The AAU Merry Go Round has started. It’s that time of year everyone is making moves in secrecy and in the dark of the night. It’s the time everyone is trying to best position themselves for up coming AAU season. If there is one thing I discovered about AAU its this… THERE IS NO LOYALTY IN AAU and why I always tell parents do what is best for your child. So today I will pass along a little advice to all.
First to the directors of AAU programs. Do not believe anything a parent tells you about their commitment to your program this time of year. There words are as reliable as a $3 dollar bill. Most parents are not truly part of your program until they play the first game and even then many are still looking for something better. The parents will always think the grass is greener on the other side. So when a parent pays you to confirm a spot be very clear with them, that there are no refunds( be very firm with this matter). Directors here is some more advice regardless how much you may want a kid. Do not beg them or make special arrangements for them. Stay loyal to the philosophy of your organization. You will thank me for this bit of advice. Because once a parent feels they have a voice in your program, they feel they have REAL power and trust me will try to use it. Pass on parents who are highly opinionated. You think you can control them. Well here is a fact…you can’t and you won’t. Finally don’t have coaches in your organization you cannot control and will not follow your lead. They will run a organization within a organization…. TRUST ME!
Now to the parents. First understand just because you played in college or had an other kid who went though the recruiting process. It doesn’t mean you understand the recruiting process. You must understand each process and time table are different. So let me give you some advice. First put your ego away and be willing to be led. If you decide to put your kid on an AAU team you must trust the people she is playing for… otherwise you should not be there. Next find a program for your child that brings them a level of comfort. Then find a team that will showcase their talents. Make sure the organization you choose has a track record of success. Make sure the organization is not built around one player. Finally and this is important, be loyal to your child first. If that somehow benefits the organization and others; great. If not too bad because AAU BRINGS OUT THE WORSE IN EVERYONE AND THAT’S A FACT.
To the players I say be careful. It’s perfectly fine to change AAU teams every year if you choose. Do not fear getting a so called reputation. But your reasons for changing cannot be due to drama. Why? Because college coaches now are more a where than ever, why kids change AAU teams. Your number one reason for picking a AAU team must be exposure. Anyone telling you different is clueless. Please understand no college coach cares about your AAU teams record…NONE. What they do care about is the competition level you are playing. If you hope to be seen you better have some players with name recognition on your team. Let me give you an example, so kids listen up. Kids and parents love to brag about there kids playing up. Well Julianna Almeida played up for the U17 Shoreshots. There games had 100’s of coaches watching at times. She has too many high major offers to count. Meanwhile other kids played up and they were lucky if 5 coaches showed up. Why? because those kids are only playing up in name only. It makes for great bragging and ego stroking. But does very little for there recruiting. There are no brand name players on there team. They go to the wrong events and the level of competition is not impressive in the mind of coaches. The number one thing a kid should concern themselves with is exposure. Not playing up or being part of a big name team that doesn’t zfeature them. I tell kids make sure you play for a coach who will showcase your game in front of college coaches.
Katie Collins and Camryn Gardner are both being heavily recruited. Why? They played for a coach all sumner who was more concerned with showcasing there talents against the highest level of competition and hopefully with that some wins came along the way. If you play for a program that winning is the 1st Priority…. good luck because your going to need it… EXPOSURE…COMPETITION… SHOWCASING … in that order should be the main focus in your decision making process when choosing a AAU TEAM. Finally you must find a organization that allows you to train outside there organization. if you only train against the same people for 6 months don’t expect to get better.. meaning tell mom and dad to get the check book out when it comes time for college.
In closing AAU is not surprising anyone these days. it’s an expensive necessary evil. I say find the best fit for your child and be realistic about the level of play you expect. Just understand that everyone is doing what’s best for there child. So don’t take it personal… IT’S AAU AND WE ALL KNOW AAU BRINGS OUT THE WORSE IN EVERYONE…. and its not changing anytime soon…… GOOD LUCK!