This morning after church, I was talking to a young basketball coach who was watching an AAU tournament involving 5th and 6th grade girls. He was telling me about one of the girls who was playing for a team in the tournament.
Remind you – this was a 6th grader. He said that she shot the ball virtually every time that she had a possession. Missed shots. When her teammates missed shots, her non verbal and sometimes verbal were not very appropriate. Not really a good teammate, but she could play basketball.
He also said that when the going “got tough,” she was frequently injured. Actually, she at times, used the “concussion card.” But she could play basketball.
Just as sad, she argued with her coach. Trashed talk the opponent’s coach. And questioned the officials at times.
Of course, I do not know the team or the situation. Nor do I want to. Being an “old school guy” who is trying to adapt to the new world of youth sports and high school sports, sometimes I “just do not get it.”
My simple rule would be – “You do this or you do not play.” Period. We are talking 6th grade and regardless, boy or girl, it seems simple to me. “Adjust or you do not play.” For mom or dad – find another team. Period.
Two weeks ago, I read this article, in, I believe the Recruiting section of the US Today newspaper. I guess I am plagiarizing, but I want to reprint it. If I find the author, I will give him the credit.
At first, I just did not give the article much thought. But then, I realized that young people and parents should not wait until high school to read it.
Do poorly in school. Get off to a good start in your freshman year. Do not get behind with your GPA score. Maintain good study habits. Get tutoring. College coaches are really concerned about GPA’s. Also shows laziness or entitlement. Early, the media does not mention GPA’s, just ‘stars,” but bad GPA’s will eliminate offers.
Talk back to an official in any sport. College coaches want to find athletes who just play and not have an ongoing sideshow with an official. Focus on competing in the game. Keep your head together to make good decisions. Do not draw attention to yourself.
Get in trouble outside the white lines. With the media always checking on athletes for off the field problems, the last thing you want to do in high school is get in trouble. Remember – someone is always watching! If it looks like a rat, it probably is.
Treat your teammates poorly. If a college coach is recruiting you, he will see every verbal and non verbal move you make with a teammate. He will also watch your attitude on the bench. Do not show up a teammate. Usually, this is a bad habit to break. But a scholarship could be lost.
Disrespect your parents. Treating your parents poorly is a huge sign of disrespect. Ater games. On visits to college campuses to meet with college football coaches. At camps. In home visits. Plus do not trash talk them behind their backs to the coaches recruiting you.
Skip workouts or practices. Skipping workouts or practices shows that you do not want to get better. Also shows you have little self-discipline. To me, skipping practices or workouts shows a lack of commitment. College coaches question the lack of loyalty.
Taunt your opponent. If you are a player who feels taunting your opponent makes you tougher and bad, you are insecure about your abilities. Not only is it bad sportsmanship and makes you look silly, taunting draws penalties.
Hurt your relationship with your high school coaches. Usually your high school coach is the first one a college coach talks with. A high school coach is usually only says positive comments with the college coach, but not always. Leave no room for negative comments about you. A bad coach-player relationship can be a “red flag” sometimes.
Dismiss any recruiting attention because of being D2 or D3. Even though your goal is to play D1 level football, keep your options open for D2. Do the same as D2 to D3. If you are a marginal D1 prospect, do not blow off D2 schools, when they ask to talk with you. Football recruiting can get ugly with false promises.
Get caught up in recruiting internet media, like 24/7. Or even local media. Do not tell them every detail about experiences with a certain college football program. There job is to “sell” and get readers to their site. Also be honest with them.
I thought that these were some really good points to remember in the recruiting process.
After hearing about the 6th grade girls basketball player playing AAU, maybe these points or “Do not’s” could be used as guidelines for junior high athletes.
Finally thank you to the writer that gave me some of these ideas.