How to choose a travel basketball team?
Whether you have been asked, have seen your friends, or are interested in playing for a travel team, it is important that you find a team that is a fit for YOU! Travel basketball is not cheap, there are fees involved with ALL travel teams!
Here are some tips, that will help you with your search of a basketball travel team.
The right fit
Understanding your goals and expectations
Understand your goals as a player and setting realistic expectations. Once you have a clear and realistic understanding, find out if the organization can help you achieve your goals.
Caution: Don’t trust the hype! Do the research.
Often times, players have one or two of these common goals:
- Player development – Regardless of the age, players are in continuous development. The development areas can differ from player to player, some may require improving their skill-set, basketball IQ, physical abilities, mental abilities and different styles of competition. This is often overlooked by coaches and organizations.
- College recruiting – What player does not want to share that they are being recruited and offered by their dream school? Because organizations realize this is a precious need for every player, many of them have this as their highest selling point. Only a player is able to get a scholarship!! The organization is only there to facilitate and support the college recruitment efforts. Parents and players should understand that recruitment efforts are not in full effect until a player is 10th grade and above. However, the preparation for this process can be started at a younger age.
Understanding the organization’s goals and expectations
- Can you trust the organization? – As a player you must find out information about the organization before you are able to commit to them. Trust that it will save you a lot of headaches and heartaches. You want to be able to see if they are stable, established and reputable. Do they have a track record of success? All of this can be answered by visiting their website, conducting a google search and contacting the organization to ensure that their goals align with yours.
- Who are the coaches? – As a player it is important that you can play for a coach that has a philosophy that helps you grow in your game. This will help you showcase your game to a next level. Look to see if the coach has experience and if those experiences speak to you.
- What tournaments is the organization competing in? – Your goals will help you understand if the tournaments are a fit. If you are in the 10th-11th grade, and your goal is to start getting recruited, make sure that the organization is participating in NCAA certified tournaments, and reputable showcase tournaments that will increase your ability to showcase your skills. If you are in the 7th-9th grade, and your goal is to become more competitive and develop your skills, make sure that the organization has tournaments where you are able to achieve those goals.
- Does the organization value its players? – If one of your goals is to have a great experience with the travel team, make sure that the organization has a family environment. An environment where basketball can still be fun and you can be a kid or a young adult. After all, this is still youth basketball.
At the end of the day
Remember to choose the organization that is the best fit for YOU! You may not know everything and the organization may not know everything, but following some of these tips will guide you in making the right decision.
We, Fort Mill Knicks, are an organization that is committed to player development and supporting college recruiting. We have a good track record of not only winning tournaments, but placing our players in different colleges and universities. We continue to grow and so do our players on and off the court. If you have any questions about our organization or if you want to find out if you we can be a match, contact us today!