Recruitment of Youth - 2016
Happy February everyone. Today is a good day. LEKA Volley is playing in the Finnish Cup Semifinals today. This month I am going to be discussing recruiting. I have been getting a lot of questions in my email about the recruiting process through all levels. So, during February we'll be hitting it level by level. Let's dive right in.
A ton of young athletes and parents think that it's crucial to get exposure from a very young age, or else there won't be an opportunity to play at the next level. There is some truth to that, but it's mostly false, for two reasons. The first reason is that it depends on the sport. In sports like basketball, soccer, and baseball, prospects are pursued sooner, because the potential (historically) can be seen sooner. In sports like volleyball and football, no kid is going to be recruited before the 8th grade. You could count the number United States athletes that are recruited before 8th grade on your hands and toes.
Spend time in the youth years focused on your kid's mental progression. Make sure they are internally confident and externally humble. Teach them about the history of sports so they can understand the way that it develops. If you aren't educated in sports history, then there is plenty of info on Google and videos on YouTube. Something that's important for young athletes is that they come off as aggressive during the plays on the court and polite in between the plays while they are on the court.
Tons of parents ask me when the best time to start reaching out to high school coaches and private trainers is. My answer is: only when the kid tells you that they are ready for a trainer or ready to pursue a high level of athletics in high school. Most of their "real future" opportunities (college) will depend on their grades first and athletics second, so if you are going to push, then push the academics.
I will keep this week light, because week two and week four are going to be heavy on information. Next week I will be discussing the steps, process, and options of moving from high school athletics into college recruitment. If you'd like to continue this week's discussion, use the comments section below. Thanks for joining.
- Have a blessed week.
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Chris P Austin