The first NCAA live evaluation periods are over and as the College coaches return to campus to target the needs and players they will watch in July, you should be doing the same with your players. Most players have the dream of playing college basketball. Most players and parents when you mention college basketball they automatically assume your talking about Division 1. People don't realize how difficult it is to play college basketball on any level. This past month there have been hundreds of teams spend thousands of dollars to travel the country seeking exposure. Players are chasing dreams. Parents are paying for that dream and unfortunately there are people out there profiting off the sale of that dream.
Exposure is a tricky thing. Players can either gain exposure or get exposed. For some coaches and players the thrill of playing in front of a college coach leads to some poor decisions. This isn't just playing decisions. There are players all across the country that think the reason schools aren't recruiting them is because of where they go to high school. YOU'RE NOT GETTING RECRUITED BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT A COLLEGE LEVEL PLAYER. If you are a next level player they will find you.
Here are a few things to watch out for:
1 Be Careful Where You Put Your Trust
Sadly, there are people all across our game that are profiting from sale of false hope. These are the guys that give summer basketball, trainers and coaches an awful reputation. With a little work and the help of Google you can get the number of every basketball office in College Basketball. Most of us involved in High School basketball and the top level summer coaches have contacts on the college level. Name-dropping shouldn't impress you. Here are the top questions to ask a summer coach or trainer that say they can deliver a college scholarship:
Who have you coached that received a college scholarship? May I have their number?
Have you called my son/daughter's HS Coach?
The schools that you say are interested in haven't contacted my son/daughter's HS Coach. Why not?
2 Congratulations, You've been selected...
Exposure events aren't only for teams. You will find numerous exposure camps that promise a ranking and getting your name out. The "prestigious" camps also come at a prestigious price. Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars to send your player to a rating camp, print off postcards and mail them to every college you want to. Then you know without a doubt that your player's name made it to these schools.
3. Time Spent vs Reward
Kids are kids once. I understand certain things require sacrifice but what are we requiring these kids to miss? Not every kid will be a college player but every kid can attend prom, can have a weekend with friends and family.AS A COACH YOU CAN REQUIRE COMMITMENT BUT YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO BE TRUTHFUL. What separates college players from high school players isn't commitment. It's skill, athleticism, and size. If you're 5'9, you can get up at 5:30 every morning to workout to prove you're commitment but if you go up against someone that plays the same position you do but is 6'3" the majority of coaches would select the 6'3" player. That doesn't mean always but more times than none. The goal of each Coach should be to take each player to their top level of play. Set the ceiling.
LAW OF 1000
What is more beneficial to your player? Spending $1000 to possibly play 1 game in front of a college coach that might be interested in you are spend that weekend getting 1000 shots up?
Pride yourself on honest player evaluations. You don't benefit from players wanting to play college basketball. You benefit by providing the means for them to do so. This starts with honesty. Not everyone that plays high school basketball is going to play college basketball. That is an easy fact. "With hard work anything is possible." If I train a jackass to run will it ever win the Kentucky Derby? We have to be honest with our players and set them up for the success they can achieve. Encourage kids to strive for goals but have enough common sense to not allow them to be destroyed by not achieving that goal.