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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2014, 11:21 

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I have a question regarding coaching and the importance of coaching as well as practicing together as a team. I have a 13yr old son who currently plays AAU basketball and they're team doesn't practice together as a team, in addition to this factor they do not have a consistent permanent coach. I have expressed concern with both of these matters and I have been told that all players learn te same plays and that it doesn't matter if they practice as a team.

I would just like to know the importance of practicing as a team and having a permanent coach. I understand that all players learn the same plays but what does that matter if the team is unable to gain chemistry amongst each other, learning the strength and weaknesses of each team mate. This is really important to a team isn't it?


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2014, 15:12 
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Now, this is JMO (just my opinion) but I think players should preactice as a TEAM. Timing has a lot to do with the success or non success of a team. Practicing together helps the kids to get a long and how to help each other... what to expect during games too.

There are 5 kids on the floor playing together to get the offense to work properly along with the defense.

I have seen programs where every level did the same thing and when I watched them play,,, just maybe that might work for them.... and probably they could have switched coaches too... but, even the coaches need to know what a kid can or cannot do in game situations. JMO


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 06:00 
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A few years ago I'd say the exact same thing as Coach Sar. But as my own kids have gone through the youth system, my perspective has changed a little. Or I'd say that I'm a little more open to other possibilities. Here's what I posted for your same questions from the comments on another page (in case you missed that)....

Renee -

I think ideally you play with the same team and have the same coach. But depending on the situation, they may not matter and I personally might not be concerned with having different coaches.

It somewhat depends on the players goals. If long term development is priority, then it may or may not matter depends on the situation.

Now if winning championships is more important and the priority, then having a permanent coach might be better.

Some programs focus on PRACTICE and the skill development in practice. This is when most of the true development occurs. This allows some clubs to focus on practice / skill development and then recruit other various coaches to help at the games. I have seen some clubs do this to save money and do an absolute excellent job with developing players.

To me this is not ideal. But it's also not a deal breaker. You have to look at the entire picture when evaluating the team your son plays on.

In addition to player development, there are life lessons and character development to consider. If a club does an incredible job with character development and skill development, that to me is more important than some of the game chemistry my son might have missed out on with a certain group of players. Again, you have to consider the entire picture and there just isn't such a thing as a perfect club team.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 07:08 
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I read that post Jeff and while I can certainly agree with the skill learning ( or at least some of it ).... but there are a lot of things that need to be done as a group?

If all the coaches are on the same page and are teachiing the skills the same way, no problem. What if a few have a different philosophy about some tihings??

The younger the kids, the more I would agree with you but as they get older it becomes more of a team game. JMO

You and I rarely disagree on things Jeff, especially when it comes to YOUTH SPORTS.... so for this subject... 13 year olds, I think they need to do some team type work... hard to run / practice and offense when you are alone. Again, JMO

Grat subject and some good thoughts back and forth.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 07:18 
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Yea... almost always on the same page! :) I actually still think we are and I agree with you.

I think it just goes back to... what are the goals of being on this team? Even though, this situation is a big red flag. It may not be a deal breaker depending on the goals and situation.

Is the goal to prepare for the high school season and improve skills so he's ready to play with his middle school or high school team? If so, then what they do in practice might take precedence over what they do in games.

Does he play for his school team? Or does he only play AAU?

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 22:24 

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I've seen teams that form just to play in tournaments or an extra league just to get more playing time. Those teams are usually made up of pretty elite players that are just looking for more playing time so the coach, plays, or practices aren't as much of a factor. However, most of those kids are playing on other teams that have consistent coaches and practices.

Same question as Jeff, is this the ONLY team your son plays on?

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 09:49 

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Currently this is the only team that my son is playing for, he played for his school as well. This AAU team is year round and we have been with them for about a year and a half now. One of the main reasons that my son chose to tryout and play for this team is because of the coach and his style of coaching. To date he has played in approximately 2 no more than three games which have been conducted by this coach. Comparing those games to the other games, I have to admit that the team as a whole played a very different game. ( for the better).

The coach who is mainly present for the games is not present when practices are held and if he is present he is not involved at all. At game time he is just as mute as he is during practices. His son is also a member on this team, I don't necessarily have a problem with this but I have noticed that during time outs it sometimes seem that he is talking to his son or suggesting plays surrounding his son. I do how ever have a problem with that and have voiced my opinion.

