Youth basketball has grown exponentially in popularity over the last decade. As a result, more kids than ever are playing the game and chasing their hoop dreams at an early age. The statistical probability for a teenage hoop star to make the NBA is extremely low. Concurrently, it’s also extremely unlikely that any basketball prospect players will have a long career playing internationally or even in the G League.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t think hard about their options before making such a momentous decision.
There are several different ways you can help young prospects make informed decisions when it comes to their future as basketball players. Here are seven tips that will help them do just that:
Set Up A Baseline-Mentality Check.
Before you start digging into the specifics of your players’ game, you’ll want to establish a baseline mentality with them that will help you understand what they hope to get out of the experience.
Start your discussion with something simple, like asking your prospect:
“Why do you want to play professionally?” or, “What do you hope to get out of a professional basketball career?”
Your player might respond with something simple like:
“I just want to play basketball for a living,” or ‘’I enjoy taking on new challenges basketball brings or, “I just want to help my family out.”
The important thing in these situations is to allow your player to fully express and explore his or her underlying motivations.
Measure In-Game Skills And Athleticism.
Once you’ve established a baseline mentality with your prospect, you’ll want to get into some specifics.
Your first step should be to measure your player’s in-game skills and athleticism, as those are the two most important factors in determining whether a player will have a successful career.
Discuss The Importance Of Education To Your Players.
This might seem like an odd entry on a list of tips for developing prospect players, but it’s actually incredibly important.
Players who have the ability to go pro out of youth academy don’t have the same kind of long-term financial security that college-bound players do.
Consequently, more than any other group of prospects, these are the players who need to be advised on the importance of attending college — no matter what their original plan is.
You’ll want to discuss the importance of education to your players while they’re still in high school. This will allow them to make a fully informed decision about whether they should go pro, head to college, or pursue another career path.
Make A Plan For How You’ll Measure Success For Your Prospect’s Decision.
One of the most important things you can do with your player is to make a plan for how you’ll measure the success of his decision.
You’ll want to define what success means for your player, both in terms of his basketball career and in terms of his life after basketball.
You’ll also want to set a time frame for success — both in terms of when your player will make a decision and when he’ll be able to fully evaluate his decision.
For example, you might say to your player, “At the end of your senior year, you’ll decide whether to go pro or attend college and at the end of your junior year, you’ll be able to fully evaluate whether you made the right decision.”
Discuss The Pros And Cons With Your Player.
Once you’ve made a plan for how you’ll measure success for your player’s decision, you’ll want to discuss the pros and cons of each path. First, you’ll want to list the pros of each option for your player’s decision.
Next, you’ll want to list the cons of each option for his decision.
For example, if your player is in high school and is considering going pro, you might say something like, “The pros of going pro are that you might make a lot of money and get your family out of a tough financial situation, but the cons are that you might not be able to play the game you love and might risk your long-term health.”
Help Your Player Find Trustworthy Sources – Like You – To Assist With Research.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do for your player is to help him find trustworthy sources.
You can help your player navigate the media landscape by setting up a Google News Alert for “basketball prospects” and checking in on the stories that pop up.
Additionally, you can use your network to help your player find trustworthy sources.
For example, you can ask your coaching staff and other coaches or mentors that you trust if they have any contacts who work with basketball prospects. You can also ask your player if he has any contacts or people he follows or reads that also work with basketball prospects.
Youth basketball has grown exponentially in popularity over the last decade. As a result, more kids than ever are playing the game and chasing their hoop dreams at an early age.
Whether it’s because of this recent surge in youth interest, or simply because there are so many great basketball prospect players at every position in high school today, we’re seeing more and more players opt for playing professionally at an early age.
There are several different ways you can help young prospects make informed decisions when it comes to their future as basketball players.
You can help your basketball prospect players set up a baseline mentality, measure in-game skills and athleticism, responsibly set basic conditions for your recommendation, discuss the importance of education to your players, make a plan for how you’ll measure success for your player’s decision, help your player find trustworthy sources – like you – to assist with research and discuss the pros and cons of each path to help your player make an informed decision.
Post written by Ahmet Can Ozkan