AAU season is here. Are you ready? Are you playing with a purpose? AAU can provide opportunities to be a part of a team and get exercise. It can make you a better player and provide you with exposure to college coaches. Do you know why you are playing and what your goals are? High school basketball is about winning, and although winning is also important during the AAU season, you should be playing with a purpose. It's important to know what your goals are going into the season.
When assessing your individual goals, make sure you are trying out for a team that can provide you with a chance to achieve them. There should be 10 to 12 players on your roster, not 13 to 15. You should play, not sit on the bench. This is not your school team. You are paying to play and should experience playing time. That's not to say that you are entitled to playing time if you miss practice or violate the rules. Unless you are on a sneaker-sponsored team, the wins are fun, but do not matter much. The philosophy of AAU is to provide players with opportunities to get better in the off-season by practicing and playing in games.
What are your goals? Write them down. Some of you may play center or forward for your high school team, but need to work at playing guard at the next level. Others may play guard but need better ball handling skills to play the point guard position. Do you want to become a better shooter? Do you need to learn some low-post moves? Is defense a challenge for you? Ask yourself what you need to do to get better on that basketball court. Ask your high school coach and others you trust what they think you need to improve.
After writing down your goals, take them your coach and talk to him or her about how to measure your improvement. Ask your coach to help you reach your goals and to hold you accountable. This is your opportunity to get better. AAU season is here.