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Collegiate Prep Basketball Academy

Consulting Overview

In 1993, after transferring colleges I was able to be hired at a small HS in Maine where I was fortunate enough to be working under a tremendously successful coach while being the head coach of the JV team.  It was at a ridiculously small rural school with many parallels and the flavor of "Hoosiers".  I was enthusiastic, passionate and had lots of free time to open the gym and work with players.  We fell short of the state championship by a full court play that ended with a missed lay up.  Later that summer, I went to work a camp at a college to replace the head coach as he and his wife were having a child.  I knew nothing about St. Joseph College or their national success and I certainly was uninformed about the head coach, Rick Simonds who has since gone on to be inducted into 5 different Halls of Fame throughout Maine and New England.  After a somewhat cold and surly initial exchange, I was instructed to take my room key, drop my bags off and get to the gym for a meeting.  That was Sunday afternoon and by Tuesday evening I was pulled aside and offered a college coaching job.  At the time I had to decline because I had another year of school to complete, but accepted the opportunity the next year and it changed the entire course of my life.

Over the next 2 years I worked tirelessly to live up to the standards set with the program and the success of my boss, as well as carve out my personal reputation as a capable leader, motivator and recruiter.  I was brutally honest with people, a diligent student of the game and simply put in more hours than anyone else in the area.  For example, I once put 5,000 miles on a rental car over a 12 day period chasing players from as far north as Montreal and Caribou, ME and as far south as NY City and Jersey and as far west as Syracuse, NY.  A year later I was recruited to be a head coach at a small school with the opportunity to offer basketball scholarships in Brookline, MA.

In over 25 years, I have been at 2 levels of HS coaching, 3 levels of college in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA with the last 14 creating, growing and executing Collegiate Prep.  There are stark contrasts with each situation.  The dynamics of the recruiting process and the variables associated with each unique school/level make for an entirely different situation for the coaching staffs, the parents and most especially, the players..  However, the one common denominator of all schools, associations, levels and areas of geography is that parents and players are looking for the perfect opportunity to continue their education and play the game they love. 

The biggest changes in the youth basketball industry have been the concept of specialization and the ability of people to "buy" their way into the system as opposed to the meritocracy of the past. The exploitation of parents and players that is associated with the heightened commitment and intensity of the process is because of one very understandable denominator...money!!!  The AAU coach of the past that was highly financed by sneaker companies has experienced a significant amount of that money to dry up which has lead them to seek alternative forms of revenue.  Simultaneously, the society of everyone gets a trophy, everyone is a winner, parents buying their kid's success and of course the increase demand of specialization has led to a perfect storm of greed, deceit and exploitation.  The personal trainers,"travel" coaches and daddy ball coaches have leveraged their agenda to an emotional public that must "keep up with the Joneses" and have solid manufactured success to post on Fakebook...yes I said Fakebook as a large portion of that material is sensationalized.

After all of the politics, money, opinions, promises guarantees, threats, etc. the bottom line comes down to 3 basic principles:

1. Your kid needs to be a "coveted" commodity to make the team, be a starter, be recruited or be offered a scholarship.
2. If your kid can truly play, all the other garbage will work itself out.
3. If you don't  understand or achieve #2 then go back and study #1 while adding value to the player!!!

The primary purpose of this service is to provide brutally honest information to folks that have been either misled, plans that have not come to fruition or have not achieved a goal and are searching for a more effective strategy.  This service is backed up by facts from 100's of previous case studies as well as an inner working knowledge of the team selection and recruiting process.  Our goals are to assist you with the identification and attainment of YOUR GOALS within the sphere of "the business".  Yes folks, it has always been a business where 8 year olds have been getting paid to play for 30 years, but now that has become an enormous business to where families are literally spending their kids' college funds and neglecting the parents' retirement fund in the pursuit of a scholarship.  Most of which will never come.

Most of you right now are saying, "geez, this guy sounds so negative and why would I listen to him when it sounds like he is a Negative Nancy and only going to tell my kid he will never make it and we should give up".  If you are that person then you are probably a desperate parent and you have become accustomed to having people tell you what you want to hear for monetary purposes, but deep down your kid is not the best player in their area.  Again, the best players and "true travel ball" players do not pay!  If your kid is a legit travel ball player then you want to create an arsenal of knowledge, facts and tricks of the trade to navigate the waters of the recruiting process whether we are discussing college or 5th grade travel ball.

Like we teach at Collegiate Prep, we all possess a super power.  When we ask players what are some desired superpowers?  They invariably rattle off super speed, super strength, mind control, x-ray vision, etc.  The superpower that we believe that everyone possesses, but unfortunately is underutilized, is the power to learn from others' mistakes.

This service facilitates YOU to enlist YOUR SUPERPOWER to find the best environment to meet your goals and needs through brutal honesty, solid factual case studies and ultimately empowering the parent and player to make the right informed decision.

I look forward to serving you!

Coach Bert Tucker 


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