AIB | Why AIB | AIB Announcements | AIB to host clinic on athletic recruiting process Posted 4/11/2013 AIB to host clinic on athletic recruiting process If you are a parent of a high school student-athlete who is interested in participating in any collegiate-level sport or activity in [...]
Does your high school coach understand the college recruiting game? Is he or she working for you outside the court, field or pool?
Starting in August, when summer sessions begin in sweltering heat, through the Section 9 playoffs during the chill of November, Cornwall football coach Marcus Hughes is fixated on drawing up plays, X’s and O’s, winning games and championships. During the offseason, Hughes works as hard. There is film to [...]
Charles Barkley seems to think so. Last week the NBA Hall of Famer’s opinions about the AAU system resurfaced and sparked a heated debate. In a 2010 audio interview with ESPN’s Scott VanPelt, Charles Barkley candidly replies: “AAU is the worst thing that ever happened to basketball.” And Sir Charles believes AAU is not only ruining basketball but many sports. Why? According to Barkley, it’s a generational aspect where young athletes are not open to coaching and/or criticism therefore making it tough for coaches to do their job which leads to players not developing the proper fundamentals. While this may have validity I can honestly say that AAU was the most amazing experience.
Playing AAU started for me at the age of 13 going into 8th grade which helped me draw interest from college coaches after a tournament in Arizona. I didn’t particularly play well but coaches must have noticed potential, not to mention I’d already grown to my full height of 6’2. After many conversations it was determined I should play for a new team in order to take my game to the next level and gain exposure. My sophomore year of high school I began playing for Team Wisconsin Viking Club ran by Keith Noll, the Wisconsin AAU Girls Basketball Chair, playing on his team through my senior year. For those two years, every March through August we traveled the world, literally. From tournaments in Dallas to the Junior Olympics in New Orleans to a basketball tour in China. We competed at the highest level which gave me the exposure needed to become a highly touted girl’s high school basketball prospect.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I was lucky to join a team that was genuinely vested in my growth as an athlete. AAU might be different in this day and age, that’s not for me to decide. My advice is to choose a team and a coach based on a pre-defined set of goals. Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of this experience? Do I want to only have fun, exposure, an athletic scholarship? AAU is the time to get better going into the regular school season and if progress isn’t being made then maybe you should reconsider. Take the initiative and ask your coach about weaknesses in your game and how to improve.
You can listen to Charles Barkley’s 10 minute interview here, just click on the Download link in the audio podcast. The conversation about AAU starts around the 6:20 mark. Credit goes to ESPN.
A key to getting recruited for college sports is determining strengths and weaknesses in a player’s current skill set. Discovering strengths helps build confidence and allows them to focus on areas that require more work. Start this process as soon as possible and continue to track progress each time an evaluation is done.
Evaluations also help gauge a player’s potential to compete at the next level. Create a plan on how to close the gap between current and desired skill set necessary to play at the collegiate level. Get as many opinions as possible but two at the minimum.
The 4 Tips
Sports performance evaluations should be objective and eliminate bias. You want the evaluation to have as much validity as possible for proper talent level projection. Below are 4 ideas of who to ask for evaluations:
- High school or club coaches are very familiar with their players and should be the most objective while having the highest emotional connection. On the contrary, parents have more subjective bias towards their children’s talents with high emotional attachment.
- An opposing coach on a conference or divisional team. They scout conference opponents heavily and are familiar with an opposing team’s players.
- Former or current college players have traveled this road. They’re a great resource and have dedicated countless hours to their sport for many years. Most are team players and would love to help younger athletes.
- Attend a sports camp. If they don’t provide evaluations, tell a coach before the start of camp that you’re looking to improve on certain areas and would love his/her opinions at the completion.
These are just a few ideas; we’d love for you to leave more suggestions in the comment box. Also, have you tried any of the above tips?