Student Athletes’ Development Chronologically

Shatter the Crystal Ball 


Which amateur will be an ESPN 100, a NCAA high-major or a NBA player? Most people, especially young parents/players, reply “only time will tell.”

However, we know the answer regardless of the athlete’s age or grade.

The subtle changes with academics, athletics and coaches in 1) middle school, 2) high school, and 3) college aren’t easy to foresee or manage.

Below is a chronologic developmental timeline for players between 5 to 18 years old and 1st to 12 grade, which briefly explains their circumstantial situations and behavioral patterns.

IMG_2228Primary/Middle School


The baby puts down the toy bball and picks up AAU sports while parents envision their athlete obtaining a free college scholarship and going ‘pro’. Also they unabashedly participate in amateur athletics.


At this point, players are age 13 and 14 and “becoming more in touch with . . . emotions and applying it to their own lives.” Furthermore, children “make a lot of excuses” that teachers/coaches tend to overlook. Distracted by constant games, parents/players enthusiastically transition into high school.

IMG_2230High School


The recruiting clock starts; the GPA resets. Teachers/coaches assist student athletes by “telling them what to do” when before it was less discipline.

Then parents/players realize they aren’t playing on 16U Team USA much less uninvited for tryout. They scramble to play in the EYBL and high school varsity.

They finally acknowledge the NCAA probability is 1 percent for high school seniors to compete in Division-I sports and requisite 16 cores and GPA combined SAT/ACT scores (sliding scale) to qualify at the NCAA “Clearance House” or “Eligibility Center.”



“…college teachers [coaches] don’t tell you what you’re supposed to do.” In men’s basketball, student atheltes are responsible for reading their own work assignments.

Nevertheless, parents/players believe NBA-ready is draining a half-court jumper in their first ESPN televised game.

In the end, at least 99% of players/parents will regret not working harder to become high school ESPN five-stars, who generally evolve into NCAA one-and-done prospects and NBA lottery picks.

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