Developing a Successful High School Program

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 7. Subscribe here.

As I think about the realities of youth sports today, the most important person in the development of a successful high-school athletic program may be the elementary school physical education teacher. We know athletes specialize. We know athletes engage in less free or unstructured play. That does not appear likely to change. We also know this specialization has adverse effects in terms of basic movement competency, general physical literacy, overuse injuries, and emotional burnout. Read more

Beginner drills and progressions versus play

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Say yes to recess

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, March/April, 2014.

I, like most of the boys in my class, spent most of our school day waiting for recess. The last five to ten minutes of the class preceding recess and lunch were a waste as we fiddled with our shoes, changing from our Catholic school uniform topsiders or loafers into sneakers. Read more

What is the Point of Youth Sports?

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, October 2011.

Youth sports are a billion dollar industry, but what is its purpose? Do we invest billions in youth sports to produce professional athletes? If developing professional athletes is the primary purpose, why are professional organizations uninvolved in the development process? The NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL spend virtually no money on youth programs, instead relying on the school system and other non-profit programs (YMCA, Parks & Recreation, AAU) to supply talented adult-aged players for professional drafts. Read more

Learning from Video Games to Increase Athletic Engagement

Note: Originally published in the December 2011 issue of Los Angeles Sports & Fitness.

In high school, we played so much basketball that we self-policed the student parking lot so we had courts to use during breaks, lunch and after school, which meant that late-arriving students parked out past a field rather than on the basketball courts next to classrooms. These days, courts often remain vacant during breaks, lunch and after school as this generation engages in different free-time activities. Read more

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

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  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

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