Re: AAU vs ARC vs Park League


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Posted by Great Post! on May 08, 2018 at 08:19:02:

In Reply to: Re: AAU vs ARC vs Park League posted by D-Train on May 07, 2018 at 21:42:43:

:
: Many of your larger city park programs have skilled and patient, coaches, especially for the younger kids. At the younger ages, kids have developmental limits to how much they can absorb and execute, even if they are coached by John Wooden. For that reason, travel basketball for most kids under 12 is a waste of money, unless there is no other viable option. For as long as possible, kids should be encouraged to play multiple sports which better supported by the park league schedule. The difference between a park team and a travel team is the park team will have only 2 or 3 travel team quality players at most. The advanced players have a great opportunity to provide leadership for their park team, something they may not be equipped to do for their travel team. The park leagues are the backbone of grassroots basketball, as the talent developed there gets "poached" into the travel/AAU system. Be very value conscious when selecting or remaining with a travel coach. Are they just good recruiters/drill runners or do they help the kids learn to think for themselves using game scenarios in practice.

This is 100% right on target.

Everyone talks about how hard it is to play in college (and it is - at any level!). But the dirty little secret is how hard it is to even play varsity high school basketball.

What is the best way to prepare? At 12, which I believe is 6th grade, you are beginning to migrate from "fun" to "more serious". But I would argue it is still important for them to enjoy themselves, and also play other sports.

IF you can find a truly good park league coach - and there are some - there is no reason to not continue. Maybe supplement that with a good trainer (also hard to find!) for some extra skill work.

If your son is good enough, dip into travel/AAU on a team where he and you feel comfortable with the coach, other players, and parents (you will be spending a lot of time with them).

Another tip - if you know what high school he will be going to, go to some of their summer league and then regular season games and see their style of play. Maybe go to their summer camp if they have one. Some kids and their skill sets just may not fit with a certain school/coach, no matter how good they are. If the goal is to play in high school, better to figure that out now rather than in 9th/10th grade.

Whatever you choose, keep encouraging him to work hard and enjoy himself.

Good luck!


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