Re: Middle school and clubs


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Posted by Yes and No on February 07, 2018 at 08:51:32:

In Reply to: Re: Middle school and clubs posted by daddyo on February 07, 2018 at 07:09:28:

: : : : : : I have enjoyed the "High School vs. Club" and "What parents should be doing this summer" threads. I wonder if those in the know might offer some advice to a dad who has a 10 year old daughter who has developed a love of the game in just a year and a half of rec league ball.
: : : : : : I'm an older dad and things have changed a ton since I played the game. I don't know the scene in southern Cal, but I'm reading this board trying to soak up some knowledge. I've seen excellent and varied opinions for girls who are exceptional at the high school level.

: : : : : : What should a dad be doing for a daughter who's among the best in her rec league, but hasn't really seen real competition? Where should I be looking for additional opportunities?

: : : : :
: : : : : A big question is where do you live and how are you willing to travel?

: : : : : After that, I would tell you to take all the suggestions you are going to get here and try out as many of them as you can. Look for fit with the team, the coach, and your fit with the other parents. You will be spending a lot of time with them!

: : : : : Lastly, make sure she is having fun! Yes, you want her to get better and play good competition, but if she isn't having fun, especially at that age, she won't want to play anymore!

: : : : : Good luck!

: : : : Priority for us is absolutely fun. She enjoys the game and definitely has a "basketball jones" (old timer term). Her rec league finishes in a couple weeks, so I'm just trying to figure out how to get her on a court for more fun. Not pushing her, but rather facilitating her desire. We're in the Studio City area. I'd welcome any advice.

: : :
: : : There are three main clubs that are based in the Valley.

: : : So Cal Shooters - solid program, good coaching. Skill oriented and plays in the better tourneys along with some local ones and they host their own. Currently only has youth teams. Cost is about average with others. Practices are in Sherman Oaks.

: : : TVT Elite - in reality the longest running club, as it used to be Lights out. In fact, both So Cal Shooters and R2H organizers both started here. Have teams from youth to high school. Many of their current/former players are some of the top high school players in the valley this year. Coaches are from Crossroads, Harvard Westlake and Buckley. Strong middle school teams and they play in same tourneys as Shooters and also host their own. Cost is average, practices are at Birmingham and Harvard Westlake.

: : : R2H - newest of the three. Have strong younger teams, but middle school teams not as good as the others. Youth through high school teams. Most of their kids come from Balboa park originally. Play in mostly local tourneys, and sometimes in lower divisions of stronger ones. Most family oriented (parties, get togethers). Cost is average. Practices are all over - Reseda HS, some park gyms, and outside at Balboa Park.

: : : From my observations and discussions with people who have played with some or all of them (yes it happens!), here are some thoughts. Best skills training - Shooters. Best coaching overall in program - TVT. Most fun - R2H. That being said, TVT is probably the best balance of everything. Good training, good coaching, good competition,
: : : while still having fun.

: : : All that being said - try them all out and see what you like and where your daughter and you fit in the best. And remember - if you try one and don't like it - you can easily go to another one.

: : : Good luck!

: : I'm glad to hear that fun is the priority, as it should be at this age. That being said, if your daughter is the best player on her rec league and she's looking for more of a challenge, definitely find her a club team so she can get a taste of higher level play.

: : Besides fun, skill work should be the most important thing at her age, especially ballhandling work. Shooting consistency and form will come later when she grows and gains upper body strength. Find a coach that can teach her how to play in a system; this will pay big dividends later. Find a trainer who can work with her on her skills. Some clubs have both, but sometimes you're better off finding a trainer outside the club.

: : Also, meet a lot of other parents whose kid plays ball and find out who they like in your area in terms of trainers and coaches. You'll be running into these same parents for years so you may as well make friends with them now.

: : Don't worry about winning. Just find a team where your daughter will earn playing time and learn.

: HS varsity is all about winning. EYBL club is about playing in front of college scouts. All other levels (club or HS) are about player development (including HS fall ball, spring ball, summer ball, lower level club programs)


What you say is exactly how it should be.

However, many clubs emphasize winning, especially at the youth/middle school level to keep the parents happy. The parents need to be able to post pictures on social media of little Sally with her plastic trophy. That way they will keep paying the club guy.

What all these kids need are more skills work, less games. Especially the younger ones.




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