The importance of effort

The importance of effort: Getting noticed by talent scouts and coaches

Spring is the time high school basketball players are being evaluated by college coaches. It is an exciting time to be in a gym and see coaches sitting there, watching and taking notes. It can also be a nervous experience for the young man or woman who dreams of playing college basketball. How does one catch the attention of a coach when there are so many different games going on at the same time?

My experience was so different many years ago. The night Coach Smith came to my game to evaluate me was not only nerve wracking, but almost record setting. The record was not set and thankfully so, because our team was not shut out! We fell behind 14-0 with Coach Smith and Coach Guthridge observing in a gym on a Tuesday night with only 100 people in attendance. Without the help of my high school coach, I may not have been able to finish the game due to nerves.

“Relax and just play hard” is what I remember Coach Habegger telling my teammates and me. Thankfully, we were able to come back and win the game. I was used to having college coaches in the gym each night, but never anyone at the level of Coach Smith. It was a different experience, but — thank goodness — I had a coach who understood the moment.

Today’s moment is different, but as a player the response should be the same. Relax and play hard. Coaches can always recognize talent. Every gym will have talented players. Coaches are looking for ways to separate the talent.

As a player, you should let them see the things that cannot be taught! Focus on giving complete effort every time you step on the floor. Don’t let the moment or the place dictate your effort. Effort with talent will be rewarded. If you want to be noticed during an evaluation tournament, do the things no one else is doing. The best thing you can hear leaving the gym is, “That kid plays harder than anybody in the gym.”

Give the coaches a good reason to remember you. Believe me, they will notice effort!