The AAU season is about to begin and players will begin to compete. Player’s self-esteem will grow and parent’s hope and dreams will begin to build for the high school season. Unfortunately, most parents do not understand their child is not playing against the best competition. Parents and athletes are caught up in individual success and some will never stop to consider the level of competition. During intense AAU competition the elite players are separated from the rest of the pack. It is not unheard of for teams and or individuals to “play up” in AAU tournaments. Due to many games during tournaments it is hard to recognize teams are differentiated by divisions and talent. Just like the NCAA has divisions, so does AAU and if your child’s team is not playing in the Division I league, then the assessment of your child’s development maybe tainted. This façade may cause players to abstain from working on the weak areas of their game. Ultimately, the effect could keep players from making their high school team in the fall.
What to look for in an AAU team…
Players getting as much experience as possible on the court is extremely valuable and important BUT weigh the positives and negatives. During this off season it maybe more beneficial to invest your money in a camp and or a trainer. Spending money for your child to play open gym games will be a waste of your time and money especially if your child is not getting any better. Iron sharpens iron, is a great quote to think about when deciding what you should do. Which would be more efficient, invest in a trainer and or a camp and possibly play a few games on the AAU circuit or invest all your money on AAU team that is playing low-level competition?
Low-level competition is defined as players who are not college bound. These players are not ready to compete on the college level. High-level competition is players competing with each other who are college bound. As college bound players compete, they show what level of college they will perform well at. As you look at the different teams, ask yourself how many possible college players are there on the team. This question will not only let you know if your child should play on the team, but provide feedback on where your child is as a player.
Larry Roberson was born in Akron, Ohio in 1979. Played college basketball and for the IBL. Coached collegiately and is currently coaching high school basketball in Suitland, MD. Loves the game of basketball and is an innovative coach which strives to learn.