Crispin Basketball exists to help players of all ages and abilities play the game better and enjoy the game more.
Everything we choose to do and how we choose to do everything revolves around this simple aim: Play the game better and enjoy the game more.
It is a lofty goal, but it is the only worthy goal. It is also rooted in the belief that though we have more basketball teachers and more basketball opportunities today than at any other point in the history of the world, we do not have enough basketball joy. And true enjoyment is the foundation for for lifetime improvement. On and off the court.
We work to help players play the game better and enjoy the game more through camps, clinics, leagues, individual and group workouts, club programs, and more. But what makes us distinct is how we do what we do. We are guided by these four foundational convictions.
1) Fun is essential.
Many leaders and coaches give lip-service to this belief. We want to live it and encourage it in every player and parent that comes under our influence or enters into our programs. Fun comes first. No game or program or weekend tournament is the end of the world. Fun is foundational to learning and loving the game. It is the means to getting better and the goal of getting better. All the time.
2) Feel comes first…and second…and third.
The basketball world today is filled with trainers and coaches and elite teams and high-pressure tournaments. It is too full of all these things. Most of what is available to kids today is driven more by money that player development and joy. Not enough of our activities encourage the experimenting and risk-taking that is essential to learning and loving the game.
Our youth sports culture is too concerned with winning. As a result, we are over-coaching our kids. We have become so concerned with immediate results that we actually hinder long-term player development and joy. This needs to stop. Kids learn best by doing. Showing is helpful, talking is less helpful. Doing is best. Developing a feel for the game always comes first.
We believe that good coaching creates the right kinds of structure for the right stages of development. The best teachers know when to sit down and to shut up. In all our programs, we want to offer the structure, space, and opportunity for players of all ages to develop their own game. And we want to help parents learn how to encourage them in this process (and to oftentimes stay out of it!).
3) Diversity of experience.
The best basketball players can play the game in a variety of ways. They also play in a variety of settings that enables them to diversify their skills. Not just their offensive and defensive skills, but also their interpersonal skills, teammate skills, and winning skills.
We aim to diversify our programs and even our defensive and offensive philosophies in order to give players enough space to develop a holistic game. We coach our kids for who we want them to become, not who they are now.
Maximizing the potential of a basketball player is not an isolated experience. It requires the development of the whole person. And the whole person needs a diversity of experience and plenty of space to learn, mature, and grow.
4) Player ownership.
Most of the youth sports world today is adult-owned and adult-driven. Parents and coaches everywhere bemoan the lack of individual drive and self-directed learning. But we (and the programs we create) are the problem, not the kids. Kids need the space to own their own game, their own goals, and their own process of development. They need the space to play, to lead, to learn, and especially, to stop when they want to.
More is not always better. The right kind of “less” is always better. We force kids to win the first mile of a marathon and then wonder why they don’t have the emotional energy to finish the race strong.
In every program we offer, we want to foster player ownership. We want to help kids play the game better and enjoy the game more…first and foremost for themselves.
As always, we are learning and developing as an organization, but these are our priorities and they guide what we do and how we do it. Play the game better and enjoy the game more. This is our aim.
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