- Rebecca Gray, ESPNHS HoopGurlz
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The anticipation you feel before the spring evaluation period is always a good thing, but now that it's over and you have time to assess your performance, how did you do?
I remember having mixed emotions after the first evaluation weekend because I always felt like I performed well, but knew there was always room for improvement.
One of the most difficult things to do is take a step back and judge your own performance whether it was good, bad or even ugly. Although it might not be the easiest thing to do, it is actually very beneficial because it gives you a baseline on how you think you did and where you actually want to be.
The biggest thing about the layover between the spring and summer periods is to not become complacent or settle. If you played well and you are pleased with your first weekend back in front of scouts, then the last thing you want to do is become satisfied with where you are and what you did. You should build off what you excelled in and take a step back to evaluate what you need to work on next. If you did not play well and feel like you are not where you want to be, then do not beat yourself up because you have enough time to correct your mistakes for the summer season.
One of the most helpful things that you can do as a player is watch yourself on film. You might remember a spotless performance, but sometimes we have selective memories and, as you watch yourself on film, you will probably catch some mistakes. My favorite saying about watching film is, "the eye in the sky doesn't lie." I remember telling my dad one time that I felt like I almost dunked the ball on a fast break, but when I watched the film I barely slapped the backboard as I finished a layup. The good thing about film is the fact that it can play a dual role in helping you see your own errors as well as building confidence along the way. You might think you did one thing, but the camera can tell you the real truth.
If you do not have access to film, you can always ask a parent, coach or even a teammate to help you break down your performance. After each event, it is good to have other people you trust around you to help with your assessment. Sometimes a comment or observation from an outside source can facilitate a change. My father was usually my source of wisdom when I needed help figuring out how I truly performed. I would tell him that I felt good with a few pieces and might need to polish up a couple of aspects, and then he would tell me what he saw as well.
Even though my father was my go-to, some of my teammates and coaches were also readily available to tell me how I did and what I needed to fix. Some of the best advice and criticism I received actually came from my own teammates. Constructive criticism is sometimes tough to take without becoming upset, but if you can take it for what it is and not let it become personal, then you will excel as you move forward.
If you feel like your performance was subpar, do not panic because it is not the end of the world. Come back in your next tournament with a solid performance. If you performed well in the spring, then take a step back and see what it will take to bring your game to another level.
Consistency is one of the most important things you can bring to the table, and scouts are always looking for consistent players who are confident in their own abilities. So take the good with the bad and build on each day as we approach the summer circuit.
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Rebecca Gray is an intern for ESPN HoopGurlz. She previously wrote a column for the website about her experiences as a freshman on basketball scholarship at the University of North Carolina. She transferred to and played at Kentucky and now plays basketball and golf at Union College. A 5-foot-10, sharp-shooting guard out of Georgetown, Ky., Gray was named Miss Basketball in the state of Kentucky after averaging 25.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 4.8 assists during her senior season at Scott County High School. She can be contacted at email@example.com.