The Little Program that Could...

Growing up one of my favorite stories to listen to was the “The Little Engine that Could”. In the tale, a long train must be pulled over a high mountain after its engine breaks down. Larger engines, are asked to pull the train; for various reasons they refuse. The request is sent to a small engine, who agrees to try. The engine succeeds in pulling the train over the mountain while repeating its motto: "I-think-I-can".

The story of the little engine has been told and retold many times. The underlying theme is the same — a stranded train is unable to find an engine willing to take it on over difficult terrain to its destination. Only the little blue engine is willing to try and, while repeating the mantra "I think I can, I think I can", overcomes a seemingly impossible task. That’s what running a new program has felt like at times, a seemingly impossible task.

Our little program has only been around for a year, started with one team made up of the founder’s daughters and close friends who took a chance. We were able to hook up great coaches and mentors who believed in the vision we parents had for the program and with hard work and dedication, we were able to become the Little Program that could.

Now 2019 is upon us and with the new year, we have new coaches, some new players and families; like the families, players and coaches past and present we will continue to grow this program, based on our mission of providing a positive and fun place to learn and play the game of basketball. We are so excited for this new year! New faces, new places and best of all the new friendships that are bound to be made. Just like the Little Engine that Could, we think we can strive to make All Out Basketball the best it can be.

Possibly The Most Important Skill to Develop

This came across in my email box from Coach Mac with Basketball For Coaches and I jumped from my seat with a resounding YES! This is what AOB coaches have been teaching our players this season. It’s all about body language. Skill sets can be taught by the coaches, in essence that’s their job, but the player has to bring with them the work ethic and right “body language” to contribute to a successful team. This is a great breakdown of how to achieve the “body language” Coaches and teams are looking for in a great player and teammate.

Here's something often overlooked...

Usually when we talk about "player improvement", we only talk about developing skills.

> Becoming a better shooter

> Developing 1-on-1 defense

> Improving decision making

These are all super important, and they should be a main focus of every player who wants to improve.

But developing them takes time.

What if I was to tell you there are several things players can do RIGHT NOW to become a better player?

Cool, right?

Here are 5 things that require basically zero effort to up any player's game:

1. Keep eyes focused on the coach when they're talking

There's an old saying a lot of coaches like to use:

"Listen with your eyes."

When a player keeps their eyes locked on the coach, the coach knows they're listening and can be trusted to go out on the court and perform.

2. Run over to help teammates up when they're on the floor

There's nothing better than a player taking a charge during an intense game.

Even better...

When teammates cheer and sprint over to help them up.

3. Acknowledge the passer when a pass leads you to your score

A little secret to keep getting the basketball:

Make the passer feel important.

Let everyone in the gym know that it was their great pass which lead to your easy layup.

4. Dish out compliments and high fives to teammates

Great news:

There's no maximum limit on the amount of encouragement you can give to your teammates.

Keep giving out high fives and compliments.

5. Jog to the bench when you're subbed in

Coaches want to see players excited to get into the game and contribute.

When the coach calls out your number, show them that you're eager to play.

Don't shuffle to the score bench with your head down.

These steps are guaranteed to get you noticed by your coaches and teammates and make you the MVP that stands out!

Communication is the Key to Winning

AOB had their first travel tournament this past weekend and to the disappointment to the coaches and players more than anyone, the team didn't fare well. It wasn't that the other teams were so spectacular that they outran us, because they didn't. It wasn't because these other teams could dribble, pass and shoot better than any of our players, because they couldn't. It wasn't even that they stopped us with their stellar defense, because they didn't do that either. Let me blunt here, our players had one fault that beat them...Communication on the court.

Communication is the key to winning. It is probably the single most important ability to have on a team for that team to successfully work together. I came across this article that breaks it down by Kyle Ohman;

Let’s keep this simple. Have you ever seen a great basketball team that wasn't also great at communicating on the floor? The answer is no, because elite teams communicate at a high level, no excuses. So, if this is true, how much time are you spending on emphasizing communication with your team?

