A players guide through the live weekend
I have the luxury and privilege of speaking to both players and coaches on a daily basis. While I of course must match the two based on professional standards, I genuinely root for every player to fulfill their hopes and reach their goals. And for months I have heard the unnecessary emphasis and heartache this one weekend brings.
I do get it. Probably more than most. The coaches are stressed out trying to figure out how to cover multiple events around the country in 48 hours, while trying to balance the immediate need for 2014 players and the need to better their programs in the future with 2015 and 2016 players. Players feel if they don’t have offers by the end of the weekend that they are falling behind. But I must stress it is one game, one weekend, one opportunity of many to come. And while playing in Dallas, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Orlando, Biloxi, etc. may bring you great fortunes, it's one opportunity and the world doesn't change in a day or a game. While it may take a while and help may be needed, it all seems to work out year to year in the end.
There will be other days to further make your mark. So play your game and try your best.
The first “live” period of the season for recruits and coaches begins in just a few days on Friday, and while the excitement is both palpable and understandable, it is in the end another April weekend.
No doubt coaches are in frenzy and excited as they get to come out and you see this weekend with your spring travel team. But your excitement should be limited to getting another chance to do what you enjoy, playing ball and not a thought in the world that you need to do anything differently than you did when you played yesterday. The reality is you don't want your world to change in one weekend. Play your game, not what you think people want to see. That's one way to become a transfer statistic later. Coaches are looking for the player they need, a player they feel will mold into their system, a player they can rely on because they know what they are getting. Play your game and try your best.
It is impossible to know what each coach needs for their particular program. So let them decide for now whether your game and character fits their wants and needs. Later that decision will shift to you the player. But for now, your responsibility is to play your game.
I hear you. The stress of offers and rankings and gratification and keeping up with your neighbors twitter account weighs heavy on your shoulders. And never more so than during the approaching live period weekend. And I don't know how to say this other than that is all a load of crap. It’s just another weekend. Countless players over the years have missed playing live weekends for a variety of reasons: injury, vacation, weddings, workouts or just sitting on the couch. And many are currently thriving on college rosters as we speak. The reality is coaches will be gathering names, watching masses, watching specific individuals they believe they want and then they will be back out in July to do it again. And again in the fall. And again during the season and next spring as well. Coaches will search as long as it takes to find the you they are looking for.
So the weekend will end. You will go back to school and talk about it. You will read a few names on twitter and in a week you will forget what you read, you will even forget what you didn't do on the court. You will remember conversations in the hotel with teammates and the gyms you play in, the teams you play against and the big dunk of the weekend. The important stuff! Be a kid, be a player, make mistakes, enjoy the triumphs and let the chips fall where they may knowing there's always another game, another on looker and another opportunity to play your game.
And as you ignore everything I have written, best of luck on this big weekend!