Youth / AAU basketball is often disorganized, focused solely on winning, and generally, frustrating. But we, at Pro Skills Basketball, believe kids and parents deserve better than that!
At PSB, we strive to provide a more professional experience for parents, players and coaches—one focused on organized communication, fun, mutual respect, and personal growth—on and off the court.
We’ve been involved with AAU basketball for the last 8 years and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Throughout that time, we’ve been able to take that good, make fixes to the bad and the ugly, and develop a much more professional experience for those players and parents who are members of our PSB Club Teams.
How you might ask?
Well, specifically, in three ways by creating:
#1 A comprehensive player development model
#2 A training and certification program for our coaches
#3 An organized communication system for our parents.
Now let’s cover these three things in more detail below.
Comprehensive Player Development
PSB first started with camps, clinics, and training, so when we decided to enter the AAU / Club Team scene, we knew we wanted to do more than just team practices and games as those are just two aspects of player development.
We wanted to create a truly comprehensive player development model, one that included training, clinics, camps, team practices, games, etc.
But more than that, we wanted to take our core values, described in the acronym F.O.C.U.S. that stands for Fun, Overcome, Compete, Unity, and Sacrifice, and implement those into everything we did on the court so our young players could take those lessons off the court as well. We knew if our players could do that, they would be successful.
Lastly, we wanted to help our high school players get recruited, so we wanted to take a very proactive approach in helping and educating our players and parents. PSB now has over 100 players now having played, currently playing, or committed to play basketball in college, and that number is only increasing. Plus, for 2020, we’re pumped to be adding Sports Recruits to our comprehensive program.
Trained & Certified Coaches
One of the bad and ugly parts of AAU basketball that we knew about before we even started PSB Club Teams was the lack of training and certification of coaches. There was and is no governing body, like in soccer or volleyball, overseeing teams and clubs ensuring that only qualified adults are coaching youth basketball.
To combat this problem, we take a number of steps. Number one, we make sure we only hired experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate coaches.
Secondly, on top of that, we background check every coach and they train them on child safety and first aid.
Third, they each take PSB online coaching courses, which certify them to become an official PSB coach. Many of our coaches are also USA Basketball licensed on top of all this too!
Lastly, we began our PSB Coaches Development Program a year ago, where we offer them development opportunities including educational content, coaching clinics, workshops, and more.
Organized Parent Communication
The 3rd major issue we heard a lot about when we first started PSB AAU Teams was the utter lack of organization and communication in youth basketball.
To us, this was an easy fix:
#1 Over-communicate with parents, rather than under-communicate.
#2 Set clear, honest expectations with parents upfront.
Taking number one above, we communicate with parents through email, text, phone, and social media. In 2020, we’re really excited to introduce the PSB communication app, which is similar to Team Snap and will allow parents and coaches to communicate more easily.
In terms of setting expectations, we’re very open and honest about these upfront before and during tryouts.
There are many examples of this, but the best are our city-specific Policies and Procedures Handbooks that lays out all team expectations from structure to pricing to codes of conduct and more in great detail. These are then further covered at our parent meeting during tryouts.
At Pro Skills Basketball, we believe kids and parents deserve more than a disorganized, frustrating, unprofessional youth basketball experience.
Kids are literally our future, and parents have enough to worry about as it is, so they shouldn’t have to worry about their child’s youth basketball experience. This is why we take our job so seriously and believe in providing a more professional youth basketball experience!