Coach McGannon’s biography

“I have been around athletics all my life, played college basketball and follow sports closely.  Basics is in my opinion the strongest, most competitive training in the country.  Your emphasis on SKILLS FIRST, NO TRAVEL and MENTAL STRENGTH is a powerful model.  Keep up the great work.”  

Jim Greydanus, Calvin College

In 2006, BASKETBALL BASICS was founded by Coach Jim McGannon.  From New England where the game was born, Coach was raised on primary fundamental skill development FIRST before attempting to compete.  It was second nature to him (and frankly common sense) to learn the skills first before playing games.

Coach McGannon’s Coaches

  1. High School:  Fairfied (CT) Prep, in the New England Basketball Hall of Fame:  Bob Sylvestor
  2. College:  Dartmouth College, Gary Walters  (20 year Athletic Director at Princeton after Dartmouth)

Basketball Basics became Basics Sports in 2014.  Added to this model were volleyball, soccer and lacrosse.  Mental Strength Training (see below) began in 2018

For families and parents new to Basics or if you are considering our services, here is a summary of our approach.

  1. No matter what the sport is, the primary skills must be mastered FIRST before any success in competition is expected. It is clear in today’s market that this required preparation and hard work before games are attempted is the exception and not the rule.  We believe our success (over 90% of Basics players make their school teams and over 140 graduates now at the college level) is directly related to this approach.  SKILLS ALWAYS COME FIRST.
  2. A player’s CONDITION must be a point of emphasis ALL THE TIME.  Basics constantly reinforces strong conditioning.  This is achievable because we INSIST on limiting the number of players in the gym, on the field or whatever the playing surface is.  Players RARELY SIT in Basics training.
  3. Mental strength in the face of adversity basically DEFINES athletics at the higher levels.   Basics has a strong pedigree here, Coach McGannon played 5 years of professional golf based in Pinehurst, NC. . That extraordinarily difficult sport and its mental acrobatics has been molded to fit youth and college level athletics.  We teach our players how to be mentally strong, capable, resilient players.

We call this the Three (3) Legged Stool for Competition:  1. Sharp Skills  2.  Premier Conditioning.   3.  Mental Strength.  1:45 Video


  1. Building Confidence, Handling Failure/Mistakes and establishing the essential Commitment/Attitude required to compete
  3. Player and Coach comments on the effectiveness of Basics Mental Strength Training


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