“Its a shame when your not tired after practice..I go to practice to work my butt off and get BETTER every second I’m there..I don’t go to practice to sit there and guard people that aren’t gonna go as hard as they can every play..Practice is meant to help you improve..if you not gonna go hard don’t waste our time just go home!! #ImjustTryingtoMakeit I wont let people stop me!!” – AJ Coney
Last night I was checking my facebook timeline when I read this status from AJ Coney, a senior cornerback at Oviedo High School, and founder of Camp Coney, that I had the pleasure of coaching on my JV basketball team a few years back. AJ is a great athlete and recently earned scholarship offers from UMass and Memphis.
As a teammate, you have a duty to go hard in practice and commit yourself to doing your best. Your effort as a player facilitates improvement of yourself and your team. Every player regardless of ability can play hard and in doing so push others to do the same. To do otherwise is selfish and a breach of the duties of being a teammate. Nothing will undermine a team faster or more effectively than a lack of trust that each player in the team will give his best.
Every year much is made about high school athlete’s transferring to other schools for sports reasons. It is reality that for many of these athlete’s improving as a player and earning a scholarship is the most important thing in their lives. It is a personal choice for these kids to put themselves in an environment where they have the best chance to reach that goal whether it be by surrounding themselves with teammates who have similar goals, or to be coached by someone capable of making them better as players and competently guiding them and marketing them to colleges.
On the other end of the scale, a number of players each year will not make a team at their school, or have a minimal role and be unhappy. There is nothing wrong with these players transferring to a school that needs them as players and will allow them to enjoy their high school career as a significant player in their team.
Every player needs to make decisions that are in their best interest, but once you have committed to play, every play needs to go hard or go home.