As a basketball dad/parent I thought a great post for the SNYB Blog would be my experience introducing my girls to a local SNYB summer program. And yes, I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t a great one. In fact, it prompted me to learn more about the program (and become a contributor!).
First, some background.
I’ve loved and played basketball since my dad bolted a rim to our old brick house in Hamilton, Ontario (I won’t mention what decade)! Maybe I’ll post more about that another day, but thanks pa!
I played school basketball only up to the high school level, then intramural basketball in university. There wasn’t much opportunity back then, at least that we had access to. I’d like to think I would have made the NBA with more training (probably not…OK, totally not).
Today, I still try and get out weekly with the same elementary school friends I started out with. That’s about as cool as it gets – to play with lifelong friends every week. Even more fun, I love to watch my own 3 children bounce a ball as we shoot around the driveway.
Oh yes, back to the kids.
My 12 year old son started out in “Mini-ball” (which pre-dates SNYB) through Burlington Basketball locally. He enjoyed it – a lot! Today he’s having fun playing rep ball, and has been training more seriously since he was about 9 in our home city of Burlington.
Enter the Girls.
This summer, my 5 and 6 year old girls had the opportunity to attend a one week SNYB program delivered in our community by Burlington Basketball. Even my godchild attended. And they all loved it!
I’ll be honest: at first I didn’t read all the specifics on SNYB and Canada Basketball’s grassroots youth program developed as part of Sport Canada’s LTAD (Long-Term Athlete Development Program). You can read that good stuff here.
My wife and I were sold at “basketball”. Of course, we’re also sold on the benefits of sports for youth!
But seriously, we love sports and the fact that the girls want to shoot with their big brother (and mom and dad) all the time meant they had no hesitation when we asked if they “wanted to play” last summer.
SNYB programs are delivered throughout the year in a variety of formats.
Our program was a one-week session, 3 hours daily. I observed a bit to make sure they were comfortable and having fun. And were they ever! But did they learn anything? Wow, much more than I thought they would – that’s for sure.
Coach Jeff was better than fantastic, and his daughter (who assisted him) was amazing with the kids, too.
What did they learn? Most importantly: basketball is sooo much fun. For my 5 year old especially, she learned “I can do it, too!” just like her bigger sister and brother (a great confidence booster for her).
Now they have perfect shooting form! Okay they don’t actually. They learned a lot, though, in just a short week. They have at least learned that there IS a proper way to shoot and keep trying (“LEEF!” my daughter shouts at me…Legs, Elbows, Extend, Follow through). They also try to dribble with their head up all the time, and know what a bounce pass is. They love to show me.
They also had a great time with family and friends hanging out on the court this summer.
The beginning of many great basketball memories for them have started, I’m sure. The last day we were invited to visit in advance of the usual pickup time to catch a little scrimmage so the kids can showcase their new skills.
Thanks to SNYB and Burlington Basketball for what is a priceless couple of minutes of video and pictures we captured. We now have some digital family treasures we’ll watch for years to come.
Whether the kids become future stars or just enjoy playing, coaching, and watching like I do today; they’ll be grateful to have been introduced to this amazing sport.
Can we sign up for the next summer session yet?
For any parent contemplating registering for their local SNYB program (or any youth sport for that matter) I’d go for it. Sports aren’t just for athletes; they’re for making friends and learning to work and achieve as an individual and a team. And from my experience, SNYB programs are a great choice for all of the above.
Carm Maesano is Managing Partner at Annex Media Marketing and an Internet Entrepreneur. Most importantly, he’s a husband and father of three who loves basketball, and currently is assistant coach for his son’s basketball team while getting his two girls started in SNYB in Burlington, ON.