About Academy AAU

M14 Hoops wants to help YOU become a better player!   Our basketball training academy staff has years of experience playing and coaching at the high school, college and professional level.  Players will have the opportunity to learn and be mentored under these experienced coaches to advance their game.  We ensure this by establishing accountability on both trainer and player so that every person involved is bringing their best effort. The pace of our workouts guarantees the maximum amount of repetition in a great learning environment.  Our trainers take the time to explain the “when” and the “why” of each move to increase understanding, which helps deliver a high basketball IQ.  The games are played to not only win but also give the opportunity for players to use the skills they have been taught in the game.  Players will be pushed to take more risk on the court while staying within the team concept.

Please Read the Below Information Entirely.  It is written by M14 Founder Matt Miller and it will answer most of your questions.  Any additional questions will be answer at Placement Day or please feel free to contact us via email or phone.

When is the Season

Although we have tryouts during the fall, the season for high school does not begin until March.  We will have a 2-3 week training camp and then begin playing games.

How many players on a team

8 to 9 players

What is the process on getting a player in the High School AAU Program?

All players, no matter how long they have been in our program, do need to attend Placement Day, which is our try-out for our AAU Teams.  At the beginning of Placement Day we have a mandatory parent meeting to go over additional information and answer any questions parents may have. After all grade level evaluations have concluded, players will be contacted with their status (i.e. accepted or denied).  Players that receive invites will be invited on to a team we feel best suites there needs (Regional or National).  We divide the teams based on these names to give parents a better understanding of what the travel commitment could look like.

What is the difference between the Regional and National Team? Will there be multiple of each?

With this being high school, things are much more competitive. Puberty is in full swing and that can effect previous success/failures players have had in middle school.  We want to be competitive with any team and we do have to make tough decisions to do so while also trying to be responsible with our parents resources (time and money).

Here’s what I mean: once we get to high school there are players who have goals to play college ball and are good enough to and others who want to just make varsity.  Those two different types of players are both welcomed at M14Hoops but there team schedules should look different.  We are in the mid-west and can get great competition by staying in a 2-hour drive distance.  However, we do have some players that need to gain more exposure and will need to travel outside of that distance.

The difference in the teams will be talent, skill, athleticism and ultimately our staff being realistic with the parent for this season.  Again, with puberty, things can change from season to season so no team is set in stone.

Yes, we will have multiple teams at each division.

Are there any additional fees for overnight out of town tournaments?

Yes! If we do play in an out of state tournament that causes our staff to stay overnight, we will ask parents to split the coaches stay.  The stay will be divided equally amongst the players on the team and the check will be due the Thursday before the tournament begins. For high school AAU all out overnight trips, the fee is $75/tournament trip.

Will there still be Battle Grounds?

YES! Battle Grounds is a HUGE component that we have at M14 that helps our players get better. We have found that teams can either be too ‘systemized’ making players robotic or they are too ‘run and gun’ with no discipline. It’s hard to find the balance between allowing players to have offensive/defensive freedom and do it within the boundaries of the game.  Battle Grounds allows us to show players how to insert themselves in a controlled environment. ALL players have something they can improve on and I am not interested in playing a lot of games and at the end of the season your player didn’t improve. Battle Grounds allows us to do both.  Please read the below for a Battles Grounds background.


Part of the M14 System is using game play to learn how to win but also to use games for development.

Battle Grounds is when we play against ourselves and battle it out at our own facility. They are controlled scrimmages where our staff has the ability to stop players in live games and correct them.  At the beginning of the seasons Battle Grounds is extremely micromanaged but by the end it turns into an intense battle between our teams made up within our grade levels.  It’s a session where our players play a game and we do not have to worry about the other team playing zone against us or pressing the entire game. Sometimes, we come and play 3on3 because we want the ball in each of our player’s hands more so they get comfortable being aggressive.  Other times, we set up in game situations so players can learn how to play correctly in that situation. It’s the place where we can work on us, in a game situation.

Also, Battle Grounds is a great ‘middle man’ between our training sessions and actual games.

As a player, it is hard to try a new move in a game when the scoreboard is on, parents are watching and teammates are depending on you. Battle Grounds takes that pressure off the players which gives them permission mentally to try a new move/concept/skill and they are encouraged (almost forced!) to do this by our staff.  Our goal is to make it a habit in Battle Grounds then it naturally shows up in the games. The ratio between outside competition weekends and Battle Grounds is 1:1.


We are an Academy, not an AAU team.  Battle Grounds ensures our parents that their players are getting better through game play not ONLY playing games to win.

What are the main objectives at the high school level?


3rd-5th Grade Objectives

2 L’s
LEARN the game and LOVE the game.  These players are at the beginning of a long journey with the game of basketball and they haven’t picked up many bad habits yet. We have the opportunity to instill the correct principles and individual skill at these ages so they start/continue their career correctly.  I have found it to be extremely important their individual game gets started off correctly.  We make sure players are learning the proper skill individually but also team skills as well.

We also want to show players how to LOVE the game (not like).  Much like a marriage, to love someone most likely means you have spent time and had various experiences with them: It is no different when teaching players how to love the game of basketball.  They will have exciting/fun times but they also will learn through adverse situations.  They will be challenged but always positively reinforced.  Players will be expected to spend time with the game which means practicing on their own and managing their time properly. It is important to us to help instill confidence and self-esteem at this age to make sure they have a positive experience with the game of basketball.

6th-7th Grade Objectives

Figure out who you are
At these ages our curriculum continues to advance.  We want players on the court to start to thinking about and figuring out who they are and our staff helps them do this. Players need to start trying to use different moves and challenge themselves to take more risk in the games.  For some players it is easy to see “who they are” (i.e. a shooter, defender, scorer) but others it takes time.  At these ages we want players to use the skills they have been taught in the game.  Battle Ground weekends really help with this process of merging skill into live competition.  This gives parents, coaches and most importantly, the player the opportunity to see what works for the player and how to start using that skill(s) at a higher level.

8th Grade Objectives

Accept and Inject
In my experience by 8th grade certain skills start to really manifest themselves and you can see what actually works.  In the younger years the athletic gap can be huge (height, speed, strength) which can negatively effect players.  What once worked as a 5th grader doesn’t work any more at 8th grade because of puberty; so, by 8th grade we can see what is working and can see how it will work for the rest of their career (with continued development).Though all players follow the M14 System, they are not robots so they will process the information differently.  Some take the skills and become shooters, some turn into ball handlers, other defenders.  The great thing about our curriculum is even though a certain skill may manifest stronger, all the other skills are still at a high level as well.  Now that we are seeing what’s working, we encourage players to accept who they are and start the process of helping them figure out how to inject themselves in the game at a higher level.  For example, a player may have shown shooting as their primary skill, our staff will push this player to learn to move without the ball, use screens and really emphasis shooting for this player.  We will do this while still helping them develop secondary skills as well.

Still, there will be some players who are skilled in all aspects of the game but no one skill has really taken the forefront. Since puberty has begun our staff can help this player ‘find themselves’ in a realistic way that will work for the rest of their career.

High School Objective
This does not mean score, score, score. This means dominate the game in the way you can.  For some it means scoring, for others it may mean assist or rebounds, energy, or being the hardest worker.  Whatever the skill you are the best at; we want them to dominate the game in that manner.  Our Degree Training helps players expand their games so they still are able to contribute more as well.