Parents and players invest countless amounts of money, time, and energy into AAU tournaments and games without fully understanding what and how to make the most of the opportunity. There are only a few times a year in April and July and during the regular high school season that college Coaches can actually view players. My hope is that this will give you a little insight into how to take full advantage and also how not to hurt your chances.
It’s about quality not quantity: Many players make the mistake of thinking they need the ball in hand and to be scoring all kind of points in order to get noticed. This may be true if you’re trying to gain attention of peers and parents, however college basketball coaches are experts who are looking for players who consistently make BASKETBALL PLAYS;or in other words the proper plays at the right time.
Showing well is the priority over winning: This is really hard for me to explain and even difficult for me to say, but it is true. You absolutely need to play to win, and the more you win and the further you advance the better the opportunity to play in front of more college coaches. However, the best AAU coaches understand that putting players in position to be successful in terms of showcasing their skills set is the number one priority. Players on AAU teams that are focused on college recruitment should be focused on the same thing, not only for themselves but also for their teammates.
Teams don’t get recruited players do, this is a fact. Very few parents and players understand this fact. I see people all the time putting more stock in the AAU program they play for than their game. Yes, basketball is a team sport and recruiting is not, but you have to show your individual skills in a team dynamic. Sounds tricky, right? Because it is. It’s a fine line and a delicate dance. You do not want to ever be self-centered and entitled, that will limit your scholarship offers; but in the same sense you do need to make sure that you have developed your game with skills and abilities that translate to the next level and are put in a situation to showcase them.
You can play your way out of a scholarship: This is something parents and players really need to understand. Trying to PROVE you can do things that you can’t is the fastest way to guarantee yourself no offers. Players often look at teammates with a self social promotional plan and media likes and confuses the attention with college interest. Don’t get caught up. This can create an environment where players are trying to compete for attention that doesn’t matter. In a college viewing weekend, if you haven’t worked on your jumper it’s not the format to start. Do what you do well.
Respect for teammates, coaches, opponents and officials: Players and parents as well understand even though I stated that coaches recruit individuals they actually recruit families. As soon as a college coach identifies a player on the court, he or she is going to look into the stands to see what kind of support system is around the player and if they want to have it around their program. So no matter how bad the coach or officials make of feel like acting a fool for the sake of your future or your child’s future REFRAIN.