Our Programs

 

Creativity / Improvement / Experimental Season 

Historically, summertime was playground time. It was the opportunity to get outside and to experiment with your game in a variety of settings. There was the competitive playground where you played with players from different ages and backgrounds and levels. There was also the opportunity to spend time at an open court working on a new skill or a move you learned that day. Our summer programs are designed to be fun and engaging in the spirit of the playground. The younger the player, the more creativity and play are emphasized. Older, more mature players, naturally are ready to get to work to prepare for a coming season. But even those players (I dare say, especially those players) need the time and space to create and to play. 

Crispin Basketball School

This four day camp for boys and girls (sessions for Grades 1-9) will encourage the fundamental skills of basketball in a fun and challenging environment. Each day of camp typically consists of an hour focused on fundamental skill development, an hour of learning basketball concepts through small-sided games, and an hour of full-court play/competition through our Olympic Games. It is certainly one of our most enjoyable weeks of the year. 

3-on-3 Summer League – Grades 1-4

This “league” gives young kids the opportunity to play the game in a simple and free-flowing fashion. We play “full court” and adjust a few of our rules on the basis of age/ability. We limit the amount of restrictions in order to promote as much creativity and fun as we can. We have found that kids do not care about the rules and regulations as much as adults tend to. Nor do they care about the score. They want to engage with the game, to figure it out, to just play. This is their opportunity. (To read more or see our kids in action, click here.) You can also learn more about our summer league in these videos

4-on-4 / 5-on-5 Summer League – Grades 5-9

These “leagues” are also designed to promote as much freedom and creativity as possible during each session. Play consists of 4 12 minute quarters. If we do keep score, it will only be for two of those quarters, with the score reset following each. We do not keep standings or award championships. The goal is for kids to take more risks, to develop different skills, and to engage with the sheer fun of the game. All these things go hand-in-hand and you cannot find them in more competitive environments. When you want to win, you play to your strengths. And that is fine in it’s proper context. But you also need the opportunity to just play. This is their opportunity to do just that. (Videos explaining our rationale and showing kids in action can be found here.)

Skill Development Groups

For our older players (middle school and high school) we typically run small groups designed to work on specific skills. We often focus, in particular, on shooting. These sessions typically run for 75 minutes with no more than 12-25 participants (depending on gym size). Our focus is not just running around in a flurry of activity in order to look like we are doing something. The focus is on improving on some very specific things in a setting where kids can receive and implement specific instructions. This process is not fancy, but it works. 

Just Play Camp

Our “Just Play” camp is the ultimate embodiment of our summer focus on freedom and experimentation, but it goes beyond the basketball. Kids today do not have enough opportunity to own their own games, call their own fouls, pick teams, change things up, etc. This camp is designed to empower the kids as much as possible and to teach them various and engaging ways to play the game on their own terms. We play 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3, full court, half court, you name it. We teach the kids a variety of games and the basic rules of the playground over the first 1-2 days. We then empower them to switch things up in a semi-controlled format, so that they can own it and enjoy it on their own terms. My kids call this the best camp of the year. A few videos showing the kids in action can be found here.)

 

Keep things Sharp Season

We value playing other sports, so we do not view the fall season to be overly intense, but it is still the opportunity to stay sharp. It is also the opportunity to focus in on certain skills or concepts, especially for kids who do not play a sport in the fall or for more experienced individuals looking to make their respective middle school or high school teams. Our programs reflect this emphasis. 

Sunday Night Clinics

Our Sunday night clinics are a focused 1 hour designed to introduce or reinforce fundamental skills and basketball concepts. Our youngest players (Grades 1-3) play a variety of games designed to make the game fun and work on the fundamentals. As our kids get older, the hour typically consists of 20 minutes focused on fundamental skills and drills, 20 minutes focused on basketball concepts or breakdown play, and the final 20 minutes in advantage games or free play in the half or full court (Grades 7-9 run for 75 minutes, so they get a bit more). We pack a lot into the hour with the goal of making things fun and maximizing our time together. 

3-on-3 Half court League – Grades 5-9

Our 3-on-3 Half court league is focused on introducing and teaching offensive terms and concepts. The hour consists in an introduction to 2 offensive movements or actions. Our kids then play in a controlled setting using these actions time and again. Our final 30 minutes consists of 2 15-minute games. This is the opportunity for free play, with the goal of implementing the various actions they have been taught. It is an action-packed hour the helps young players gain greater mastery over basketball terms and actions. You an find out more and see kids in action in this video

Skill Development Groups

For our older players (middle school and high school) we typically run small groups designed to work on specific skills. We often focus, in particular, on shooting. These sessions typically run for 75 minutes with no more than 12-25 participants (depending on gym size). Our focus is not just running around in a flurry of activity in order to look like we are doing something. The focus is on improving on some very specific things in a setting where kids can receive and implement specific instructions. This process is not fancy, but it works. 

