Two weeks ago, I wrote about how to pick the best basketball camp for your child this summer. Needless to say, there are several hoops clinics available all over Metro Manila and most major cities this summer. However, not all youngsters can afford to attend established clinics because joining fees normally range between three 3,000 and 8,000 pesos. And we all know that the greater majority of the Filipino youth is under privileged. For this reason, I strongly encourage the setting up of smaller hoops clinics in local areas that perhaps you can offer to the local youth for free.
It may be easier said than done but starting a basketball clinic need not be complicated. You don’t really need to do exactly what the bigger and more popular camps are doing. What’s important is that you are able to teach the basics of the sport to your campers, most of whom are trying to be an instant Steph Curry. It has become common now for young ballers to take three-point shots over three feet from the three-point arc. Curry has become such a strong influence because of his exceptional scoring talent. But the youth must be educated that there are no shortcuts to becoming a great player such as Curry. Actually, the Golden State Warrior mega star is one of a kind. What the youth must know however is that Curry also works hard in improving his craft every single day. And like most great players, he too started with the basics.
So here we go. Here are simple steps to set up a small basketball clinic:
1. Find a suitable basketball court in your area. The best way is to coordinate with your local barangay for the use of its basketball court. If you’re holding the clinic for free, then you should also get the gym for free. And the local government must help. Ideally, get a covered gym because being exposed to the sun this summer is no fun. If you can rent a school gym, it would be best to have two courts side by side to accommodate all campers.
2. Assemble your staff. You need coaches to handle different groups. If possible, assign one coach for every 20 campers. More importantly, get assistants who know how to teach the fundamentals. The worst thing that could happen is teaching these kids the wrong way of playing. You’ll also need other staff for registration, first aid, sanitation, etc.
3. Prepare the necessary equipment.Balls, whistles, cones, stopwatches, clipboard, pens and papers are the normal equipment. If you can’t provide enough balls, ask the campers to bring some. Ask them to bring proper basketball outfits, towels, water jugs and extra clothes too.
4. Plan the program and schedule.Make sure to include all the fundamentals like ball-handling and dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding and defensive mechanics. Make room for proper warm-up and cool down exercises, and of course, fun games. Award participants at the end of the camp.
5. Find sponsors or local donors.Unless you are financially capable to run the clinic alone, seek help from sponsors and willing donors in the community. This is a good time to approach public officials running for office. And involve the local government.
6. Market your clinic.You want enough participants to make your first camp a success. Hand out fliers and make early announcements in your community and neighboring communities.
7. Provide water and access to toilets.Make sure that campers have access to water and toilets because the summer heat can be very draining.
8. Set the rules.Be clear about the camp rules – what they should and shouldn’t do and bring. Be clear about the age requirements. Better to have campers not younger than eight years old because it’s not easy babysitting.
9. Organize a dry run.You want to be prepared so set up a dry run with all your staff and see which areas you need to work on.
10. Make a list of partici¬pants.Don’t forget to have all participants register. You want a record of all of them and maybe even evaluate each at the end of the camp.
That’s it. Have fun teaching.