Mold your players into fundamentally sound athletes at a young age and it will pay off. Learning how to play a sport is just like learning algebra; you need to know how to add and subtract before you can solve linear equations, just like you need to know how to shoot a basket before you can play basketball. After all, Lisa Leslie was not able to become an WNBA star without learning the fundamentals of the game.
Teaching youth athletes the proper fundamentals is what this week’s Coach of the Week, Jason Van Egeren, stresses most when coaching his basketball players on the Wrightstown Full Court Club 4th Grade Girls Team.
Jason says he prides himself on knowing his players have been taught the fundamentals of the game which can be proven by his team’s excellent ball-handling skills and minimal turnovers. He is also proud of his team’s honest ethics.
“A few games ago we were in-bounding the basketball and my in-bounder stepped over the baseline before she passed the ball and then she stopped and handed the ball to the ref who had no idea why she was giving him the ball. When he asked her she said, ‘I stepped on the line before I passed it in!’ That was an awesome feeling,” Jason remembers.
Jason has spent over 10 years coaching youth sports and says he enjoys working with kids and seeing them progress every practice. Watching his athletes improve upon the skills they have learned at basketball practice and successfully use them in games as well as in life situations is Jason’s best experience as a coach.
“It is very gratifying to watch them mature and gain experience as they grow, and then eventually watch them play high school sports and know that I was a part of their beginning to sports,” Jason says.
The Wrightstown Full Court Club 4th Grade Girls Team of Wrightstown, WI currently holds a 10-6 on the season.
“We have one first place, two second places, one third place and then we lost a consolation game,” Jason says. “We are a small school and typically we have to play larger schools that usually have three or four times the kids in their high schools than we do. So I always let the girls know that when they get older we will not have to play these larger schools but if they can prove that they can be competitive with them that is a very positive moment and it will only make them better in the long run.”
Jason is a construction salesman and enjoys spending time with his wife, Jodi, son, Austin and two daughters, Dayna and Sydney. He also likes to play and watch sports.
Coach Jason Van Egeren’s Three Keys to Success:
1. Walk through everything with the girls over and over and as soon as you think they have it figured out, do it a few more times!
2. Get used to them making mistakes, lots of them.
3. I have had great success with stopping a practice when someone does something wrong and walking through the play or the drill with the girls until they get it right.
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