Friday, February 13, 2009

Message Board Comments on Club/High Schhol Ball

These comments were taken from a message board in another state. Interesting comments:

I'm not a high school coach. However, I do know that many of the top AAU girls in one area back east train with the same trainer. That is where they go to get better. They play AAU for their exposure, but they go 3-4 times a week to a trainer to get better.

I'm not anti-club. I'm anti-bad coaching and it's as prevalent in club as it is in high school and vice versa.

And.... most coaches don't know how to develop a player anyway. They think they do based on their playing experience or what a coach did for them or because they did it with one girl and she got a scholarship, but that does not mean that they know how to develop a player.

Think about it: how many teams go through an ACL prevention program? If not, is the coach really concerned about the health and welfare of his players?

If a coach really wanted to develop his players skills, they would not be playing in AAU/club tournaments the weekend after the high school season ended.

The problem is that basketball is ruled by perceptions of what people think is right or good, not by actual studies into the best practices of coaches or the best methods to develop talent.
Just think about the skill acquisition process and how that fits into a situation where you are trying to play 80 games in 5 months. Or, with a team that draws players from three different states. Or, that practices at most one time per week. How are you really developing skills in these situations?


And to answer your question directly, the "best" programs recruit players. If they don't do it blatantly or aggressively, they do it passively. They build a perception. You "have" to play here to get a scholarship or to go to nationals. And, at young age groups, it often is about getting bigger numbers to raise more money. Now, if you provide a good program, that's not a negative. That's how every sports organization works - it's the triangle. You have a lot of players at the base and every level up the triangle you lose more and more players until there are only a comparative few playing at the college and pro levels.


: For example, you constantly say that clubs play kids too much since they come off a high season prior to club, but then state that clubs cant be developing if they practice only 1 time per week.

: If they practiced 3 times a week you would surely say they are over working the kids. B, you just seem to often put clubs in a no win situation.

: Was it your comment that teams only use lower teams to make money ? Seems too extreme to be said by someone logical, but I cant tell from the thread.

: As for ACL prevention programs, how many High Schools have such programs ? High Schools have their kids 6 to 8 times longer than clubs do yet you constantly rave about what clubs dont do in their limited hours with kids.


As for practice versus games, they are two different things. If you want my full perspective, go to the web site below and read the columns on the left hand side.

1. I do believe players should rest after the high school season and before the club season. It's called periodization, and I agree with a down period.

2. Once club season resumes, I think teams that argue that they are developing players with 0-1 practice per week do not understand development. And, this is just as true of high schools that play together out of season as well as private clubs. A competitive season is not the best time to develop skills. I know that when I get players after the high school season, their skills have diminished because the competitive season is more about game preparation and team practice, rather than individual development.

However, that individual development must occur at some point. So, if a player moves straight from high school to a competitive club season, when is that time?
And, fwiw, my answer to the problem sides with the club system, not the high school system. I'm not attacking clubs. I'm attacking bad coaches, high school or club or trainers for that matter. My entire agenda is to change the way we think about youth basketball development to create a more athlete-centered, long term development model. That's what I believe in. That's what my comments are geared toward. I don't have any bias toward high school or club. I have coached them both. I know there is good and bad in each. My problem is not with club or high school, but with bad club and bad high school, and with those who cannot differentiate between the two.