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November 13, 2017

5 Basketball Tips to Help Student-Athletes

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Getting recruited to play men’s college basketball is a rigorous process. To draw attention from college coaches, you need to be extremely proactive in your approach to the recruiting process. If you want a college coach to see you play, it is essential that you are a versatile athlete available to the coach looking at you, and most importantly, you have a solid Hudl highlight video. It would not hurt to inform the coaches of your annual and career statistics. These tips will get you on the right path toward finding a school that is best suited for your talent level and personality.

Here are some tips that Locker Room Talk suggests that you follow to help you with the basketball recruiting process.

Tip 1: Communication

Find out where and when coaches will be, so you have a good reason to reach out. If you find out what showcases or camps a particular coach will be attending, reach out to them and let the coaches know they should keep an eye out for you. If you are in contact with a coach, it is not their job to let you know your status in their recruiting process. It is up to you to reach out and communicate with them in regards to where you stand in the recruiting process. It is essential to understand the strict NCAA rules regarding communication with coaches because you do not want to operate outside of these rules. As a freshman or sophomore, schools and coaches are permitted to send you recruiting questionnaires and prospect camp information. It is not until June after your sophomore year that coaches are allowed to reach out to you privately via email or phone call. Before then, you are allowed to email coaches whenever you please to express your interest, but they are not permitted to respond to you with anything aside from camp information or student-athlete questionnaires. Upon your the first day of classes entering your Junior year of high school, you are allowed to have any form of contact with a coach provided that you are not meeting with them on campus. By January 1 of your Junior year, you are permitted to go on a maximum of five official visits, if you are invited to do so. Upon the beginning of your senior year, you are allowed any form of contact and coaches are allowed to offer you scholarships and spots on their team roster that will be solidified with a letter of intent. Once you sign a letter of intent, you are bound to that school until further notice and the communication rules are not limited in any way. Be smart about these NCAA rules and make sure you or the coach you are in contact with do not violate any of these rules.  

Tip 2: Solid Recruiting Video

A great recruiting video is essential to your success in getting recruited to be an athlete in a collegiate-level men’s basketball program. You want to create a video that will keep coaches watching until the very end. It should not have music. Many coaches will be quick to write off high school basketball athletes who choose inappropriate music in their recruiting videos. It is also essential to use high-quality video footage. It may be useful to reach out to someone outside of your program to shoot video footage of your games to attain the highest quality footage. Your video should not be excessively long. Coaches do not want to spend all day watching highlight reels, so you should keep your video under seven minutes. The best resource for creating a solid recruiting video is Hudl.com. They specialize in giving you the resources to analyze video, track your statistics, manage feedback, and create a highlight reel in their easy-to-use online platform. You should also post your video on an online platform like Vimeo or YouTube, so it is easily accessible for coaches. Do not mail a coach a burned DVD copy of your recruiting video unless they specifically request it. Finally, it is crucial that you have a new video for each season. Coaches at the highest level will begin recruiting athletes while they are still in middle school, so if you have a video for each season, it will be easier for coaches to track your progress. As you grow as a player, coaches interest will grow with it, so make sure you are adamant about creating continuously high quality recruiting videos to keep coaches interested.

Tip 3: Academic Success

Academic success has a huge advantage in the recruiting process for collegiate men’s basketball. A high GPA will help you stand out from other athletes around the country and increase your chances of being recruited to a school that piques your interest. Athletes that reach the minimum academic requirements will be eligible to receive an academic scholarship that does not count against the athletic budget of a coach. The requirements for academic scholarship eligibility are as follows: A graduating GPA of 3.5 or higher, graduate in the top 20% of your class, and earn an 1140 or higher combined math and reading SAT score, or earn a 100 ACT composite score. Keep in mind that if you meet these academic requirements, it does not guarantee that you will be awarded an academic scholarship. It just means that you will be eligible to receive this type of scholarship. Freshman year, you should meet with your counselor or advisor and create an academic plan to make sure you are in all of the right courses pertaining to NCAA eligibility. Sophomore year, you should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Junior year, you should make sure you are earning all the credits in core courses that are required by the NCAA, take the SAT and ACT and submit your scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center and have your counselor submit a copy of your unofficial transcript to the Eligibility Center. By senior year, you should finish your required core courses and have your counselor submit your official transcript to the Eligibility Center. These core courses should be completed over the course of your entire high school experience. You need 4 years of English, 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of natural/physical science, one additional year of math, science, or English, 2 years of social science, and 4 additional years of English, math, social science, foreign language, religion, philosophy, or natural/physical science. It sounds like a lot, but when it is spread out over the course of 4 years, it is much easier to make sure you are on track. You must graduate with a GPA of 2.3 or higher in these core courses to be eligible, and your SAT and ACT scores should be reflective of your GPA, if not better. Good grades matter just as much, if not more than your athletic ability, so make sure you pay close attention to your academics so you can position yourself to earn an academic scholarship!

Tip 4: Be Professional

Throughout the college recruiting process for men’s basketball, it is likely that you will frequently be talking with college coaches. There are some things to remember when you get on the phone with a college coach. First, be articulate and speak with proper grammar. You want coaches to recognize that you are a well-spoken individual and that you are serious about being recruited. Second, when it comes to writing emails, make sure your email address is professional. You do not want coaches to ignore you because your email address is informal and unprofessional. If necessary, create an email address dedicated explicitly to your communication with college coaches. This can also be used for other professional endeavors in the future, so it is a win-win decision. Third, you want to be enthusiastic if you are afforded the opportunity to speak with a college coach on the phone or in person. It is one thing to be articulate in an email, but another to maintain a professional attitude and to be well spoken when you are communicating with a coach in a more right setting. Be prepared to present yourself in a way that will invite coaches to pay more attention to you. Finally, study the programs of the coaches that are recruiting you. The more you know about their program, the more interest you will be able to show. This informs coaches that you are serious about playing for their program because you will be able to contribute much more to the conversation. It is essential that you respond to coaches as quickly as possible to make sure they recognize your seriousness in the recruiting process. However, a quick response still needs to be well crafted and articulate. Coaches want to get to know who you are throughout the recruiting process, so don’t hesitate to participate in the discussion!

Tip 5: YOU are in Control

The recruiting process will undoubtedly keep you on your toes, but you are an athlete, so you probably spend most of your time on your toes! These tips can help you in the recruiting process and teach you how to have control with your recruiting experience, but ultimately, it boils down to who you are and what you can do both on and off the court. Confidence is imperative when playing at the collegiate level, so showing that you are confident and well prepared will illuminate coaches to the point that you could be the best possible addition to their roster and put you in a position to achieve the utmost success. SO…. what are you waiting for? You need to confront the recruiting process with confidence and poise and prove that you are the next great addition to a coach’s roster. You have all the tools to succeed in your academics, coach communication, recruiting video, and athleticism. Your future is in your hands, so make it happen.