The Culture of Teamwork and Winning

As I’ve become more experienced as a coach, I realize there is a certain limit to my effectiveness as a teacher. I don’t think it’s due to any shortcoming on my end. It’s that there’s so many other influences in the world, that I’m just one voice among many. And what children see on TV is a huge influence on how they behave. So when children see great individual performances from basketball players, they try to emulate that.

Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry and so on are heralded as the nba’s best players. These are the players that children hope to grow up to be. As great as these players are, none of these players can call themselves this year’s champion. While the NBA loves to market its star players for jersey sales, selling tickets, for more viewers and consequently more money from advertising, the San Antonio Spurs quietly took this years championship. The NBA’s best team is just 1/30th of the league. So it makes sense that the NBA needs to find reasons to justify the greatness and popularity of other players in measurements other than wins. However, many of us mistakenly let the NBAs most popular players shape our culture of  youth basketball today, rather than the team that is the real champion. Wouldn’t it make more sense to learn from the best, not just the most popular?

Who is the best player on the San Antonio spurs? The more you think about it, the more you realize that answer doesn’t matter. There are 4 players that stand out: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili  and Kawhi Leonard. Any one of them could be the best player on a given night. The Spurs play a unique brand of team basketball that is historically rare. There are few teams in NBA history that passed the ball as much as the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs. They aren’t flashy on the court or off the court. They don’t talk a lot. They don’t say anything too controversial or interesting in the media. They prefer not to be in the spotlight. It’s a humble approach, but it’s also a strategy. Why give away any intel on your team if you don’t have to?

It’s easier to take teams by surprise when theyre not actively calling attention to themselves or putting themselves in a position to back up their words like some people do…

Lately I’ve found myself preaching to players what the Spurs do well, which is play unselfish basketball with a “pass first” mentality. I’ve toned down the emphasis on individual moves that encourage players to create their own scoring opportunities. Is there a need for one person to create their own shot? Absolutely if the time calls for it, but a majority of scoring opportunities can be earned with quick passing, fast movement without the ball and accurate shooting.

There are five players on the court, so it’s asking too much for one player to do most of the work. It’s just bad basketball strategy to rely on one player too heavily. Like in chess, the queen maybe you’re most versatile piece, but if you use it too soon and too often, your queen will be captured. In chess, it’s a better strategy to employ several of your stronger pieces in an organized fashion. It’s easy to see that basketball is not that different. 5 players working together for a common goal: scoring points and winning games.

My hope is that the culture of youth basketball begins to sway towards the type of culture the San Antonio Spurs have. It makes for better basketball. It’s more inclusive for the participants and it’s a sound strategy to use for winning games. When a team is on a run of success like the San Antonio Spurs are, other teams will take notice. They will analyze how they won and try to add that to their strategy. If that happens, then the trickle down effect to our youth is inevitable. I like to believe that coaches like me will help speed along that process as well by teaching players how to play team basketball.

End of Summer Information

Hi Everyone,

First of all I want to thank you all for participating with us this summer. I love basketball and I love coaching. And it’s even more fun when there are kids enthusiastic about playing the game too! Hopefully I’ll see you again after our short break in August.

Workouts for Saturdays
There will no workouts on the following Saturdays: 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30. Saturday workouts will return on 9/6 at the usual time 9-1030am for ages 6-9 yrs.

Workouts for Sundays
This Sunday 8/10 will be the last Sunday workout for a while. There will no workouts on the following Sundays: 8/17, 8/24, 8/31. Sunday workouts will return on 9/7 at NEW TIMES FOR FALL: ages 6-9 will play at 3-430 and ages 10+ at 430-6.

If you have any leftover workouts that were already paid for, they can be added to the next session. If you don’t plan on returning I can give you a refund for your remaining weeks.

Price changes
Here are the new prices:

4 weeks for $15
8 weeks for $22
12 weeks for $30 plus free 1 hr private training

As I mentioned to most of you over the weekend. I don’t want the price changes to be hidden or not brought to your attention clearly. After all, I’m a customer for things just like you. So this is being communicated the way I would want it brought to my attention.

