Playmakers International

Your Investment

Are You Worth Their Investment?

BASKETBALL IS A BUSINESS. Playing and coaching basketball are both major functions of this business. It is not just how well you play the game that peaks a coach’s interest and tells a coach that you are worth the investment. Regardless of your skill level or natural, raw talent, coaches need to know if they should take a risk by putting you on their team.

College athletes are an investment to coaches, to colleges, and often, even to the cities and communities in which they attend college. A lot of time, energy, and money are invested into college athletes. College athletes represent their schools and coaches are putting their necks on the line by taking a chance on the students they recruit. Coaches, colleges and communities want to know that you are worth the investment.

College coaches and scouts look for a variety of attributes in high school athletes to be sure they are worth their investment. They look for qualities that are a good fit for their school and qualities that will improve and enhance the overall performance of their teams.

On this page, you will read, in no particular order of importance, what college coaches have said are important to them when scouting high school athletes. As you read through each attribute, answer the “Ask yourself” questions and be honest with yourself. Then, ask your coaches, your teachers, and your parents the same questions. If you do not get the responses you hoped for, it is never too late to work on yourself as a player and as an individual.

When it is all said and done, based on what coaches are looking for in a player, would you invest in you?

Attitude

  • Your attitude says EVERYTHING about you.
  • A positive attitude may make a coach choose a player that is not as talented as a gifted player with a poor attitude.
  • A bad attitude can cause a coach who traveled hundreds of miles to watch you play walk out of your game and never contact you again.
  • A positive attitude tells a coach that you are coachable, hardworking, and that you can demonstrate leadership qualities.  Coaches will speak with others who know you about your attitude and your behavior, both on and off the court.

ASK YOURSELF:

  • Do I have a positive or a negative attitude?
  • How would my coach describe my attitude?
  • How would my parents describe my attitude?
  • How would my teachers describe my attitude?
  • How would my peers describe my attitude?
  • Do I role my eyes when being instructed or corrected?
  • What does my posture reveal about my attitude?
  • When being instructed/corrected, am I paying attention, or am I thinking about how annoyed I am that my coach, parent, or teacher is wasting my time?

Coachable/Teachable

  •  Coaches want to know what you know and what you don’t know. Then, they want to know if you are able to improve upon what you already know and if you can be taught what you don’t know. 
  • Coaches look for players with positive attitudes as well as an enthusiasm for learning both on and off the court.

ASK YOURSELF:

  • Am I able to be coached?
  • Do I like to learn?
  • Do I follow instructions?
  • How well do I follow instructions?
  • How well do I pay attention?
  • Am I willing to learn
  • Am I a good student?

Intelligence

  • Intelligence is not always about your GPA.  Coaches often tell their players to “play smart”.  This involves actually knowing and understanding the game of basketball, knowing what your teammates can and cannot do, knowing what your opponents can and cannot do, and being able to make intelligent decisions while in the game. Players that make intelligent decisions on the floor will come out ahead the majority of the time.

ASK YOURSELF:

  • What is my basketball IQ?
  • Am I able to apply my basketball IQ on the court?
  • Do I immediately react to situations, or do I think before reacting?
  • After playing a game, do I analyze the game and think of things I could have done better or better decisions I could have made?
  • Do I learn from my mistakes?
  • Am I able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents during a game and use them to my advantage?

Fundamentals

  • How well you play the game is what brings coaches to you.  Coaches love players who are fundamentally sound.  They want to see players who:  are quick; have a lot of stamina and energy; are able to handle the basketball; are athletically sound; are strong; can jump; know how and when to pass and shoot; and can work the court.
  • Going to high school or AAU basketball practice every day will NOT teach you the fundamentals of basketball and will not make you better than your peers, nor will it give you a competitive advantage over your peers.  Going to practice every day will only make you just as good as your peers.

ASK YOURSELF:

  • Am I investing in myself as a basketball player?
  • What have I done to improve my skill level?
  • Am I able to successfully complete high school level basketball drills?
  • Am I able to successfully complete college level basketball drills?
  • Are my skills as a player better than they were last year? Last month?
  • What else can I do to improve as a basketball player?
  • Am I content with practice? Or, should I invest in additional training?

Hard Work

  • Coaches want to know that you are serious about the game. If you only pick up a basketball during practices and games, you are NOT a serious player. Coaches like players who work to improve their skills and knowledge of the game.
  • Coaches want to know that you are prepared to enter college as a student AND as an athlete. If your grades are low, how talented you are as an athlete is irrelevant.

ASK YOURSELF:

  • How do I academically compare to my peers?
  • Am I a slacker?
  • Do I really try my best in school?
  • What do I do in my free time?  Do I work on improving my grades? Do I work on improving my basketball skill level? Do I text my friends? Do I watch TV?
  • When given an opportunity to practice or train more often than required, do I take that opportunity? Or, do I pass up the opportunity for any reason that comes to my mind?
  • Do I complain about how much I have to do?

Intensity

  • Let’s face it, there are a lot of people who just do what they need to do to just “get by” in sports, school, and in life.  Coaches do not want players who cut corners in practice or during games.
  • College basketball is a very intense game.  College practices are very intense.  High school players that tend to just “get by” tend to have a difficult time playing at the collegiate level.
  • Coaches look for intensity.  They look for players who play hard all of the time. Coaches want players who do not settle for the easy options.  They want players who challenge themselves AND others to be better players and better people.

ASK YOURSELF:

  • Why am I playing this game?
  • Do I love this game?
  • Am I just getting by?
  • Do I practice how I play? Or, do I slack off in practice, but give my all during games?
  • Does my level of intensity go down when my team is losing?
  • Does my level of intensity go down when my team is winning by a lot of points?
  • Does my love for the game show during practice AND in my games?

Invest in Yourself Before You Expect Others to Invest in You!