First things first, no matter what anyone tells you, coaches are NOT going to pick you for a team based JUST on your attitude and effort. You must have some skills or some athleticism to go along with it. A good attitude on its own won't get you into a team; but a bad attitude definitely can put you OUT of a team!
However, certain intangible things that I'd be looking for in players which definitely raises their number on the list are:
- Play hard - sounds obvious, but if you aren't playing hard at try-outs, you probably never will
If you want to get noticed take charges! No-one does that!
Dive on the floor
SPRINT from end to end in transition every time
Box out every time
If you're a rebounder, crash the boards every time
Set great screens
- Talk! On defense and on offense
- Be coachable - when a coach speaks to you, eye contact. Then actually DO what they told you to do. Being coachable isn't just listening, it's taking what you've heard and DOING it.
- Be a great teammate - positive energy, high fives, rush over to help a teammate who's fallen down. Do you make the guys around you better players?
- Play PASSIONATE and INTENSE defense
Some players make the mistake at try-outs of either
a) trying to do everything themselves to show the coaches what they can do
b) trying to show the coaches how unselfish they are by passing it immediately every time they catch it.
Don't do either! Just play your normal game. Find a balance between the two.
Do what you do! Use your strengths, don't use your weaknesses!
If you're a good shooter, shoot the open shots. If you're a great defender, pressure the ball full court and show it. If you're not a great ball handler, try not to dribble it unless you have to!
Lastly, don't beat yourself up mentally because you made one mistake and the coach wrote something down on his clipboard! Basketball is a game of mistakes. Everyone else around you is making them as well.
As a coach I'm just as interested in your response to a mistake as the mistake itself. Move on immediately to the next play, show no mental weakness or negative emotions!
Good luck to all!