Crispin Basketball exists to help players of all ages and abilities play the game better and enjoy the game more.
We do three primary things to execute our mission: Educate, Develop, Spread.
The basketball world today is filled with more players, parents, trainers, coaches, volunteers, and organized opportunities for play that at any other point in the history of the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s better. As a college coach, I assure you that the results we see at the high school and college level fail to equal the sacrifices you and your children make now.
As coaches and parents, we all operate with a vision of who we want our kids to become. Or who we think they can become. We also all possess an (often unspoken) idea of what they must do to get there. But how confident are we in our vision and our game plan? In short: do we really know what we are doing? Or from the young player’s perspective: Do they?
Young players often suffer needlessly at the hands of well-meaning coaches and parents who are dragging them along to the next thing with no clear idea of whether or not that next thing is really a good thing right now. A clarity of vision and development is needed. So we seek to educate, to share. The vision is players of all ages and abilities who play the game better and enjoy the game more. And the beauty of it is that developing those kind of players is often simpler (and more enjoyable) that you think!
Kids grow up in a radically different sports culture today. The playgrounds are often empty. Adults typically run the show. Most of our current youth programs focus exclusively on how we can develop better technical skills. We fix our eyes on the physical, but in turn fail to see the importance of fun, joy, freedom, discovery, leadership, personality, PLAY!
I call it the pro mentality. We think our kids should copy what the pros are doing now rather than what the pros did when they were young kids. We have too many 4th graders in “workouts” even though I can’t remember working out until I was in High School. We make the kids act like pros when the pros what to play like kids! And then we wonder why so many kids peak too soon or retire too soon. But there should be no wonder…it’s our fault!
There is much, much more to becoming a good player than physical or technical development. So if we want to develop better players who love the game (I like to say, real ballers), then we need to adjust and to innovate our programs. We need to do things differently on the basis of a clear vision for what matters most when it most matters.
Our programs – and/or the way we run those programs – are different by design. They are focused not simply on what we can see, but on those things our kids most need to become who we really want them to be.
We want to see players of all ages and abilities play the game better and enjoy the game more. Our current youth sports’ climate typically makes this more difficult. Financial limitations are often a top cause for limited access. So also is consistent competition in adult-directed environments. After all, in competition, the best get better while the rest play their role. It matters way more than you think.
But go a step further, the biggest culprit is poor programming based on a weak vision (or worse, no vision!). Young players suffer most, because we haven’t thought things through!
So what can we do? We can spread the vision and the programs to anyone who will listen. In light of this, we aim to help local travel programs develop a clear vision for their coaches and teams. We also help local recreation departments implement basketball programs that make a world of difference in the lives of young players. We aren’t into being exclusive. Volunteers are the best! Local access for young players can’t be beat. It’s the way I started as a young player and it is what so many of our young players need.
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