ROUND TABLE 42 – WHAT SHOULD PARENTS & PLAYERS LOOK FOR IN A GREAT AAU PROGRAM – EPISODE 647

Great AAU Program RT 42

Hello and welcome to the 42nd edition of the Coach’s Corner Round Table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table will feature our All-Star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question.  A new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month.

June’s Round Table question is:  What should parents & players look for in a great AAU Program?

Our Coaching Lineup this month:

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THANKS COACHES!

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TRANSCRIPT FOR ROUND TABLE 42 – WHAT SHOULD PARENTS & PLAYERS LOOK FOR IN A GREAT AAU PROGRAM – EPISODE 647

[00:00:00] Narrator: The Hoop Heads Podcast is brought to you by Head Start Basketball.

[00:00:21] Mike Klinzing: Hello, and welcome to the 42nd edition of the Coach’s Corner Round Table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table, will feature our all-star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question, a new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month

June’s Round Table question is…What should parents and players look for in a great AAU program?

Our coaching lineup this month includes:

Please enjoy this Round Table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast and once you’re finished listening please give the show a five star rating and review after you subscribe on your favorite podcast app.

If you’re a basketball coach at any level, please check out our Hoop Heads coaching mentorship program.  You’ll get matched with one of our experienced head coaches and develop a relationship that will take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @hoopheadspod for the latest updates on episodes, guests and events from the Hoop Heads Pod.

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[00:02:32] Joe Crispin: Hi, this is Joe Crispin head men’s basketball coach at Rowan University. And you’re listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast.

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Let’s hear from our panel about what parents and players should look for in a great AAU program.

[00:04:07] Mike Klinzing: Erik Buehler, Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.

[00:04:13] Erik Buehler: Hey, what’s going on Hoop Heads. This is Eric Buehler from Chatfield Senior High. And this month we were asked, what should players look for in AAU programs? And I think there’s quite a few things you should look for. It’s a, it’s pretty big decision.

And you can kind of end up in a stuck in a, between a rock and a hard place for a whole summer season, spring and summer season. So, number one, I would ask around, I would ask friends, teammates, people, you know, around the community what clubs they know of and what the reputations of those clubs are.

Number two, I would keep in mind the AAU programs. A lot of them are businesses. And so they may just take your money and place you on a team and throw you into tournaments. And you may not get the best coaching. You may not get the best experience. You may not get the attention that you’re looking for.

If you’re paying that money out really look for good coaches. Find a team where you’re gonna have a coach who holds you and the rest of your team accountable has practices can push, you can teach you throughout the summer in addition to whatever you’re getting from your high school team.

Find a team with quality players. If you’re playing on a team that’s full of kids that aren’t real serious about it, or may not even make their high school team probably it, it probably, isn’t gonna be a fun experience and you’re not gonna improve that much find a club and a team that is gonna put you in tournaments against the proper competition.

And what I mean by that is find a club that. Won’t put you in tournaments where you’re gonna lose by 30 every game. Also, won’t put you in tournaments where you’re gonna win by 30 every single game, because I think that’s gonna be detrimental to your growth as well. Make sure that you’re working with your high school coach.

Hopefully you have a good relationship with your high school coach and your club. Isn’t that too demanding of you to the point where they’re just saying you need to be with us the entire summer, and that might contradict what your high school coach wants you to do with your high school team throughout the summer.

That’s all I got, hopefully that helps some of you out there make a decision. It’s a big choice. It’s a tough choice. It it’s up there with even choosing a high school sometimes. So the good thing is the sooner you start it, the sooner you can kind of navigate it and, and find what works for you by the time you’re going into your junior, senior year.

Hope everyone’s doing okay out there. And I will talk to you guys next time. Thank you,

[00:06:43] Mike Klinzing: Joe Crispin, Rowan University

[00:06:48] Joe Crispin: The first thing I would share with parents looking for a good AAU program is to really evaluate whether or not the organization has a clear philosophy for development, whether they realize really have a vision for longterm development, whether they understand what matters when a kid is in fourth grade, as opposed to eighth grade, and really whether they’re willing to stick with that.

