I had the opportunity to participate at PGC Camp earlier this summer and one of the things that I took away the most was the structure of the learning environment. If you are unfamiliar with these camps, they tend to be more intensified than other traditional overnight basketball camps with off the court classroom training sessions combined with on the court demonstration and play. This particular camp (“Point Guard College”) was a 5 day and 4 night experience where they covered a variety of skill development, both intangible and basketball specific. I found that over the course of the camp students developed at an accelerated pace with the method of lecture – video or film – on-the-court demonstrations. It covered 3 separate learning styles to engage them, while encouraging them to take notes for improved retention.
We started incorporating newsletters (“Canva Designs“) into our program last year as a reference for our players. What I found is that players were nto as prone to take a look at it, unless we brought it up in our team meetings or pre/post practice sessions. They started to understand that I might possibly “pop-quiz” them and made sure they weren’t unprepared for it. Below is a drafted example of our weekly newsletter that we would use. This is not a completed product however it gives the template of what we tried to provide: a topic of discussion for the week (“The Will”), our upcoming schedule, any reminders (e.g. fundraising, study halls, etc.), birthdays in our program, and diagrams for any of the “X’s & O’s” put in recently.
This was something that we tried out last year for the first time and I think it had some success. However, I don’t think we referred to it consistently enough where it became of a lot of value to them. Which is why following the PGC Camp experience it intrigued me of what is the best way – especially for high school coaches with limited time – to engage, teach, and reach retention for the student-athletes in your program. I became a big fan of the idea of providing a notebook for each of my players in our Varsity program. I don’t want it to become like a classroom, however I want to provide them another resource to learn at their pace with different styles of learning. We will see how it goes following this year, let me know some of the different approaches you have used within your program.