Can’t See the Forest For the Trees

Three hundred and fifty two teams attended the Battle in the Boro in 2013. That’s what the email said that’s advertising discounts for the upcoming Battle in the Boro basketball tournament. Team Po Po, my team, didn’t attend.  We attended in 2012. I don’t know how many teams attended in 2012. In 2013, Team PoPo attended the Real Deal in the Ville. They had 32 teams..

Three hundred and fifty two times 10 is 3,520 players. That’s how many players attended the 2013 Battle in the Boro event, if each team had 10 players. What if there were 15 players on each team. That would make a total of 5,280. That’s a lot either way.

The email also said that over 1000 college recruiters attended the event. That’s a lot of people with polo shirts and school logos walking around. We all notice the shirts. Players and coaches. We all squint our eyes to see if we recognize the school’s name and logo. During our games, we all look over to see what coach is watching it.

If you were playing in a tournament along with 3,520 to 5,280 players, would you stand out? Would a college coach pick you out of the crowd? Would the coach be following your team? Would the coach already know your name?

I read a great article about recruiting from NCSA Athletic Recruiting, College Coaches Open Up on What Catches Their Eye in Recruiting. Although the focus was on soccer, this information can be applied to basketball:

“We are looking more at the sophomores and some freshmen,” the coach told me. “I will come back with a Yes or No opinion on these players that I will report to the head coach. Some of these players have contacted us. I will go see them to see whether we like them or not. I want to see a kid that no matter whether they are winning or losing is playing hard. Effort! You can’t teach heart! I can usually tell within five minutes who the best players are on the soccer field.”

“I like to see video to see if it sparks an interest. Before we sign a player we will see them in person and get them on campus, but video helps. At Club matches you need to shoot video that is a little elevated. Use a good stable ladder or something. I want to see players that make good decisions on the field, how good they are on the ball, are they winning tackles a lot?

“We really like the good players that express a sincere interest in our program,” the coach said. “We are happy to look at them. We don’t want anyone to slip by.”

“Regarding my List of prospects to see, a priority goes to the player that has a way of contacting me. If they take an interest in me, I take an interest in them. There are two things I really look for. One is your work ratio. Do you work hard all the time? The other is how you interact with your team, how you react to questionable calls. Your character is just as important as your ability in my opinion.”

Did you see the theme? Did you notice the words that I highlighted above? The coaches went to watch the players they knew about. The coaches went to the games of players that contacted them. That showed an interest in them.

Do they know you? Do they follow you? Have they highlighted your name in their coaches packets of tens to hundreds of pages?

I had this very discussion with my team during the Spring of 2013. You can view the discussion. It’s called How to Stand Out at NCAA Certified Events.

Sometimes we make basketball recruiting so hard. When it can be as simple as contacting the coach of the program you have an interest in.


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