Should you help your athletic recruiting or your high school team first?

One of the more interesting debates with regards to a talented athlete on the football field is what should be more of a priority. Is it helping your high school team win games by sacrificing any individual glory for the good of the team? Or should it be to do whatever you can to help yourself so that your recruiting stock will improve?

That really is a tough question to answer and depends a great deal on the athlete themselves. Some athletes end up playing four sports at a smaller school and spurn opportunity to play summer basketball or attend a great deal of football camps so that they can help their team succeed. When choosing which is more important, it really is a difficult question.

Starting with your high school team, the reason that your allegiance should be stuck to them is because they are the most important thing. Without them, you would likely not be in this place to begin with where these questions come up. For most athletes, they have been playing for the same school growing up and owe them a great deal.

On the other hand, being a sought after recruit will open doors that may have never been open to anyone at your school before. In a lot of situations, your college will either be paid for or at least partially paid for to bring you to that school. Shouldn’t you be looking out for yourself anyways?

Many athletes go through these questions often. The reason this is brought up because athletes may project out at one position while their high school coaches play them at another. For example, a small school athlete may be 6-foot-5, 235 pounds and perfect to play tight end. But because of the lack of bigmen within their program, he may be stuck along the line during his high school career. In basketball, a skilled 6-foot-6 wing who can shoot from outside may be forced to play inside because the school is lacking post players with any size.

In both situations, the athlete is being asked to do a great deal. Especially with the tight end/lineman, they are sacrificing personal glory as well as recruiting interest. If this tight end wants to play there at the next level, the athlete will not have any tape of him playing that position for college coaches. There are even question marks if he should even put together a highlight video because all it has is him doing dirty work along the line.

If this situation arises, the first thing that you need to do is talk to your high school coach. Make sure that he knows the situation and that you are hoping to play college athletics at the scholarship level (He should know that already but tell him again). The coach is going to do what is best for the team. And while you may need to play inside on the basketball court most of the time, he may also set up situations where you can handle the ball outside when guarded by slower athletes. The football coach may also allow you to go out for passes on occasion along the line.

No matter what, you will have to listen to what the coach says. If you are not going to get a chance to play your projected position, quitting is not going to help your college attention. Doing what the coaches want, despite what you are sacrificing, could help you in the long run. While it doesn’t help you at that future position, it shows that you are a very coachable athlete willing to do whatever is needed to help the team win.

And you should also get a chance to play those projected positions at summer camps or on the AAU circuit. It is never easy to give up the lime light and play out of position but you should be satisfied if it helps your team win more ball games.

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