Trying to Do Too Much During Tourney Time

Posted On: 02/19/18 12:12 PM

We all know when it comes to tournament play everyone wants to showcase their best stuff. But, sometimes that extra effort and focus can hinder you more than it can help.

In a recent recap of a district tournament game I caught a quote that stuck with me, the head coach had stated, “the kids were tight and the coaches were tight.” When observing the action during district and state tournament time you can certainly feel the tightness of coaches, players, and even parents in the stands. That is what makes those moment so special, but also very difficult to stay within one’s self.


Know when to pull back

However, when thinking big picture in terms of your recruitment and playing future after your high school career, being able to stay within yourself, play your game and not giving in to the temptation to play outside of your normal game in hopes of impressing those in the stands during your team’s most important game(s) is something evaluators will gravitate toward. Don’t do too much.

When a player is forcing things it can create problems quickly, mistakes will happen and more often than not frustration sets in. It is a chain reaction that can leave observers with a very poor taste in their mouth about a prospect perhaps they were very high on beforehand. The solution is quite simple as well, don’t force it, let the game come to you even on the biggest stage.


Patience is noticed

One of the strongest signs of a smart player is the ability to be patient out on the floor. To know that the best way in which they will impact the game is by doing all the small things in which will ultimately set them up to shine. Slow playing it rather than pushing the issue in an effort to putting on a show will prove to be WAY more valuable in terms of your recruitment.

Talent observers know when the moment is too large for a player and they realize it even quicker when that player gets ahead of themselves when their team needs them most. So, here are a few steps and actions to quickly go through when the moment and stage is feels too big.


Breathe, reflect, and embrace

Breathe. Reflect. Embrace. These three things will help a player come back to the moment while also giving themselves the opportunity to play their very best when it is needed most. When a players is locked in mentally it is easy to see on the court. A focused yet loose player is what observers want to see in terms of players come tournament time. It is important to remember that onlookers are always looking for small details, even pregame, during warmups and in timeouts. Keep your composure as much as you can. Controlled aggression.

Even an extremely confident player can not reach their highest potential when they let little mistakes take place by forcing the issue. Schools and observers want to see how you will react in the big moments during tournament play, but remember why they are watching you in the first place, they already know your background and skill set, but now is when they want to see your composure under pressure.

If you are looking to be a next level player you can bet that those prep tournament type of atmospheres are greatly magnified at the collegiate level, when the game is faster, stronger and smarter. If you get ahead of yourself at the prep setting coaches and talent evaluators will think it is in your DNA and perhaps a weakness for the next level, don’t give them those thoughts by forcing your game.

Stay relaxed, be yourself and don’t give into temptation. When it is your time on the big stage show those recruiting professionals why they should pursue you even more. There is no better way to do that than to show composure come tourney time.