College Basketball Decisons
Do you want to play college basketball? It’s okay to answer yes. Most people will tell you that it’s a long shot to make it to the college level, but it’s not up to most people whether you get there or not. It’s largely up to you. If you want to play college basketball in the near future, there are some questions you should be asking yourself now to get yourself ready. Here are a couple of questions to help get you started.
Do I love the game of basketball?
This is an important question because no matter what college you attend, you will be dedicating a lot of time to team practice, individual practice, film study and travel as a part of the basketball team. You don’t have to love the game of basketball to play at the college level (I knew guys who didn’t), but you have to be willing to commit the time to being what I like to call a “full time student athlete”. This means sacrificing some of the recreation time non-athlete students get and dedicating it to basketball. If you don’t love or at least really like the game of basketball, that time can quickly start to feel like a burden and college basketball may not be a fit for you.
Am I good enough to play college basketball?
It is important to gauge whether you have what it takes to seriously pursue playing college basketball. There are a couple of ways to determine this if you’re not sure. You can attend local college basketball games and look to see if you’d be able to play with the guys on the court. Be honest with yourself. Also, do a little research and identify the players being recruited by colleges in your area. Watch their games, and also see if you can go to open gyms where they are playing so you can compete against them. In so doing, you can determine where you’re at in relation to other college basketball prospects and players in your area.
What can I do to improve my chances of playing college basketball?
If you determine that you aren’t good enough to play college basketball, is there anything you can do to get good enough? Is there a skill you can develop into being “college level”? Maybe this is something like shooting, rebounding, or perimeter defense, three things that every college program needs.
How are my grades?
It is a common misconception that it is all about skills and not about the total student athlete at the college level. If you are a high school All-American player, it may not matter if you barely do enough to get by in the classroom. That may be good enough. For everybody else, grades can be a bigger factor. At smaller colleges and universities if you are a good student you may be eligible to receive financial assistance based on your grades. If you don’t need financial assistance, good grades can still be a draw for a college coach. Schools that are members of the NCAA, for instance, are required for their teams to achieve certain academic standards. If the highly recruited players on the team are not contributing positively to holding those standards, the rest of the team can pick up the slack. An opportunity to join a quality team as a good student and a decent basketball player could be your ticket in. Conversely, being a poor student may keep certain doors closed to you.
What college do I want to attend?
A lot of kids don’t think about this question, and they should. Every college or university may not be a fit for you, and you might want to think specifically about it. Is there a school in the city or state I’d like to be in? Is there a school that offers a perfect degree program for me? Will I have a chance to get playing time at this school? Does the team play a style that I can be successful in? Thinking more specifically can help you to make not only a good basketball decision, but also a good life decision. Also, the benefit of identifying the school you want to play at is that you can make a concentrated effort of getting into that school and onto that team. Making contact with the head or assistant coaches, researching the roster and seeing where you fit in, and training with a more specific purpose are all things you can do once you identify what school or schools you’d like to attend.
These are just a couple of questions you should be asking yourself if you are thinking about playing college basketball. Get with your local basketball trainer, who should have experience playing at the college level, to help you answer these and other important college basketball-related questions.