First let me ne say congratulations to all the seniors. I hope your high school experience was one filled with wonderful memories. To the players whose high school and AAU journey will continue, I have a message for you.
To each player I say please before you do anything this spring. Hopefully you took 2 weeks off to rest and heal. Once you have done this, please take stock of you fall preparation prior to your season this year. Ask yourself did you put the necessary training in? Did you train Properly? Did your training address issues you had from the previous summer? Most importantly did you get to the finish line? Meaning did you pull up towards the start of your season? Did you shorten or skip some workouts? Did you play in less competitive environments? Did you run back to your comfort zone? These are real questions that must be answered before you more forward. More importantly only you know the truth.
Next you must look in the mirror and ask yourself, did you live up to YOUR expectations? Did you have the season you had hoped for? If not, why? If yes, why? I know many kids who had big reputations that in my opinion had disappointing seasons. I also know great players who had wonder seasons. I Also know kids that many had not expected to be stars, had star like seasons. Before you start training in the spring you must self evaluate.
While self evaluation is great and very important. You must ask for a outside opinion from others about your season. This is very difficult because the player needs thick skin, if they want truth. Otherwise people will sugar coat and dance around truth when trying to give you an assessment of your season. While your coaches opinion is important. Ask someone you respect(not your parents) for there opinion of your season and what they believe you need work on.
Once you have done these things you can move forward to you spring training and AAU season. Let me talk about development first. Because many kids want to play in college but do not understand the development comes first. So here are 4 simple things I believe must be in your training package in order
1. You must shoot 7 days a week when possible at a minimum of 1hr and 15 mins( never under). Most kids talk shooting everyday but you can count on one hand those you actually follow though.
a) form shooting
b) off the catch
c) off the dribble
d) off screens
e) Shoot from the same 11 spots each day
f) include layups off two feet
g) Post work always
h) free throws
2. You must be in a competitive training environment. Competitive, meaning drills that involve competition with a winner and loser.
3. You must be in a strength and conditioning program that does not take away your time on the court.
4. Focused skill work with your trainer. This is very important and I will address a few things.
A) You and your trainer must set goals together. You must agree on what you need to improve upon
B) Work on one skill set at a time. You cannot work on everything at the same time.
C) If you do not watch film you training sessions are bogus and are a guessing game.
D) Remember anyone can make you sweat. But can they make you better?
Finally let me discuss quickly and get right to the point, recruiting by class…
RISING SENIORS… if you want to play D1 and you don’t have a offer. The odds are totally stacked against you. But if you have a strong advocate and are Aggressive in Building name recognition. You can 100% beat the odds if your talented enough. If your goal is to play D2 or D3 you have plenty time to prove your worth. If you have offers I strongly suggest you consider committing to any school that you like. These are not the days to play the long game if you have a school you love.
RISING JUNIORS… If you want to play D1 and have offers, congratulations. All you need to do is play well in the spring and summer and build on your Name recognition. If you don’t have a offer you have lots of time. The spring and summer are very important tho. You must be on the right AAU team and attend the right events. It’s important you build relationships with coaches, social media, phone calls, Elite Camps and your advocates support. If your goal is to play D2 or D3 there is lots of time. But understand few D2 schools give full scholarships and D3 money is based on academics and need.
RISING SOPHOMORES… If you have D1 offers please listen to me. Most of these offers are “soft offers” the coaches may be fired, take a new job or may not even have a scholarship by the time your a senior AND YOU MAY NOT DEVELOP. The goal for every rising sophomore should be improvement and building name recognition and a reputation as a worker who gets better. D2 and D3 recruiting are light years away from starting.
RISING FRESHMAN… please go to summer camp as often as possible. Please attend Low Major Elite College camps. Please don’t waste money and time traveling the country playing AAU. Understand your high school future was really established in the winter. If you missed that window; work hard. But understand you are 100% playing catch-up. Please don’t let anyone tell you different.