AAU Season ' Set Yourself Up For Success

High School ball is in the rear view window meaning it is time for AAU ball. With so many programs out there all fighting for players, how do you know which one is right for you' Some of the things to look for is as follows:

Do they have a plan and resources to develop you''If you sign on with a team that does not put emphasis on training and growing your skill set, why are you with them' Summer ball should be about more than just getting minutes. If you get all the minutes you want yet have no structure, direction, or coaching how good do you really think you are going to show during the AAU season' Raw ability and athleticism will take you but so far. Remember, at the next level everyone is an athlete. You can't just show up and expect to dominate like you did in high school. You can't rely on the fact that you will get the coaching you need once in college. With the restrictions put on by the NCAA what you take with you to college as far as skill set is basically what you will have. Invest your time and money with those who are willing to invest in you when it comes to AAU ball.

Substance over Gear'' One of the bigger pitfalls you can make as a player/parent is getting blinded by the gear or perks a team can offer. Do you think that getting fresh gear or being able to play for free is going to make you a better player' Do you think the name on the front of the AAU jersey you wear is going to magically make you more valuable to coaches during their evaluations' Of course it won't. Remember, a lot of these bigger teams are under pressure to perform in order to keep their sponsorship’s in play or to keep their spots at the bigger events. AAU ball is a major business. Some programs just will not have your best interest at heart. Go where you can play and showcase what you can do as a player. Sitting behind kids whose future is already secured helping them look good does nothing to help you get where you want to go.

Know Your Level'' This is the hardest of the 3 mentioned to gauge as often times we will not be honest with ourselves. Everyone wants to think they are a D1 player but the facts do not support this. If you are a D3 player, own it. The chances of you going to a big time shoe team and getting major minutes over kids going to ACC schools is minimal. There are a ton of really good, non-shoe circuit teams out there that can help you get to the next level.

Market Yourself'' There are a ton of events going on and college coaches will be spread out pretty thin. If you are interested in a school you are going to have to reach out and be willing to do some of the legwork. Be proactive. Target the schools you are interested in and reach out to them. Send them your AAU team Schedule. Have your AAU/HS coaches work the phones and send emails to get them to events. Use social media as a tool. If you do not let them know where you are and what you can do for them you can't just assume they will find you. You have to be willing to put the time and effort in.

Will these steps guarantee you a spot on a college roster one day' No, and anyone who says they can promise you that they can make it happen for you is someone you need to run from as fast as possible. No one knows the future except for the Creator who put us here. These steps though can help your chances if you give them a try. Understand though, it will take patience, perseverance, and luck to help you get where you want to go. Keep an open mind, sound judgment, and a humble heart through the process and trust that in the end, all will work out for your good just as the Good Book promised. Best of luck to you all!

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