DO You Pass the Eye Ball Test?

As I took my seat down on the plane after a (International Basketball League) game against the Santa Barbara Breakers (missed a triple double by 1 point), I could not help but overhear the man I was sitting next to on his cell phone discussing that Paul Milsap was  the steal of the NBA draft.  After analyzing the mans gear for a second, I came to the quick conclusion he was a professional basketball coach (loose collar button up +jeans+new BBAll kicks = coach).  At the time I was still an aspiring pro player with goals of making the D-League and wanted to start a conversation.  Before take off I leaned over to the Coach and asked , “What do you think of Fazekas”? referring to the EX- Nevada Wolf Pack standout and NBA Draft pick Nick Fazekas. His two word reply “Bad Wheels”. As the conversation continued I came to find out he was indeed a NBA coach and a former D1 Head Coach.  As I reflected upon the answer to my simple question and conversation on the plane that day, the definition of the “Eyeball Test” and the amount of athleticism it truly takes to make it in the NBA has stuck in my mind for years.
-Author Mike Atkinson

Passed the "Eyeball Test"

You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression.

Non Verbal communication has often been described as the most important form off communication, whether being evaluated by a pro scout, coach, or even a parent in the stands, the “Eyeball Test” is in effect.  The “Eye Ball Test” has long been described as the very first attributes we notice when watching an athlete.   Our minds are looking at the current athletic model we have come to recognize and the certain physical traits associated with great athletes and their respective sports to analyze the “Eyeball Test”.

These traits vary:

Via Twitter : @EvanDanielscout Oct 20, 12:25pm via Web

@EliteProNV Everything from body type, skill set, athleticism to demeanor and attitude. Covers a lot!

  • Height
  • Size
  • Strength
  • Mobility
  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Posture/On-court stature

On the Court Make a Silent Statement-

Running Form: If your not fast at least appear to be fast, use some form!

Eye Ball Test: “Bad wheels, is that what you would like to be described as?”

Bad Wheels

Stance: Trees Get Chopped, Athletic Position

Eye Ball Test: Increase your  athletic performance,flexibility and strength

Don't be a statistic

Posture: Proud chest- Superman Does Not Slouch

Eye Ball Test: Confidence and Balance

"Proud Chest"

Movement: Accelerate and Decelerate, Change Direction

Eye Ball Test: Strength and Movement Patterns

Change direction without the “E” brakes

Attitude/Focus: The eye of the tiger, portray internal focus, enjoyment of  game

Eye Ball Test: Preparation and Desire

Clear Focus


Coaches and scouts will use different criteria for rating players based upon certain attributes and skill sets.  What separates you from the herd could be the little things that humans identify  as athletic subconsciously.  Working on proper form will increase performance from a nervous system standpoint and help develop good habits.

Few Players who would not Pass the “Eyeball Test”

“Mad DoG”

  • Oliver Miller
  • Mark Madsen
  • Earl Boykins

"The Big O-NO"

About Michael Atkinson

Mike Atkinson,CSCS, is the owner of Elite Pro Performance and the on court performance director at Sierra Strength & Speed. Considered to be a specialist of Keiser performance equipment, Mike is known as a hybrid basketball performance trainer focusing on strength, movement, and basketball fundamentals. Atkinson’s experience and current work with NBA Player Development Specialist Aubrey McCreary has given him a unique set of skills to train players on sports specific patterns and positioning at a professional level. Atkinson’s training experience includes work with numerous NBA draftees, multiple Division 1 athletes, and other professional clients. He has also worked as a performance consultant in the NBA Development League and has directed basketball performance training camps and clinics for youth athletes on the West coast.
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