GRAND LEDGE BASKETBALL

in Grand Ledge MI

YOUTH PROGRAM


A Road Map for the Basketball Parent

       

We are excited to announce that we have taken great steps to unify our program and make it easier for a parent to navigate their child’s basketball journey.  Many thanks to our administration, Rec league coordinator, high school and middle school coaches, all our youth coaches and volunteers because without all your efforts this wouldn’t have been possible. 



Program Vision

The mission of this new collaboration is to create great young men and women,  using basketball as a tool to develop our youth.  We will do this by Focusing on the Fundamentals, insuring athletes have a great experience playing basketball, and putting our athletes in an opportunity to be successful.   We hope to create a “Unity of Purpose” throughout our program, by giving fundamental direction to all coaches at all levels.  Lastly we hope to present a road map that is easy for a sports parent to navigate.

 

The New Path is as easy as 1,2,3:

1. K-2nd will continue to be an instructional clinic ran through our rec with 2 goals:
          - Teach the FUN-damentals of the game
          - Make sure the kids have fun while falling in love with basketball.
2. 3rd-4th this grade level is probably the biggest change.  All 3rd-4th grader are invited to participate in the rec league which will continue to build on the fundamentals while building the love for the game.  We will not offer GLYBA teams at         this level.
3. 5th-8th grade.  At this level the kids/parents will have two options to continue to play rec and/or be evaluated and placed on a team with GLYBA.  Along with playing middle school basketball.

Below we have listed more information in regards to the rational and philosophy behind each part of our basketball curriculum and the reason for some of these changes.




Kindergarten – Second Grade Program

Program:  Boys offer a six week clinic starting after the 1st of the year and Girls have a 4 week clinic starting the 1st week of October.

Summer Camp: One week camp 1 hour per day, the second full week after school is released for the boys and the first week after school is released for the girls.
Objective:  To provide an opportunity for youth and adults to learn and experience the game of basketball.  To create a positive recreational environment in which the children can begin to fall in love with the game of basketball.  There are two main goals of this program; to foster a genuine interest in the game with kids and their parents and (most importantly at this age) to have FUN.
Philosophy:  Just as the first 5 years of a child’s life are the most important for personal growth and development, so are the first 5 years of any athletic program.  This is why several years ago we started the k-2 clinic.  I believe there is a direct correlation between the success of the youth programs and the high school programs. 

FUN-damentals that will be developed:
- Good Sportsmanship
- Basic principals of the sport
- How to shoot
- How to pass
- How to dribble
- The purpose of defense


Third – Fourth Grade Program


Program:  Six week season ran by the varsity basketball program and our rec department.  This program will consist of games starting after the first of the year for the boys and the end of October for the girls. There will also be fundamental instructional work before every game.   
Summer Camp:  One week camp, 2 hours per day, the second full week after school is released for the boys and the first full week after school is released for the girls.                                                                                                                   

Objective:  To provide opportunity for youth and adults to develop more in depth understanding of the sport.  The main objective (again) is to foster a continued interest in the sport, while at the same time starting to learn more of the sport specific basic principals.  The key to this program is to begin to prepare youth for travel basketball if that is the athletes goal.
Philosophy:  The reason we made this change is to focus on the fundamentals.   Keeping kids in our rec for 3rd and 4th grade gives us two more years to develop the fundamentals to prepare them for travel ball if that is their goal.  Travel basketball is typically more competitive and this is a good thing, but only if the kids are ready to compete without compromising fundamentals.  In the Rec league the goals are 9ft instead of 10 (the height they would have to play on if played travel ball in 4th grade) and we play with a 28.5 ball (woman’s ball).  This allows our athletes to shoot it with the proper form, instead of compromising their form to heave it up to a 10ft hoop.  Fundamentals are more important than the league you play in or the competition you play at this level.  Before we go and play other communities we want our kids playing against one another making our community better.  This way when they do migrate over to travel ball we are putting them in a position to be successful.