I would like to mention that the 8th grade boys are divided into two teams, Red A team, and Black B team. My son is on the B team, now both teams are I'm tournaments as well as league play. However it seems that the A team now practices away from us and have a permanent coach who is with the boys each step of the way. Also the girls team practices away and together as a team, also with a permanent coach who is with them. Supposedly each team is treated and plays equal, but I don't feel that way. I feel that the B team is getting the short end I the stick. I have watched players on the team who originally I feel followed plays well and was able to create or changes plays during a game as need according to the opponent. Since we as ok longer practicing as a team, during games now it appears that the players are so caught up with set plays that they are almost robotic and or afraid to play ball or make changes when needed. No one knows the strengths and or weaknesses of the other players on the floor with them. This to me causes certain players to feel as if they are by themselves resulting in ball hogging and or gunning. They don't feel comfortable because they do not know there team mates and their capabilities.

I am not a U of K fan, but I will use their team as an example. At the beginning of the season there was a lot of selfish play going on. As the season and the team practices together and got to know one another their game has drastically elevated to new heights. During this tournament they have played some of the best games that the team has played all year. Now they know each other, the strengths and weakness resulting in more confidence on the court. That is growing as a team at least to me.

I was looking for different opinions as I plan to bring my concerns up once more.
My son has developed since he has been with this organization I must say. But I think that it's deflating to the boys when they go out to play in tournaments and feel that they don't measure up against teams that know each other and have chemistry on the court. This past weekend we was in the battle if the bluegrass tournament and although I think that they played well, they did not in no way measure up to the competition. In addition on each of the three games played, there was a different coach. One of the 3 games I mentioned earlier was coached by the one who my son wanted to join the team for, and that was ONLY because he coached another team right before their game and our coach had not shown up. He wasn't happy at all with players performance and felt that it should have been better. My question as to how does team grow as a team when they don't practice as team get better was never answered. Out of all three games that was played that weekend, this game was the best game the team played. That only adds to my belief that a team should practice together and have a coach who knows each player as well as their abilities on the court. He does know each joy I the team and what they can do, the only problem is that the boys don't know that about each other.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 16:02 
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Ok, your son is 13 and in 7th grade? Going into 8th? You say he has been improving, correct? What are your goals for him? And what are his goals? If he is improving and will be ready to play at the next level.. then I would say that things are going well.... IF not, then maybe you have to rethink this?

You say your son likes this program and the one coach, thats a positive.

I'm not so sure I would like the "College of Coaches " like the Chicago Cubs had many years ago, we know how well that turned out. I like the idea of a team having set coaches for practice and games... that way there is ONE message. JMO

I think each level should be treated and coached the same way... unless they told you otherwise before the season started.

If you are going to talk to them again... I would tread lightly, ask some questions ( like why is the B team treated / coached differently ) and ask them what their goals are for each group / level. IF you go after them hard, I am sure they will turn your off, I know I would.

Good luck

By the way - How is your son taking this? Is he happy? Is he having FUN playing with this group? Does he want you to talk to the coaches? I guess why I am asking you this is I don't think you want to make it worse for your son.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 16:46 

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Yes my son is 13, but going into the 9th grade this upcoming school year. Yes, I will admit that he has improved since being with this team. As far as my goals with him in relation to the team is for him to be able to grow and connect more with his team mates. My goals is for him and his team to be treated as a team,on the same level, and with the same notariaty as the other teams within the organization. For the monthly dues that I pay, I expect for each team tone the same. I don't want to come off as unsatisfied or ungrateful for what my son and have received and the growth that has come. As you stated had I in the beginning been informed that the "B" team was going to be anything less than a team, I could better accept the negligence towards the team that I feel currently. My niece is also a member of this organization and there has been times when she has questioned my son in regards to games, practice or etc. The questions come from comparison from her team to his.

My son feels the same way I do and would like a little more consistency within the organization. After the games in which I spoke of earlier, my son called a meeting with most if the players on the team. During this meeting he went over drills, plays and several options on both defense and offense that the team can use. He was equipped with diagrams and all to show the moves and placements of each player under each scenario. No player should have to or feel that they have to hold a coaches session themselves.

I plan to come to them with just my concerns and the concerns of some other parents. Again I do not have any intention in coming off ungrateful or unappreciative, but I would like to be heard. I just want to know where the "B" stands so that I can know what or what not to expect. My son is not ready to enter the draft or anything and I know this so if I should view the team as strictly developmental I will if that's what I'm told. To date, that is not what I have been told or led to believe. If this is going to be the case, don't place the boys in a tournament for their confidence to become deflated or loose love for the game.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 17:30 
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13 going into 9th grade..... thas what I had to deal with too. I hope you get the answers you are looking for...... as for holding a coaches session, certainly not all; the time. I hope you get this worked out... for you son and the other kids.


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