Coaching an AAU Travel Team is one of the toughest things you can do. Winning is everything in AAU, so there is pressure to select the best players. Coaches may not spend a lot of time with their AAU players. Sometimes teams only come together for the AAU season. The rest of the year kids may play for their high school or local team.
AAU teams come together because they travel. AAU teams are often a collection of all-stars. All-stars bring their attitudes with them. I believe great players need to have a certain swagger. AAU players can often be well over the top. For coaches, it’s like herding cats. Where do you fit in?
You need an AAU Attitude. The next Steph Curry may be on your team. It may be you. To be that guy you must develop the ability to play and win under any circumstances. You need to be more than calm under pressure. You need to be effective.
That begins with doing everything necessary to win on every play. Get the ball and do something good with it every time you touch it.
- Play tough on every play
- Box out on every play
- Go after every rebound
- Go after every loose ball
- Cover the passing lane on every play
- Be a help defender on every play (don’t pick up fouls)
- Know and execute every play
- Hit the man with the best opportunity to score every time
- Run every fast break
- Get to the open spot every time
- Finish every time
This takes concentration AND dedication. If you do it, you will be rewarded.
- If you run every fast break, you will get one finish per quarter – 8pts.
- If you aggressively offensive rebound, you will get 1 put back per quarter – 8pts.
- If you flash to the open midrange spot every time it’s open, you will score on 2 out of 4 shots – 4pts.
- If you go back door every time you can, you will score on 2 out of 4 shots – 4pts.
- That’s 24 points or more by having what I call an AAU Attitude.
- If you aggressively guard the passing lane you can get 1 steal per quarter that turns into a score -8pts
- If you box out on every defensive play long rebounds can turn into fast breaks and scores – 8pts
Do you get my point or should I say POINTS.
Demonstrate you are a valuable contributor through your hard work. The team will come to depend on you. They will want to get you the ball. You will be on the floor when the game is on the line. And if you have skills, the game gets even easier. EVERY – I didn’t over use this. It’s what expected.
If that’s not what you’re doing, you have the wrong attitude and it is probably reflected in your on-court behavior. Its great being surrounded by great players by don’t be influenced by bad habits. They may have speed, size or the skills to make up for their poor attitudes. Some AAU coaches will put up them. They are legends in their own minds.
Avoid the dark side of the AAU Attitude at all costs.
No rants to the officials
You are not going to get every call
No arguments with the coach or teammates
You are not going to get the ball every time
No tantrums, ever!
It’s not your world yet regardless of what they say on the rating zines. You are not going to make the winning shot every time but you will and score often enough to be noticed if you develop the right AAU Attitude.