Show your joy for playing the game. Coaches notice whether you’re having fun with your teammates and if you’re maintaining a positive attitude.
NBA all-star Anthony Davis was a late bloomer. As a 6-foot-2 as a sophomore in high school Davis fought for playing time and had zero college offers.
Then, the summer before his junior year of high school, he shot up 8 inches, reaching 6-10 with a 7-4 wingspan.
Division I college basketball scouts noticed, and Davis ended up committing to Kentucky. As you probably know, that’s a pretty good basketball program.
While life-changing growth spurts may not be the norm for most athletes, later development in skills, strength or size can and do happen. Often this can be attributed to the Relative Age Effect, which shows that a high number of elite athletes were born in January, February and March, and nearly five times as many elite athletes were born in January as were born in November. This is because the eligibility age cutoff for school and sports is January 1, meaning that kids born in January, February and March are usually bigger than their peers.
So, what can late bloomers do to get noticed by college coaches once their body grows or skills sharpen? Here are a few suggestions:
HAVE SOLID VIDEO FOOTAGE
Give the coaches the ability to see your improvement. If you’ve sent a coach your video from freshman year, send another video at the end of your sophomore year to show how much progress you’ve made.
GET RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CURRENT COACHES
Have your club or high school coach attest to your grind and work ethic. Coaches need to know that you’ll work hard to keep developing your skills. How will they know? They will talk to your coach.
HAVE A 1,000 REPS MENTALITY
The saying goes that, to really be good at something, you need to do it a thousand times. In short: practice. Develop and hone your skills. Whether that means getting a personal trainer, spending more time in the gym or doing 1,200 reps, get the skills you need.
GET GOOD GRADES
Late bloomers with good grades can play for a college team on an academic scholarship. After a couple years of coaching and developing, they might qualify for an athletic scholarship. As for late bloomers with poor grades? They’ll just get overlooked.
SHOW YOUR PASSION
Show your joy for playing the game. Coaches notice whether you’re having fun with your teammates and if you’re maintaining a positive attitude. It’s all part of the team mentality.