Is AAU Basketball Good or Bad?

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3 Pros and Cons of playing the game of AAU basketball.

Many many years ago, there was only one way to get recruited to play college basketball-believe it or not.  This can be known as the Traditional Method.  The Traditional Method was pretty simple–play for your local high school program, win games and put up good numbers.  If your team finds some kind of success or you put up huge numbers, college scouts would flock to your games.  If they were impressed, they would inquire with your coach for more information.  If the coach puts in a good word for you, then most likely you would be getting some face time with the scout.

That is pretty simple and straightforward process.  It worked for some, and hurt others’ chances at getting that coveted scholarship.

Over the years, AAU basketball has grown exponentially and has added an extra channel for recruiters and players to interact.  AAU seasons can run from the end of regular basketball season all the way up until the start of the next season, many times overlapping the regular basketball season.  There are countless teams, all with different age brackets/gender teams.

Here are the top 3 Pros of AAU Basketball:

1. You Meet And Play Against Different Types Of Competition

Most school teams only play against competition in a generally local area, unless your team is a perennial powerhouse. For those who have played AAU, I’m sure you remember the days of long road trips, possibly flights, and playing against a different team pretty much every single game. Going against these odds can make you immune to the uncomfortable feeling of playing against an unfamiliar playing style, which can pay off later on in your career. Also, some of the players you will meet up against you might see on TV one day. Exposure to competition from all over can only help sharpen your game.

2. You Get ALOT Of Game Action

That is, if you see the court. For those that get regular playing time on their AAU team, they have multiple seasons worth of games in just one offseason. Just be sure not to burn yourself out. But if you are not getting much playing time on your AAU team, you may be wasting your summer. If this sounds like you, we suggest you sign up for our Sunday Group Workouts in order to learn How To Earn More Playing Time On The Basketball Court

There is no greater teacher than game experience itself.  Get as many games in as you can and try things you might not be as comfortable trying during your school season!

3.  You Can Try Things You Might Not Try During The School Season

One of the best parts of AAU is that it gives you a chance to further develop your game, especially your individual game.  This is not saying that you should be selfish during AAU season.  Selfish basketball is never good and should be minimized.  But you get a chance to be a little selfish with what moves you try to pull off against the defense, different types of passes you may not be comfortable trying during the school season, or even trying a new position.  AAU is supposed to be about development and growth.

Looking for an AAU team?  Play For MBP and get free training included!

Top 3 Cons of AAU Basketball:

1. There Are Just As Many Politics, If Not More Than Your School Team.

Many teams can be run by parents, or coaches that could have a predisposition for certain players they may already know and be comfortable with.  Many times these politics can be worse than even the worst situations you might encounter for your school team.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to players and/or parents.

2.  You Might Not Learn The Fundamentals

AAU basketball is centered around quantity of games, rather than quality of games.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is common to see in AAU games players not using the basic fundamentals of basketball to guide their play.  And in the AAU system, this is rarely seen as a problem.  Wins/losses, championships and college scouts matter to most AAU teams, so for the most part, you might not learn some of the most crucial basics that will give your entire career its foundation.  If fundamentals are what you need, we suggest a Private Training Session with one of our professional coaches.

3.  It Can Make You Lazy

The lifestyle that comes with AAU basketball can be dangerous–especially if you are an elite player.  AAU, and the clout and notoriety that can come with it  can fool a player into thinking he’s already “there,” and doesn’t have any weaknesses.  This makes a player lazy because it conditions you to feel like there isn’t an urgent need to get in the gym and work on your game.  And basketball IS NOT like riding a bike.  If you don’t sharpen your skills regularly, unfortunately you will lose them.  We suggest trying The Most Complete Basketball Workout to keep you in top basketball condition.

To sum it all up, AAU basketball is a double-edged sword.  It can be your best friend, and open your career to many new and exciting opportunities while toughening up your game.  But if used wrong, or in the wrong situation, it can actually harm your game.  Be careful out there and play hard!

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