Re: Post-Grad Prep School

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Posted by Prep works for some,not for all on July 15, 2017 at 07:52:57:

In Reply to: Re: Post-Grad Prep School posted by Coach on July 14, 2017 at 10:19:18:

: : My son is interested in completing a Post-Grad Year at Prep School. He has offers but would like to use a gap year to continue development and explore additional opportunities. Any recommendations?

: Wouldn't recommend it. Get to a college and redshirt or greyshirt. Get some college units under his belt and learn about the academic life at college. Prep school is like playing another year of AAU without the exposure of colleges. They just want your money to train your kid for another year. Don't buy in.

A "gap year" is something that a lot of kids, especially non-athletes, are doing more and more, and it can be very useful. Post-grad prep school for athletes can also be useful as well, allowing the athlete to work on skills in a more focused way yet without burning an additional year of eligibility. If your son is still growing physically, or believes he can improve his recruiting (in the sense of being exposed to bigger programs), there are some prep schools that will help with that. Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, for example, has a terrifically successful post-grad program, and contrary to what the first person who responded indicated, it gets attention from coaches at every major program in the country. And they also have first rate academic programs, so an athlete isn't just focusing on basketball, but also learning in a structured environment.

On the other hand, there are newer prep schools that have popped up all over the country that are little more than fly-by-night operations with a few desks and chairs, no real academic structure, no real campus or structure, that only play basketball. Those sorts of environments are, IMHO, a waste of time. Others may disagree, but in the long run, I don't think those types of programs really do much for a student-athlete except allow one to delay burning a year of eligibility.

Cost can be a huge downside though. Just like college recruiting, only the most talented athletes get scholarships; the rest all pay to one degree or another. If your son isn't already talented enough to be offered a scholarship to a reputable prep program, it may be a cost-prohibitive alternative that you won't be able to afford. If that's the case and your son wants to keep his recruiting open, take a year to work on improving skills while also working on academics, enrolling at a local JUCO, and "grey-shirting" (practicing and working with the JC's team but not playing in games, so as not to start his NCAA eligibility "clock") could be an option for you to look at, that costs only a fraction of what you might spend at a prep school.

The bottom line though is that for the right kid, in the right environment, a post-grad prep year can be beneficial. But it's not for everyone, and not some sort of universal panacea for athletes who just don't feel they are ready to commit to a college or university, or who aren't yet ready either academically, emotionally, or who are looking to improve their recruitment to a broader range of programs.

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