Win or lose on any given weekend or weekday or practice. Many say that they value skill development and playing development and the joy of the game, but then they lose their minds on the weekend. I often tell parents that we’re willing to lose doing what we value. We’re willing to lose.

Shooting jump shots, because that’s important for the future. We’re willing to lose playing man to man defense or emotion offense, because we think that’s what’s best for the future. Losing early, winning late welshing their older players and whether or not they’re individuals who really know how to play and whether or not they really enjoy basketball are super, super important.

And even in that philosophy of development, do they really value life? Do they really value? These kids becoming better individuals and better teammates for their future and, and just individuals who over the long haul will enjoy basketball and wanna share it with their kids. So philosophy of development, is it clear?

Is it written down and then is it backed up? Those are something I don’t think we can look into enough.

[00:08:24] Mike Klinzing: Chris DeLisio, Olmsted Falls High School, Olmsted Falls, Ohio.

[00:08:31] Chris DeLisio: Hey Hoop Heads!  Chris DeLisio from Olmsted Falls and a lot of choices out there for athletes, for AAU programs. And I think parents and players have to be thorough in checking out what AAU program they want to be a part of and what team their son or daughter is gonna be a part of for that springtime experience.

I, I think. Looking at the cost is one aspect of it. And then also looking at, you know, what type of coaching is your son or daughter gonna receive? And what are the philosophies of that AAU program as far as style of play? Obviously you want your son or daughter to get better as a basketball player.

That’s the number one thing, skill level, playing together, playing with effort, all those things you hope is the expectation of the program that your son or daughter’s gonna play for. So I think you wanna look for improvement in something that gets them ready for their next year. High school basketball,

[00:09:26] Mike Klinzing: Danny Gallagher, Magnificat High School, Rocky River, Ohio.

[00:09:34] Danny Gallagher: This month’s round table question. What should players and parents look for in a great AAU program? While there’s many different levels of AAU. I’m assuming we’re talking about the top level AAU here. And what I think about when I’m thinking what my players and parents should be looking for in, in a great AAU program is just the word experience.

Experience can mean a lot of things. First off, you know, almost most importantly, you’re you gotta try and make sure that you’re gonna have a great experience with other families on the team that you’re gonna go to practice every day, enjoy the other girls, enjoy the other families. They’re gonna be kids and families that you wanna play with on the court.

You know, for five or six months out of the year, Experience is also coaching experience that you have a coach who knows what he’s doing basketball wise, but can also, you know, relate to the kids that he’s coaching relate to the families that he’s coaching be upfront and honest and, and put players in the, in the right positions where they’re gonna be successful.

And then finally with experience, just experience dealing with, with college coaches most of these players that are in these great AAU programs or top AAU programs are looking to move on and play at the next level. And you need to make sure that the people that you’re dealing with have experience putting those kids in that next level, have a great day.

[00:10:57] Mike Klinzing: Jeff Huber – Elyria Catholic High School in Elyra, Ohio.

[00:11:04] Jeff Huber: Hi! This is Jeff Huber, the head boys basketball coach at Elyria Catholic High School and this month’s question is what should players and parents look for in an AAU program? Having gone through this for the first year, myself with my daughter, I think that there’s a couple things that are I.

I think that certainly the individual coach of a team is gonna be important. You know, both when I’ve had players come to me, looking for teams, you know, it’s certain programs certainly have better reputations than others, but unless you truly know who the coach is it’s really hard to predict how players experience is gonna be.

So I think that players and parents need to be, you know, very diligent about trying to find out who would be coaching, the specific team that their son or daughter would be on. And then trying to learn a little bit more about that individual. I think that another key aspect is playing time. You know, I think sometimes one of the knocks on AU is that there’s a lot more games than there are practices.

