Many years ago I had a young athlete and her parents come to my office. The question on their mind was, “What does a player need to do to make the varsity team?”

At that time I was the head varsity girls basketball coach for Dayton High School in Oregon.

I did my best to answer their sincere question. As I began to explain what I thought she could do that summer to prepare for next season’s tryouts, a set of 10 principles came into my mind. I shared each one with them.

After they left my office I wrote the principles down and have used them ever since to help coach young people who are interested in making their high school varsity team.

These principles come from my experience as a coach and my experience as a varsity player who had to compete vigorously for a starting role. The 10 principles are:

  1. Be Your Own Coach
  2. Be Your Own Fan
  3. Scaling the Competition
  4. Individual Commitment
  5. If it is Not Fun – Make it Fun!
  6. Camps and Clinics
  7. Student of the Game
  8. Believe
  9. What Coach Wants
  10. An Experience to Share

I am happy to make this booklet available for free. Please feel free to share.

Best of luck on making your team.

Download “Making the Team”


Coach Whitehead and his Daughter Michelle, Dayton High Varsity

Coach Whitehead and his Daughter Michelle, Dayton High Varsity Basketball