It’s that time of year, schools all over the country are beginning to break for summer and players are trading textbooks for basketballs. While the thought of summer camp was hard to fathom during the snow-filled winter months, the reality is that camp season is just around the corner. Before you begin filling your schedule with camp after camp, make sure you have a plan in place to make this the best summer possible. Here are six tips to consider heading into camp.
Get Your Academics in Place
Before your school year is over, you should have a conversation with your high school coach or guidance counselor, or both, about where you are at academically. You can play the greatest summer of your life, but if you do not have enough credits, good enough grades, or the right years of math, english etc, then college coaches will not recruit you. Make sure you are squared away academically, then spend your summer focused on hoops.
Once your squared away in the classroom, now it’s time to focus on the court. First step to your on court preparation is to give yourself an honest assessment of your game. By taking a step back and answering the question “where is my game at?”, you will enable yourself to build fair and reasonable expectations for the summer. Honesty is key; being honest will allow you to reach attainable goals during the summer months and in turn help your recruitment as opposed to hurting it.
Provide Coaches with Your Summer Schedule
Prior to the start of the summer, you should compile a list of schools you are interested provide them with your schedule for the summer. Coaches won’t be able to see you if they don’t know where you will be this summer. A simple email with your schedule attached can go a long way in helping you stand out and get seen by the schools you want to see you.
Play to Your Strengths
The offseason is a great time to work on your weaknesses. However, do not bring your work in progress into games before you are ready. Put yourself in successful situations by playing to your strengths. For example, if you’re better driving to the hoop instead of shooting from the outside, don’t go hoisting up threes and proving to coaches that you don’t have a strong outside shot. Show coaches what you can do, while you work on what you can’t during drills and workouts.
Make Optional, Mandatory
Aside from putting you in front of college coaches, most camps offer a number of opportunities to work on your skill sets…take advantage! Not only will you benefit from the extra work outs, but coaches will take notice to those players who choose to work whenever given the opportunity.
Be a Good Teammate
Remember, college coaches are looking for players who fit their TEAM. Talent level is important, but it’s not the only thing coaches are looking for. Turning yourself into a black hole offensively and shooting every time you touch the ball is a good way to have coaches cross you off their list immediately. Be aggressive, but also be a team player. The more you play for your teammates, the more coaches will take notice, and the better your recruitment will be.
Lastly, here’s a message about Summer Planning from Hoop Group President, Rob Kennedy.
March 9th–This week in Recruiting with Rob, we continue to talk AAU basketball. In a series that helps break down finding the right program for you to play on, Rob narrows in this week on the coaching. See what you should look for in a coach when you’re choosing your program.
Feb 23rd– Last week Rob talked about the academic side of things. Getting in touch with your guidance counselor and seeing what schools fit you academically. This week we’re back on the court and looking at schools that can fit you from a basketball stand point. Listen here!
Feb 14th– This week in Recruiting with Rob Kennedy, we step off the court and focus on the academics. Finding the right school requires a good fit both basketball wise, and academically. A talk with you guidance counselor can go a long way to helping find the right college for you. Watch now!
February 9th — This week in Recruiting with Rob Kennedy, Rob talks about a key term: demonstrated interest. Demonstrated interest is something that can be expressed by both a school and a prospect. Click the video and watch now!
February 2nd– Rob Kennedy is back with more advice on recruiting. This week, Rob talks to all the juniors. The spring and summer between your junior and senior year are crucial in getting recruited. Make sure you have a plan going into the offseason. Watch here!
January 26th — This week in Recruiting with Rob, Rob talks about recruitment for seniors. While you may think time is running out, there is still ample time for you to find the right school. Watch here!
This article was written by free-lance writer, Helen Young
Just like training and adequate rest, nutrition is an absolutely essential factor in becoming a great basketball player. When it really comes down to it, your body is a fairly simple equation – you get out what you put in. Supplements are great, but to really get results, you need to take in nutrients in the form in which your body has evolved to deal with them: food. With this in mind, here is what you should be putting into your body to get the best results out.
If you’re trying to achieve a lean, muscular physique, then protein is probably the most important thing you can take in. Protein is essential for building muscle mass, and it also increases your metabolism to help you burn off any excess fat which might be slowing you down. Ideally, an average-sized player should eat 20 grams or so of protein per day (adjust this accordingly if you are significantly bigger or smaller framed than average). Protein is generally found in eggs, dairy products, and meat. However, if you’re on a vegan diet which prohibits these things, this does not mean that you have to give up your basketball dreams. There are plenty of vegan athletes who’ve won great triumphs and achieved great things. However, you do have to work at it a bit. You can find protein in things like chickpeas, but you have to eat a lot more of them than you would meat or eggs in order to get the same effect. There are some vegan-friendly protein-supplements out there, so this may be your best bet.
Carbs get a lot of negative press, particularly in the wake of fads like the Atkins Diet. However, they are actually pretty vital when it comes to bodily performance. As the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois point out, “carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel” . They estimate that between 45-50% of a person’s total calorie intake should be in the form of carbohydrates. This is not to say, of course, that eating too many of the wrong carbs won’t make you fat – it will – and reducing your carb intake certainly can help if you want to lose weight. Researchers have consistently found that obese people placed on a low-carb diet have “lost more weight, showed a greater increase in their good (HDL) cholesterol levels, had a greater reduction in triglycerides and abdominal (visceral) fat, showed improved blood sugar levels, and were more satisfied with their diets” . It’s all sound and seductive science. However, basketball players are not obese couch-potatoes who need to lose weight. They’re athletes, and athletes need fuel. If you want energy for a game, and don’t want your body to start consuming muscle, then you need to eat some carbs. The precise amount can be tailored to fit around training sessions, games, and rest periods. Whole grains are a good source of nutritionally-rich carbs.
Vitamins and Minerals
Perhaps the most important thing about a basketball player’s diet is that it should be balanced and varied – which means taking in plenty of fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide a motherlode of essential vitamins and minerals which you need to keep yourself on top form. Harvard state that the best, healthiest, most effective diets out there contain plenty of fruit and veg – and “plenty” means “More than most Americans consume” . A lot more. The CDC further point out that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can do an incredible amount of good for your body, keeping it running smoothly and efficiently, as well as reducing “the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases” . While protein and carbs will build and fuel a body, they can’t do their jobs properly if they don’t have a lot of fruit-and-veg nutrients to help the process along. Fruit and vegetables will also ensure that your brain is firing on all cylinders, that your immune system is pumped and ready for action, and that your heart and lungs are as ready as they’ll ever be to fire you into the big time. McKinley Health Center, “Macronutrients: The Importance Of Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat“, University of Illinois  Robin Miller, “Robin’s Rescue: Low-carb vs. low-fat diet“, AZ Central  Harvard School of Public Health, “Vegetables and Fruits: Get Plenty Every Day“  Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, “Fruits and Vegetables“