line, but doesn’t understand what three-in-the-key means). Others may appear to have strong potential, but struggle with basic skills (i.e. the clumsy 14 year old who just happened to be 6’9”). These types of players can pose a major dilemma for most coaches.
While I would be wary of selecting a player based purely on athleticism or size, many of my peers will be inclined to select players who they believe can become future stars.
My advice is to do what is best for your individual team’s goals. If you are running a Freshman developmental program at a [tag]basketball[/tag] powerhouse high school, cultivating talent and teaching fundamentals is part of your responsibility. If you are focused on putting together the best possible team for a title run, you may choose to ignore potential in favor of immediate contribution.
Announcing Your Cuts
The most difficult and stressful part of [tag]basketball tryouts[/tag] is announcing your cuts. This is something that must be handled tactfully and delicately. Most of us can remember being cut from a team as a kid, and it is not a pleasant experience.
The key thing to remember with making cuts is feedback. The Comments section in your Team Selection Matrix should be filled with specific suggestions on how each player should improve his game. I would encourage you to meet privately with each cut player to discuss his strengths and weaknesses. This can be done in person at the gym, or over the phone. Explain clearly why he was not selected, and what he needs to work on to have a better opportunity of making the team next year. This will also provide the Documentation that some schools require for all competitive team cuts.
Some coaches will prefer to simply post the team list in a public area, and have the hopefuls come by to see if they made the team. If you choose this option, ensure that you encourage the cut players to approach you privately to discuss their specific development areas.