This post was inspired by conversations with coaches, parents and players; it is not intended to discredit any coach or club team but hopefully will provide some insight for parents and players.
The above graphic illustrates the little spoken truth that NOT EVERY PLAYER WILL PLAY COLLEGE BASKETBALL. However, its extremely disheartening to see players of high level talent not achieving their full potential of continuing their playing careers. Why arent these players getting this opportunity?
First if you are a club/ AAU/summer coach your first objective is NOT to win games, tournaments or championships. As coaches many of us are former players with a HUGE competitive side so its difficult to comprehend this but your first objective should be skill development that along with exposure, life lessons and individual improvement should be your primary objectives. Winning should be a result of these objectives being achieved. Also coaches you should know the goals of your players and help them understand what is hindering them from reaching those goals. How can you coach a player for 4 years and not know whether or not that player wants to play college ball?
TRAIN!!! Work on your craft daily. BE PROACTIVE IN YOUR RECRUITING. It is your job to market yourself. Dont for a second think because you played in the BATTLE of whatever tournament that you automatically will have UCONN knocking at your door. Create a career plan, list the schools you want to attend starting in your ninth grade year list different level schools including NAIA, D-III and JUCOs. Next, their is a staff directory on every school’s website with emails and phone numbers contact these schools and let them know you are interested. Also fill out the questionnaire on the sport’s recruiting websites. Go to websites like Captain U and create a FREE player profile that you should update regularly. In June during the summer dead period you should attempt to do the Elite camps at least two colleges on your list; this will give the coaches a chance to see you in person and you can talk to them face-to-face. Most importantly, TALK to your coaches; find out what are your weaknesses, discuss your future plans and make sure you are with a program thats concerned about promoting players not just winning.
GET FILM ON YOUR CHILD!! Pay someone to film and edit the highlights or film games yourself whatever it takes but the vast majority of players are not getting the opportunities because they have no game film. Its not the coaches responsibility to film the games. DONT bounce your child from team to team because the team isnt winning during the summer its about getting game experience; what good would it do your child to be the 12th man on a championship EYBL team yeah they won but your child has no offers. Be wary of anyone trying to charge you for “exposure” ;you can tweet about your own child without paying $200. Learn the NCCA recruiting calendar: http://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Women%27s%20Basketball.pdf so that you are familiar with when colleges can contact your child. Be realistic a full scholarship to a DII is just as good as DI remember we know your child is the greatest to you but they may need some more development on the court. Discuss your child’s future plans with them and its perfectly fine for you to email the colleges also or ask your club coach to do it. MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE SUPPORTIVE, your child has a coach and enough criticism just say good game or better luck next time.
Hopefully this post was informative and will help someone achieve their goal of playing collegiate basketball. Feel free to add other helpful tips in the comments.