I don’t necessarily think that’s always a bad thing, but if you know that going in that it’s important to be on a team where you’re gonna get a lot of playing time. So I would encourage parents and players not to get hung up on. What level of team it’s perceived to be B things like that. Rather get yourself in a position where you’re gonna be able to play a lot so that you take advantage of the additional game time that you’re getting.

And then I think the other thing that I would suggest is just, you know, beat in a fun environment. I think that AU you know, certainly ought to be something that, that players look forward to and something that is fun so that your, your love of the game continues to develop and grow. And so trying to put yourself in a situation where you’re gonna enjoy yourself you’re gonna get a play and you’re gonna get better.

Hope that helps. Thanks.

[00:12:43] Mike Klinzing: Your first impression is everything. When applying for a new coaching job, a professional coaching portfolio is the tool that highlights your coaching achievements and philosophies. And most of all, it helps separate you and your abilities from the other applicants. The Coaching Portfolio Guide is an instructional, membership based website that helps you develop a personalized portfolio.

Each section of a portfolio guide provides detailed instructions on how to organize your portfolio in a professional manner. The guide also provides sample documents for each section of your portfolio that you can modify and add your personal portfolio. As a Hoop Heads Pod listener you can get your Coaching Portfolio Guide for just $25.

Visit coachingportfolioguide.com/hopheads  to learn more.

[00:13:36] Mike Klinzing: Matthew Riadbard, Author of Lead Like a Pro

[00:13:42] Matthew Raidbard: Hey Hoop Heads Nation. This is coach Matt Raidbard back here for another Hoop Heads round table, talking about what players and parents should look for in a great AAU program. For me, that’s a few things, you know, one, you definitely are looking for openness and honesty and transparency in the kind of recruitment process or in the initial process of joining the team.

You want them to be able to answer all of your questions and feel like they’re giving you honest answers and that they’re gonna support your child in the best possible way. I think you also wanna look at the team, look at the roster and see how long kids have been there for. If you’re seeing a lot of turnover within the team, not a lot of retention that can be a red flag that kids aren’t having a great experience or some of the things that they’re telling you in the lead up to you joining are not actually true, or maybe only partially true.

So definitely try to see if you could figure out how long kids have been with the program. The longer kids have been with the program that continuity that consistency, that loyalty. That tells me that they’re having a great experience and that the coaches and who the administrators of the program are really doing everything that they say they’re going to, to take care of your, of your child and give them a great experience.

The last thing I would look for is just, are they having success? Are there players going on to division ones and twos and threes. Are they having a successful transition to the college level? Are you seeing that players are learning, growing and developing as a part of the program? Or are you seeing kids who, whose you know, skills are flatlining or who aren’t making a lot of progress?

If you could reach out to some parents or, or your kid knows any of the kids on the team to try to get some of that insight information. I think that’s also really helpful, but you definitely want that honesty, that consistency and loyalty to the program that tells you they’re having a great experience.

And then, you know, you wanna try to figure out as best you can, are the kids improving and getting opportunities at the next level. Thanks. Hooped nation appreciate being a part of it. Hope everyone does great.

[00:15:49] Mike Klinzing: Mark Schult from Centre College.

[00:15:54] Mark Schult: Hey, Hoop Heads. This month’s question. What should players and parents look for in a great AAU program? I think today with, with this crowded as AAU is the things to look for are a coach and a program that, that have a track record of helping guys get college opportunities, you know, and that can be hard to find and.

You know, some AAU programs will, will charge you a ton of money and, and they’re just trying to make money, but, you know, try to find a program that’s, that’s priced at a level that matches up to, to what tournament costs in, in Jersey and, and shoe and different gear mighty. And. If you can find a, a program that practices at least once a week for AAU, I think that can be really good.

Ideally you want a team that has the same players every weekend, you know, in the spring, things can shake up a little bit, one or two guys, but. If you’re in a program that, that has a different team every weekend, it’s, it’s gonna be hard for your son or daughter to develop some consistency and, and rhythm, you know, with that team when, when they have the opportunity to hopefully play in front of coaches.