We’ve been offering the workouts for a very good price and our new prices are still very low, if not still the lowest, compared with other basketball clinics. I also believe our 1.5 hour format and approach to the game are unique. The 12 weeks for $30 is still $2.50 per 1.5 hour lesson (plus a free private training!) and we encourage you to take that option.

A few other notes to mention:

- Information for fall basketball was given by flyer at the workouts and has been posted on our website here: http://www.forthelove21.com so I won’t repeat myself here. Just be sure to register by September 7th to get the deal on 12 weeks of basketball.

- I have new availability for private training during fall. Go on our website and look at Private Trainings to see the times. Private Trainings have been going very well. I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback that the kids really enjoy the private training and it’s a great workout for just an hour. The groups are fun and affordable too!

- There will be a winter camp on December 22. It’s a one day camp and it will be at an indoor gym. Registration is not open for it yet but I will email you when it’s ready. I’ve got a whole agenda of drills and games already planned for the day. I look forward to bringing a unique take on the basketball camp experience. Players of all levels are going to love it!

What else can I say? It’s been a great summer for me and for many kids. I’ve seen lots of improvement in many players. I’ve also seen a lot of players show greater passion for the game which is awesome! I have received so many great testimonies and stories from parents and kids on how For the Love of the Game is helping them. Basketball is a wonderful sport and I’m thankful to be able to coach it for a living.

I’ll just say once again, thank you for participating and I hope to see you soon!

Coach Josh
For the Love of the Game

Summer Basketball Is Almost Over!

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Coach Josh and For the Love of the Game would like to thank you for participating in summer basketball. We hope that we fulfilled our promise to provide quality instruction and a fun basketball experience! We look forward to seeing you again for another 3 months of basketball in fall!

Upcoming Dates

Aug 2 – Last day of SATURDAY Summer Weekly Workouts

Aug 10 – Last day of SUNDAY Summer Weekly Workouts

Aug 11 – Private Training returns for fall (Mon-Fri)

Sept 6-7 – Weekly Workouts returns for Fall (Sat &Sun)

Nov 22-23 – Last Day of Fall Weekly Workouts

Dec 22 – Winter Camp (9a-12p & 5-8p)

You can register early or learn more about our programs by visiting our website at www.forthelove21.com
Stay tuned for a flyer with more details on fall programs: Weekly Workouts, Private Training and Winter Camp.

Basketball Workouts Canceled This Weekend July 5-6

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Hi everyone, just a reminder that there’s no basketball workouts this weekend July 5-6. We’ll be back for the weekend of July 12-13.

If your child is new to our program and new to basketball, I encourage you to take some time with your child and have him/her practice some skills during the week. Just like any other skill or activity, basketball skills need consistent attention or else development will plateau. Playing with us once a week is good, but the more they practice the faster they get better. The better they get, the more fun basketball becomes!

I also recommend you check out a some of the articles I’ve written on our website related to the topic of practicing basketball:

What’s Fun About Practicing Basketball?
Nothing But Net
The Not So Glamorous Secret to Being a Great Shooter

Have a great July 4th weekend and we’ll see you next week.

Coach Josh
For the Love of the Game

Summer Registration Deadline This Sunday June 1st

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Happy Friday Everyone!
Weekly Workout Schedule – We are back for basketball this weekend at the regular times. Sat 9am for 6-9 yrs, Sun 145pm for 6-9 yrs, Sun 315 for 10+ yrs. Starting June 8th, Sunday workouts will be moved to 430pm for 6-9 yrs and 6pm for 10+ yrs. Saturday workouts will remain at 9am for the summer.
Summer Registration – This is the last reminder about signups for summer basketball. The deadline for receiving free private trainings during the summer is this Sunday June 1st. You can still register after June 1st if there is space available, but free trainings will not be included. You can register in person this weekend at the Weekly Workouts or online here: forthelove21.com
 
Summer Private Training – There are very few private training spots available for summer. Here are the last few dates and times still available from June – August: Mondays 8-9am @ Parks Jr. High, Mondays anytime after 645pm, Sundays 8-9am. It’s $22 for individuals or $30 for your whole group!
Refer a Friend – Yes, the refer a friend deal is still going! If you refer any new registration, we give you 2 weeks free for the weekly workouts. If you referred someone in the last 2 months, please let me know! We got quite a few referrals but not everyone mentioned who referred them on the registration form. We want to give you 2 weeks credit!
See you this Weekend! And if we don’t see you this summer, we hope to see you again soon!
Coach Josh
For the Love of the Game