Season Prep Groups 

We do not always run these groups in the preseason, but when we do they are focused on helping older middle school and high school players prepare physically for their upcoming tryouts and seasons. We teach concepts and work on the fundamentals, but we also focus on physical conditioning and preparing to play. These are for players who are very serious about their upcoming season. 

The Real Basketball Season 

This is the time to enjoy the game and to compete. Specifically, you want to learn various concepts, but in such a way that you can apply them to a game. Depending on your age, winning matters more or less (and it’s often less than we think), but it still matters when you are keeping score. So you play to your strengths. You find how to fit into and contribute to a team. 

I love the local level. Many businesses focused on youth sports essentially compete with the recreation departments. I don’t want this to be the case, because recreation departments and volunteers are essential to teaching the game and spreading the fun. So our programs in the winter are designed to supplement a player’s experience with their team or to serve as a replacement if they do not have a positive opportunity.

As always, our 3-on-3 league is designed to help engage our youngest players. And in our experience, it is typically superior to what many of our local recreation departments provide (but we would like to help change this reality!). 

3-on-3 League – Grades 1-4

This “league” gives young kids the opportunity to play the game in a simple and free-flowing fashion. We play “full court” and adjust a few of our rules on the basis of age/ability. We limit the amount of restrictions in order to promote as much creativity and fun as we can. We have found that kids do not care about the rules and regulations as much as adults tend to. Nor do they care about the score. They want to engage with the game, to figure it out, to just play. This is their opportunity. (To read more or see our kids in action, click here.) You can also learn more about our summer league in these videos

Winter Club Program

The ages and schedules for our winter club program can vary from season to season. We typically have practice 1-2xs a week max and played about 12 games. We have viewed this program as an opportunity for kids to learn different concepts than they are typically taught at the local level and to compete against different teams in a variety of settings. In the past, it has also served as a replacement season for some players who did not have the opportunity to play at the local level. 

Winter Development Group

Our winter development group is typically for kids in grades 4-6. We work together once a week to focus on fundamental skills and basic concepts. We have found that with the limitations of gym space for kids at these ages, their coaches are rarely able to focus on the fundamentals with the time they have with their team. Shooting, ball-handling, footwork, playing man-to-man defense. We focus on these things and more during our 75 minutes together each week. 

Day-off Clinics

We run these 2 hour clinics on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President’s Weekend. These are simply a time to get out of the house, enjoy the game, and work on some specific skills. We typically focus on 45 minutes of fundamental skill work, 45 minutes of conceptual and breakdown play, and 30 minutes of free play. 

 

Club Season / Development Time

Our spring season is focused helping younger players take advantage of the March Madness, while also providing the opportunity for more serious players to play during the spring season. We are absolutely committed to encouraging kids to play other sports, so we do not overdo it. We tend to think that playing every weekend and focusing exclusively on basketball all-year-round is too much too soon. So we seek a healthy balance or pushing the right ages in the right way, indeed, in the best way for their long-term growth. 

Spring Club Program – Grades 5-8

Our spring teams practice and play together for 6 weeks to 2.5 months depending on their age. We practice 2-3 times a week and are resolute in our focus on our players’ long-term development. We could win more than we do, but we choose to teach and emphasize the things that matter most for long-term success. We spend a great deal of time on concepts and terminology that do not help us to win every weekend, but do help to make more confident and diverse players for the future. You can learn more about our club programs by clicking on the club tab above.  

Spring Development Group – Grades 4-6

Our spring development group looks to take advantage of the March Madness by meeting twice a week for 5 weeks. During our 75 minute sessions, we focus on the fundamentals, introduce concepts, and play. We have found that kids are often most excited about basketball during the month of march, so we keep them rolling for a few extra fun weeks of play. 

Skill Development Groups

For our older players (middle school and high school) we typically run small groups designed to work on specific skills. We often focus, in particular, on shooting. These sessions typically run for 75 minutes with no more than 12-25 participants (depending on gym size). Our focus is not just running around in a flurry of activity in order to look like we are doing something. The focus is on improving on some very specific things in a setting where kids can receive and implement specific instructions. This process is not fancy, but it works. 

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