There are tons of high school basketball players who dream of playing college ball, but it can be easy to make mistakes during the recruiting process that hurt you. The worst part is, you might not even understand when you’re making them.
The basketball recruiting process obviously includes what happens on the court, but it’s much deeper than that, and you can make mistakes off the court that can affect your recruitment outcome.
These are nine mistakes basketball recruits must avoid.
Nine Recruiting Mistakes Basketball Players Must Avoid
Recruits sometimes underestimate the importance of how academics impact the basketball recruiting process.
People do not talk about this piece loudly, but the level of excellence achieved in the classroom opens doors to a lot of schools. Many non-NCAA Division I schools use a combination of merit and gift type of grants added to academic money. Academic excellence, combined with athletic prowess, appeals to all programs.
A lot of recruits do not realize how tech savvy college coaches are. In many cases, they have someone on staff who monitors the social media on every platform of all the players they are recruiting. I have seen a recruit’s social media impact how they are being recruited and even leading to the recruit losing scholarship offers.
Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
Don’t overestimate the amount and level of scholarship you might get and overlook the schools recruiting you. Too often, recruits sit on offers assuming more will come, but there are so many factors that come into play when evaluating scholarship opportunities.
Be sure you understand what an offer from a school entails, and don’t take any offer for granted. You have no idea what will or won’t come in the future, and you shouldn’t ignore what you have now with no guarantee or understanding of what may or may not come later.
Watch Your Mouth
Do not speak negatively about current coaches and teammates on the high school or travel circuit. If a recruit of the recruit’s parents project bad energy and blame everything on others, college coaches could potentially be turned off.
Watch your body, too. Geno Auriemma does a good job explaining why here.
It’s important to be intentional with the footage you put out online. If you post bad footage of yourself, that will be the impression coaches will have. You want to make sure that what you make public is focused first and foremost on quality and not necessarily quantity.
One of the common mistakes for a basketball recruit is to stop focusing on improvement. Recruits must continue to grow their games.
Coaches watch for continual improvement, not only in dribbling and shooting but in efforts on defense, along with getting in the best shape possible. High school players should also work hard on growing their athleticism.
Going from high school basketball to college basketball is a huge step up – don’t think that where you are now will be good enough forever. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.
A regular error made by basketball recruits is bombarding college coaches with tons of emails and footage. Recruits and their parents don’t always realize how much goes on behind the scenes, and coaches can’t screen all the footage that’s sent their way. If you throw too much at a coach, it could annoy them at worst and be a waste of your time at best.
It’s also critically important to play in a travel/club environment that has an advocate for you who has connections in the college coaching community.
Recruiting is not just about the tournaments you play in, it also includes game footage, along with an understand of how a player fits in a possible college situation. For a college coach, being able to call someone directly to talk about who they like and what they need can sometimes help them navigate the recruiting world more effectively than attending tournaments with hundreds of recruits.
Coaches often rely on close sources in the basketball world whom they trust to feed them players who would fit their program and style. You want to know those close sources.
Showcases Aren’t Always Worth the Cash
Another one of the big basketball recruiting mistakes is investing a lot of money into showcases that have no proven track record in the college coaching community.
Many of these events have no college coaches, no live stream capabilities, and no follow-up. It’s also hard to track what these showcase directors do after the event to push you to college coaches. Write ups on social media are nice, but in the end, college coaches want to be able to see you on the court.
Before your family writes a check for a showcase, make sure might actually get your money’s worth.