Every Saturday morning, the Wildcats basketball club hosts a basketball clinic for girls in the Waterford community from 9:30am to 12:30pm. The order in which Brittney and I coach is: 9:30am- 10:30am eight years old and under, 10:30am-11:30am ten and under, and 11:30am- 12:30pm twelve and under. I know for most people they couldn’t even imagine waking up early on a Saturday morning to coach little kids, but for me the girls give me just the energy boost I need to get my day started on the right foot. For the first day of camp, Jillian Hayes introduced Brittney and I to the group of young girls, and initially we were bombarded with questions. I knew this was to be expected, but the amount curiosity and excitement on their faces was priceless! From that moment I knew we were going to have a great time coaching.
As for warm-ups, we started off with stretching and a few games such as space invaders, stuck in the mud, and dead ants. To the kids, these activities come off as just fun games to play, but in actually incorporate a few basketball fundamentals, such as defensive stance, reaction time, communication, and teamwork. For example, the space invaders game is similar to tag, but instead of running you have to slide in a defensive stance. As for drills, we start off with basic ball handling to get the girls familiar with the ball, such as ball slaps and finger tips, and then progress to more drills that focus on the basics of basketball, i.e. dribbling, pivoting, and passing. We incorporate games like dribble tag and dribble knockout to make it fun for the girls. But no matter how much fun the girls are having with those games, Britt and I get asked at least 10 times by the girls if they can play a match (also known as a game). So we make it a point to bargain with them, and make a deal that if they work really hard and give us 110% we let them play a match—their faces light up with excitement!
When it they play their matches, it is great seeing the kids use what you worked on and applying it, all while enjoying playing the game. To say the least, my Saturday mornings are definitely entertaining, and I look forward to seeing the kids just as much as they look forward to coming in to see us. I can definitely tell they have just as much fun playing basketball as I do coaching!