#RealTalk - Adults are being Evaluated too
Five-and-a-half years ago, during the first week of the July live period, I was attending the Hoop Group Elite Camp.
As I often do, I was sitting with college coaches, watching camp games for the better part of 14 hours. During those long days the subject of conversation can vary but typically topics include the quality of play we're watching to the prospects and often those associated with the prospects.
This particular day wasn't that uncommon. There were some adults, presumably parents, across the court being especially animated and sometimes inappropriate. Not surprisingly, the coaches noted this and it quickly became the subject of discussion as it inevitably does when an adult makes a scene.
It occurred to me then that parents, and other adults who have influence over these prospects, have no idea the impact they have on a young player’s recruitment. So, I fired off the below tweet.
Attention parents: you may be interested to know your behavior is often the subject of discussion in the college coaches' seating section— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) July 11, 2013
One of the cardinal rules of recruiting is that “you have to be better than your problems” which means a player’s impact on winning games better exceed whatever other distractions he may cause a team.
This is true at absolutely every level. Right or wrong, history has shown many high-major programs may be more willing to take a player with a series of off-the-court issues if he’s supremely talented.
Even in the Ivy League, the use of the Academic Index (a metric used to measure admitted students both individually and collectively) often dictates that the players on the lower end of the scale are more immediate impact players.
In the current day and age of college basketball, when transfers have reached an unprecedented rate, it is more important than ever for college coaches to understand the adults and people with influence who surround a prospect before they decide whether to recruit him.
More plainly, every college coach in the country is trying to get their individual players to buy into a team concept. That’s a daunting challenge no matter what but almost impossible if your players are surrounded by people who are only interested in their individual stats or accolades.
That’s exactly why college coaches are evaluating the adults and other people around their recruits more often than ever. Coaches will always ask about a prospect's skill set and physical capabilities, but more often than ever that’s being followed up by questions like…
“What’s the mom like?”
“Who does he listen to?”
“Do they get it?”
The moral of the story, for parents, families and friends, it to be aware of your actions, both at games and on social media. Even when well-intentioned, they’re being assessed by college coaches who are inevitably making you part of the equation as they ask…
“Is he better than his problems?”