The AAU season is about to begin and players will begin to compete. Player’s self-esteem will grow and parent’s hope and dreams will begin to build for the high school season. Unfortunately, most parents do not understand their child is not playing against the best competition. Parents and athletes are caught up in individual success and some will never stop to consider the level of competition. During intense AAU competition the elite players are separated from the rest of the pack. It is not unheard of for teams and or individuals to “play up” in AAU tournaments. Due to many games during tournaments it is hard to recognize teams are differentiated by divisions and talent. Just like the NCAA has divisions, so does AAU and if your child’s team is not playing in the Division I league, then the assessment of your child’s development maybe tainted. This façade may cause players to abstain from working on the weak areas of their game. Ultimately, the effect could keep players from making their high school team in the fall.
What to look for in an AAU team…
Players getting as much experience as possible on the court is extremely valuable and important BUT weigh the positives and negatives. During this off season it maybe more beneficial to invest your money in a camp and or a trainer. Spending money for your child to play open gym games will be a waste of your time and money especially if your child is not getting any better. Iron sharpens iron, is a great quote to think about when deciding what you should do. Which would be more efficient, invest in a trainer and or a camp and possibly play a few games on the AAU circuit or invest all your money on AAU team that is playing low-level competition?
Low-level competition is defined as players who are not college bound. These players are not ready to compete on the college level. High-level competition is players competing with each other who are college bound. As college bound players compete, they show what level of college they will perform well at. As you look at the different teams, ask yourself how many possible college players are there on the team. This question will not only let you know if your child should play on the team, but provide feedback on where your child is as a player.
"Coach" best describes the every day practices of a teacher. Think about it.
Although educators wear many hats, the concept of “coach” comes to mind when describing my ideals on what defines a successful educator. The two professions coalesce and easily can be confused when describing one another. I inspire, mentor, instruct, and prepare individuals to become better in their skill and then enable them to collaborate in order to achieve goals. I set high standards for myself and the individuals I am enriching, while maintaining the focus of the objectives. Coaches study their profession through evaluating the microcosm of their art through self-reflection, observing their vocation through different vantage points and assessing what needs to be mastered in order to be successful. As a coach, I use the service-learning technique module which encourages dialogue to influence successful outcomes during competition. Although I am a teacher, I am a student of my craft and I encourage my community to be students of their craft. Every second is a teaching moment, and every action can be connected to the objectives that are being sought out. I borrow ideals, then modify and incorporate these concepts to fit my class chemistry. Coaches compel individuals to self-reflect and see the potential they have within and then extract that potential into fruition. Furthermore, a coach also means a device that moves passengers from one place to another, whether by land, sea or air. As a coach, I am responsible for taking care of my passengers while in transition. I must provide a safe atmosphere for my students that protects and yet connects their mind, heart, body, and soul during the journey of erudition. Throughout this journey I focus on the importance of systems. What they are and why it is important to not only establish systems, but master the systems they are affiliated with. Whether these ideologies deal with social, political or economic systems, my students will understand they must play the game, and avoid the bench at all cost. Preparation, making the right decisions, understanding their opponent's mindset and tendencies will put them on a road to success. A coach creates an atmosphere that allows for absolute truth to be discovered, respected, and accepted through collaboration while protecting the sanctity of the individual. When the coach has successfully created a team, the team resembles a family which no longer competes against each other through conflict, but is in harmony to make the individual stronger; this allows the community to be strengthened because truth is being continually pursued. The pursuit for truth and execution of the found truth are ideals that are the cornerstone of the community. The role of coach is synonymous with my ideals of being an educator. High standards, assessment through different vantage points, learning while teaching, keeping the subject as the focal point, protecting my students through the transition of learning, and teaching students to develop and master systems are the expectations I have set for myself.
What are your thoughts?