By Mason Waters

FULL VIDEO of this article

Players who can put first things first not only have an advantage in getting recruited, but they also become more mature people. Maturity is a very important thing.

In this two-part post, I explain 3 “first things” and describe some of their opposites. This article looks at the second three.

  • Development or games

If you’re a middle school basketball player, or even in 9th or 10th grade, the odds of you getting recruited right now are low. Unless you are an elite talent, no colleges are looking at you. And that is fine because you have plenty of time to get recruited. If you are good enough, colleges will find you at the right time.

If you are not getting recruited right now because you are too young, you must keep getting better. And to get better you have to be training more than playing in games. Summer games are great and go ahead and play in those. Not only that, your high school team’s summer games are like you pre-season and they are important. But when you play more summer games and tournaments than you train, especially in 10th grade or younger, you aren’t making the best decision. You are limiting your growth.

  • How good you play over how good you look

Depending on your coach, you might be able to wear sleeves, headbands, or whatever. However, some players concern themselves more with how good they look than with how well they play. If you spend more time thinking about what you are going to wear to a workout or a game than you think about how well you will play or train than you are not doing it right. Focus more on how well you play and less on how good you look.

  • Critical voices over yes voices

If you are surrounded by people who tell you how perfect you are or how amazing you are, be careful. When players have friends or adults that only praise them, it is a dangerous thing. How do I know? I know because nobody is perfect. Are you perfect? Do you do everything perfectly? I know you don’t and I know I don’t. Nobody is perfect and we must have people in our lives to tell us where we can do better. So when we have people in our lives who constantly praise how perfect we are and never point out a flaw, they are being dishonest. They are lying because we aren’t perfect. So prioritize the opinion of people who you trust and who tell you the truth. When you mess up, when you get cocky, when you aren’t at your best, you need people to tell you about it.

Do you want to play college basketball? If you do, take this advice and put it in your life. If you do, you will be better for it.

If you’d like to learn more on how to maximize your opportunities in recruiting, check out Coach Mason’s new book, “Recruited in Basketball: The Go-To Guide on Earning and Choosing the Best College Basketball Scholarship”.

Coach Mason Waters has served with Phenom Hoop Report in the past and recently completed his first season as a NCAA Division 2 assistant coach.