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Youth Basketball – A Coach’s Perspective

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tomas_m on sxc

What makes basketball such a great sport for young kids? We turned to a few of our coaches to find out this, and much more about the magic of basketball.

Meet the Coaches
Lorrie McNeill has been coaching her twin boys’ basketball team for three years and has enjoyed watching her kids thrive in a sport that she herself played through college. Tony Korson grew up playing basketball through Montgomery County recreation and has been coaching student and adult players for years.

What made you decide to coach basketball?
Lorrie: “I played through high school and played intramural in college. I saw other people devoting their time coaching my sons’ baseball or soccer teams and I thought, ‘I can do this!’ I started when the twins were in third grade.”

Tony: “I coached baseball but you can’t play that in the winter. I always played and had a passion for basketball so I found an organization where I could coach.”

Why is basketball a good sport for kids?
Lorrie: “Besides it being a great cardiovascular sport, it’s a team sport and kids learn to work together and work with people who have different personalities. Plus, it’s a sport they can play for years as intramural or in a pick up game.”

Tony: “There are so many different roles in basketball for kids to play. Whatever their skill, we can find a good match up in terms of position and everyone contributes to getting that ball into the basket.”

What do you see as a benefit to kids who play basketball?
Lorrie: “Kids develop a sense of fair play, and they learn about good sportsmanship which translates into other parts of your life. It can help them develop socially and build strong friendships.  I’m STILL friends with the girls I played with in the 4th grade!  Plus, it can help kids develop a sense of routine and time management. They have to get their homework done before they head out to practice.”

Tony: “Kids get a real sense of accomplishment from basketball. There is a very tangible goal – get the ball in the basket. The kids can feel the success and progress as they get closer to the basket and then actually score.”

Have you ever had a special coaching moment?
Lorrie: “Yes! Two years ago I had a player that was new to the neighborhood and very shy. At the beginning of the season he really did not want to be there. By the end of the season his mother was telling me how much he enjoyed it and that he definitely wanted to play next year. It was such a change in just a few short weeks!

Tony: “I think on every rec team there is THAT kid who struggles at the beginning of the season. And then, there is that moment when they score their first basket. Everything suddenly changes.”

Why do you like coaching for Montgomery County Recreation?
Lorrie: “The folks who run the league are very responsive, and they have thought of everything for the rules and for the support you need. The instructions to register are easy and online registration is awesome. The coach’s meeting is always convenient and the free clinic is great.”
Tony: “It’s a very well organized league. They make the games and practices convenient for where your team lives. The Referees are good and the game schedule comes out early which is helpful.”