FUN-damentals that will be developed:
- Good sportsmanship
- Better understanding on rules of the game
- Develop better shooting form
- Learn different defensive strategies- man to man and zone
- Continue to develop ball handling skills 


Fifth – Sixth Grade Program


Program:  At this level we will have two options.  Athlete’s could continue to play rec basketball or play travel basketball through GLYBA.
Rec League:  A six week season ran by varsity basketball program and our rec department.  This program will consist of games starting after the first of the year, along with fundamental instructional work before every game for the boys and it begins in mid-October for the girls.  
GLYBA:  Be evaluated by GLYBA (Grand Ledge Youth Basketball Association) and placed on a travel team in the Red Cedar or Junior Ballers League.  The Grand Ledge Youth Basketball Association annually provides opportunities for boys and girls grades 5th through 8th living in or attending school in the Grand Ledge school district, to play competitive basketball against teams outside of our community.
Summer Camp:  One week camp 2 hours per day, the second full week after school is released for the boys and the first full week after school is released for the girls.
Objective:  To foster a life-long appreciation for physical activity and provide a safe environment where students are able to have a fun and rewarding experience. Through our athletic program, Middle School students make friends, develop skills, compete against other teams, learn the value of teamwork and sportsmanship, experience leadership, and represent the school.
Philosophy:  At this age, athletes that have been involved in our program for the last 5 years, should be fundamentally sound and have a good understanding of basketball.  If playing travel basketball is the right decision for the athlete and their family we have now put them in a positon to compete and be successful.  We haven’t sacrificed fundamentals for competition; we have developed fundamentals for competition.  Kids at this age are now developmentally ready to shoot on a 10ft hoop without compromising form.  We want to have them shooting on a 10ft hoop with regulation size ball at this point, so they have two years to prepare for middle school basketball, where they will then have to try out for the team. We believe travel basketball is a great experience and can be very helpful in the development of young athletes.  If the extra commitment and time is not right for your family the rec league is available for this age group still and is a great option for an athlete to continue to play and get better at the game of basketball.


 
Seventh-Eighth Grade Program


Program:  At this level we have three options.  Athletes can play for the school, play for GLYBA, or participate in Rec.

School Basketball: 7th grade is the first year athletes can officially play for a school team with a program staff coach.  There is an A and B team and athletes will have to try out for this team.  Typically we keep 20 kids between both teams. 
Rec League:  This is a six week basketball program. It gives participants the chance to work on their fundamentals with a member of the varsity coaching staff.  GL Varsity players and coaches will run a 45 minute skill session to show participants the drills they should work on to keep improving.   This is after the school season, so an athlete could chose to do both.
GLYBA:  Athletes can be evaluated by GLYBA and placed on a travel team in the Red Cedar or Junior Ballers League.  This is a 3 month program and provides extensive playing opportunity against high level competition from other area schools.  This is a great experience for an athlete that loves the game of basketball.  This season is after the school season for the boys and before the school season for the girls, so an athlete could chose to do both, and it is a great way to continue to improve.
Summer Camp: One week camp 2 hours per day, the second full week after school is released for the boys and the first full week after school is released for the girls.
Objective:  This is where the kids should begin to get introduced to some of the specific strategies that the varsity programs run.  At this time they will also be introduced to the BFS Readiness program to prepare them for the strength and conditioning demands they will have in high school athletics.
Philosophy:  As athletes get older and are capable and ready to handle more, we slowly and at the right pace give them more options.  At this level they have 3 paths they could choose and if they really enjoy the game an athlete could choose to participate in multiple paths.



In Summary


This is an exciting time for Grand Ledge Basketball.  The initiative to unify the rec program, travel program and high school program will undoubtedly make our basketball program better. It will allow us to give our youth coaches the tools, resources and respect they deserve because they are the life blood of our program. This will bring our kids more success and add some clarity to parents looking for the right path for their child.  Instead of debating travel basketball vs rec basketball vs AAU basketball we are saying they all have their place in your child’s development,  if it is done in the right order for the right reasons.  We also must not lose focus that the foundation of a good athlete must be grounded in the fundamentals of the game.  So let’s not lose sight of the big picture, our goal is to develop champion athletes but more importantly champion men and women.   Never under estimate the simple answers.  Time spent working with your son or daughter on their fundamentals in the front yard might be more valuable than anything discussed in this road map, and it is time you will never regret spending!


Live and Lead,

Coach Perez and Coach Lewis