 

Basketball Canceled This Weekend – Summer Registration

Hey all,
One last reminder that there’s no basketball this weekend. There will be no Weekly Workouts or Private Trainings Saturday May 24 – May 26. The Weekly Workouts will be back next weekend May 31 – June 1.
Also, I want to remind you that the registration deadline for summer basketball is next Sunday June 1st. You can register after June 1st, but you will miss out on the free offers included in some of our programs for summer. There are just a handful of spots available for Private Training. The dates and times available for Private Training can be seen here: http://forthelove21.com/summer-private-trainings.There are some spots for Weekly Workouts but I’m also expecting more registrations the weekend of the deadline.
 
There are several options and discounts you can choose from for summer basketball. For more information, see our Summer Basketball page on our website here: http://forthelove21.com/2014/04/23/summer-basketball/
Have a great weekend and I hope to see you this summer!
Coach Josh
For the Love of the Game

The Curious Case of the Gentle Giant

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It’s a coach’s dream to have a number one pick in a draft. Your instincts lead you to choose the tallest player available thinking that he’ll become the next Shaq. You automatically dream of ways to use your new tall player. Alley oops, post plays, pick and rolls, wash your second story windows… the options are unlimited. But many coaches come to find their tall basketball player is just not very good at basketball. Even worse, it seems like he doesn’t really care to be good either.

From youth sports to the NBA, there are vertically gifted athletes that are just too nice. They don’t fight for rebounds. They don’t foul. They don’t really do anything aggressive or too quickly. They just gently make their way down court and back. Except for every once in a while. Someone lights a fire under them. They play to their potential for a handful of games only to go back to their usual gentle-selves.

Not sure if you have a chronically gentle giant on your hands? Compare your gentle giant with the all time greats of gentle giants of professional basketball.

How to identify a gentle giant

1) He has poor footwork or coordination in general. Walking and chewing gum at the same time is very difficult for him. You have hopes that he grow into his body, but that is an uphill battle.

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Shawn Bradley – Height = 7’6″, vertical leap = 2″ max

 

2) He doesn’t use his height to do anything productive, like say put his hands up and block shots. He doesn’t really do anything to stop opposing players from scoring and he doesn’t care about getting the ball on rebounds.

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Some 7’2″ French guy

 

3) Low basketball IQ and just general lack of awareness on the court.

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Kwame Brown – The definition of 1st round pick draft bust

 

4) He has unkept or purposely messed up hair like he just woke up out of bed. He doesn’t really care to look professional or at least look like a basketball player.

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Andrew Bynum – Would rather bowl than play basketball, but still wants to be paid like a real basketball player

 

5) He lacks good judgment and often makes the wrong decision. Sometimes he’s just not paying attention.

 

But Why?

Why can’t a tall athlete out compete the little guys? Why is he so lazy? Why doesn’t he practice? I believe, at least one of these items is in play when you’re dealing with a gentle giant.

1) Everything has come easy for him, so he never learned how to fight for the ball or out muscle anyone.

2) He hates being tall and hates the attention. Playing average basketball is his way of blending in.

3) He doesn’t really like basketball but plays because people expect him to.

4) He’s under too much pressure from coaches, teammates and spectators because of high expectations.

5) He doesn’t want to hurt anybody.

Not every tall player is a gentle giant

Not everyone follows the stereotype. There are many aggressive tall players in the NBA. Joakim Noah, Al Jefferson, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, Serge Ibaka all play with a lot of aggression and enjoy using their size to their advantage.

Are some tall players just born with a will to compete? Are some tall people destined to be gentle all of their lives? I don’t know. No one knows it seems. Even in recent NBA drafts, teams have made poor decisions in selecting their tall players. They’ll even give them playing time in order to develop and mature, but sometimes it never pans out. The curious case of the gentle giant is an unsolved mystery.