Normal Improvement seems like a simple concept. It is in fact very difficult.
Normal Improvement is difficult because there is almost CONSTANT INTERFERENCE. Obstacles abound. If these kids, all of whom LOVE basketball, could just be left alone with good coaching and an eye on sharp skill development, they could improve normally.
This is almost universally not the case. The number of conflicts these kids have to deal with is often overwhelming. Many kids are asked to play 2 sports at the SAME TIME. Many spend as much time traveling as they do on the court. Many coaches recruit these kids to play “their” sport because they want the best athletes. The majority of players 18 years old and younger most likely PLAY more games than they actually practice.
Good at everything, great at nothing.
Never confuse competition with competitive growth. They are barely related. Everybody competes. Only a few win consistently. At Basics, we are far more interested in helping your son or daughter become a competitive player, an IMPACT player, than we are in how well we do in some off-season tourney. Also, WHO is in the gym is basically meaningless to us. Too much emphasis is put on how supposedly “competitive” the kids are in the gym WELL BEFORE 95% of these kids can use both hands correctly, shoot with proper form, see the court effectively, DEFEND or THINK competitively.
Paul “Bear” Bryant-legendary Alabama football coach
“The will to win does NOT matter. Everybody has the will to win.
What really matters is the will to PREPARE to win.”
Normal improvement can be incredibly powerful. Kids who continue to improve from 5th to 6th to 7th to 8th to 9th grade and so on are THE BEST PLAYERS. Most players plateau, and STOP improving. This inability to keep improving is most often related to two imposed obstacles:
- An over-emphasis on games, leagues, tourneys and RESULTS.
- Kids playing multiple sports at one time.
We are NOT SAYING play 1 sport all the time (Specialization). In fact we recommend the EXACT OPPOSITE. PLAY EVERY SPORT for as long as you can BUT NEVER, EVER at the same time. Parents and players must make hard choices IF they want to excel.
Recently a parent said “Am I a bad parent for letting my kid play 2 sports at once?” NO! Absolutely not. It’s a bad system. All we argue here is for parents to understand the ramifications for this practice. It is far better to play 1 sport at a time.
I played D-1 in 2 sports: Basketball and Golf. It never have occurred to me to play BOTH at the same time. I was way too competitive to not give my full attention to what I was doing, completely.
NOTE: The kids will do what they are told to do. If given a choice without the benefit of hindsight (the kids have 0 hindsight), every kid will want to play every sport all the time. PARENTS: help them. Quietly consider the options. Understand that LESS is actually MORE as it relates to normal improvement.
- Coach Jim McGannon
- 616 402-1600