Next Step: Unclear
Here are my thoughts on those that are struggling to see their next step. I gave advice to a son of a friend of mine who is unsure of his basketball future. I hope those reading can take something away from this.
God always has a plan for him but sometimes it’s tough to always see it. In my experience as a player and coach, I have always relied on the points below.
My suggestion for your son is to do an honest self evaluation. He is 18 years old and he needs to start to OWN HIS CHANGE, no one else can do that for him. He may have valid reasons as to why he didn’t achieve what he wanted to this year, but he has the POWER to do something about it going forward. He has to FOCUS on his daily habits for his body and mind. He can control his work ethic, positive thoughts and his time on a daily!
All In Work Ethic:
I know for a fact that he works hard every time he is with me, but when he is not with me, he still has to go 100% and it must be on the correct things. In August I gave him things to work on to improve his game and he didn’t do them. I know this because when I saw him play a couple months later, he still had those “glitches” in his game. but his hard work must be on the correct things. For the next couple of years as he pursues to play at the College level, he must work hard on the things he need improvement on to play at the next level. He can’t just work on the things he enjoys working on or that he is good at.
Develop a no excuse, solution based attitude:
He did a great job staying in touch with me, letting me know how his season was going and I can tell he has a passion for the game. However, I “cringed” sometimes when he would explain to me his difficulties succeeding. Most of the time he blamed his coach or his teammates for his struggles. There was a trend there and he never fully OWNED up that he needs to work on his own game.
From the texts he was sending me, he was inconsistent with his emotions as well as his play. As a professional in my field, I can tell he never really locked in to a consistent 2-3 year game plan or process of training along with an “own the excuse” attitude. He has to realize that he is in control of his College future, no one else is.
Short Term Solutions
1) Play on an AAU team and see if he can string together some games that will help his confidence.
2) Re-classify but go somewhere where the post grad really develops them. The coach needs to care about his “basketball and life game.” The coach needs to understand his situation and not just take his money. This post grad school has to be on college coaches “radar.”
3) Take a gap year: take some online classes and work on his game HARD! Play in a men’s league and in good pick up games around town. During the year search out a college he is interested in. I think he can play at a Junior College or small NAIA College, maybe a D3 college. He needs a year for sure to mature physically and mentally.
4) If he wants to go right to College, I think he can play at a Junior College or small NAIA college, maybe a D3 College. If his grades are superior, he can get into a smaller college that is great academically and athletically and really enjoy himself.
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