So I would say, just try to find, you know, a program and a head coach that ha have some success you know, winning basketball games and hopefully helping, helping some of their players get college opportunities as well. Thanks.

[00:17:14] Narrator: Don Showalter, USA basketball.

[00:17:20] Don Showalter: Hi, Don Showalter here from USA Basketball. Question for this session is what should players and parents look for in a great AAU program? Well, first of all, I think you need to look at you know, how the players get along with each other on that team. Is there a real camaraderie? Is there a good chemistry?

Is there a good culture? That portrays from playing on that team. Do the players truly like each other I think is really one good aspect you look at, secondly, I think you should look at the fact, do they actually work on skill, work, skill development, or are they just where they play games all the time?

I think you have to mix the two and, and they’re really good AAU programs work on skill, work, skill development. And the third thing I think it needs to be taken into consideration is do the coaches actually, are they honest with the players as far as what they need to do to get better, or are they just telling them a bunch of things they want to hear and parents things they want to hear but really are they honest?

Do they build trust to the players? I think that’s really, really important.

[00:18:27] Narrator: John

[00:18:27] Mike Klinzing: John Shulman, University of Alabama, Huntsville, and the 720 sports group.

[00:18:33] John Shulman: This is John Shulman, head basketball coach at the University of Alabama, Huntsville UAH.  The question is what should parents and kids look for in a great AAU program?

Very good question. Very tricky question, but a vital one, I think first and foremost is getting with good people. And it’s hard to find good people. Ask questions, ask questions, ask, try to find out who played on that certain AAU program or whatever experience just don’t who went to Kentucky and everybody ask everybody in the program, how was their experience?

What, what do they look for? You know, you wanna find an AAU program. Number one that that helps you grow helps you grow as a person helps grow as a player. That’s hard. Cause a lot of AAU programs hard to even practice. They just meet up for the weekend and for games, it’s hard. If you can find an AAU program that’s local in your area, I think that’s.

Best, especially if they practice and work on their work, on your skills and work as a team, but are sending kids to colleges. Are they playing in the right tournaments? This is a peeves of mine. I don’t think an a team with 1213 guys on a team is a, is a, is a good idea. I think the purpose and reason to play AAU is.

To get out in front of people and play, and it’s awfully expensive. So I, I think, you know, on an AAU team, probably eight to nine kids is the best number for an AAU team. So ask the coach or the program, how many kids are on each team. And I just don’t think, I think eight nine are the, the magic numbers.

What tournaments are you playing in? Because you do want. Some exposure. Are you gonna be playing in front of any college coaches? If that’s, you know, the main reason you’re playing AAU, are there practices, are you gonna be adding people in the middle of the season? Because we lost three games in the last tournament or is this our team?

I, I just think that AAU is for playing and for experience and for growth. So I think there’s certain questions need to be asked. And I think those are pretty important costs. There’s going to be cost. I get that. It, it costs an awful lot of money to get in the tournaments and to go to the tournaments and and most of the programs are gonna make you pay and that just comes with it.

So I don’t think that’s a huge deal there. So I just think what you gotta look for is how many kids on a team, what tournaments are you playing? Who’s coaching my team, whether it be the fifteens or the fourteens or the sixteenths or the 17th, who’s coaching my team. And just kind of go from there and ask questions.

Don’t be scared to ask questions. Don’t be scared to ask former players. Don’t be scared to ask college coaches. If you have those relationships, you know, what tournaments are you going in? What, tell me about the reputation of this program or that. Because there’s some great AAU programs and it is definitely necessary to get in a great program and it can be very beneficial to every single kid.

So hope this helps gives you some ideas and have a great summer.

[00:22:27] Mike Klinzing: Thanks for checking out this month’s Hoop Heads Podcast Round Table. We’ll be back next month with another question for our all-star lineup of coaches.

[00:22:38] Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast presented by Head Start Basketball.