Learning to communicate as a team takes practice, and it needs to be emphasized daily. As a basketball coach you must be willing to spend time on the things that you value, and communication needs to be at the top of the list. Don't let a practice or even a possession go by where your team is not effectively communicating. If there is a breakdown in the communication, you must remind yourself and the team about the importance of it. There should be no plays off from communicating.

What does quality communication look like? Also, how can you make sure that you hold yourself and the team accountable with communication? Here are some tips to helping you implement quality communication with your team and then also making sure that you are doing it daily.

 Communication Needs to be Relevant

Not all communication is equal. When a player talks on either end of the floor they need to be saying something that is relevant to the situation, and that is going to help a teammate out. We have all seen the shell defense drill where players are talking but not really saying anything of value, don't be that team. A great way to do this is by establishing your own terminology as a team. Every action should have a specific term that your players should be communicating to everyone else. Here are some things that your players should be calling out to each other.

Defense

·         Screens - Ball Screens and Off Ball Screens

·         Being in the Gap

·         Being in the Help

·         Cutters

·         Switches

Offense

·         What Play you are Running (echo the call)

·         Actions within the Play

·         Good Pass after a Make (from the shooter)

·         Good shot

 Communication Needs to be LOUD

One of the primary answers that you will get from a player after asking them why they didn't communicate on previous play is, "I did, but they must have not heard me." That answer may even be true, but don't let that answer fly with your team. Communication needs to loud! There are going to be end of game situations where the crowd is going wild, and soft communication is not going to cut it. You need to make sure that your team is communicating loudly with each other.

This type of communication also helps to intimidate the other team. If they hear your team communicating with each other and setting the tone defensively, it will cause them to think twice about whether they can score against you or not.

 Communication Needs to be Positive

Positive communication does not mean that you only ever say something when a good play is made or if someone makes a mistake you just say, "good effort." It means that the communication needs to improve the situation not make it worse. If two players blow a switch and give up a basket, they need to be able to come together and communicate the right way to fix the problem for the next time. Not jump on each other and blame the other one for making a mistake. This is essential to having a great team, and it is a real sign of maturity.

The last part of this is Accountability; accountability by the coaches, by each individual player and as a team. The first and most important key of accountability is being consistent. If a player is not talking on the court (regardless of personality) you need to call them out on it. It could be your best player or the 12th man on the bench, it doesn't matter. Everyone needs to communicate with each other once they step on the floor. No one player loses it for the team if the team doesn't communicate. Communicate to Win. Communicate to Succeed.

And we're off!

The Sprummer Season officially started on Monday, March 19th with a great group of new and returning players. AOB welcomed to the family, Kiana, Jayma, Marie, Viri, and Eliza who all were excellent in their tryouts and showed the drive and determination the coaches were looking for. WE are excited for the season, an opportunity for the young team to bond and most of all to play in the upper 15U division.

Coaches can teach you how to dribble, how to shoot and how to be quick on the court but the drive, the determination, the heart comes from within and with this group of girls and what they bring to the group, there isn't any shortage of those attributes.

Be the BEST Teammate you can be!

I came upon this on a friend's facebook post and I immediately wanted to share it!

TOP TEN SIGNS YOU'RE A GREAT TEAMMATE!

10. You are willing to play ANY role that helps the team as a whole, not just you!

9. You would rather score LESS and WIN than score A LOT and LOSE.

8. When your team scores, the first people you congratulate are your teammates.

7. You love PRACTICE as much as you love the GAME.

6. You RESPECT  your opponents but DO NOT fear them.

5. You LISTEN, are COACHABLE, and RESPECT your coaches and officials.

4. You are quick to pick up a teammate who is having a bad day and/or a game.

3. You help younger teammates who may have less experience. You strive to be a leader.

2. You LEARN and GROW from your own mistakes. 

1. You are CONFIDENT but NOT ARROGANT! Be humble. Be grateful. Be respectful.

This may only seem like simple rules for being a teammate on the court, field or other sports platform but in just changing a few aspects of each rule, they are simple rules to be a great teammate in the game of life.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIEND!

The All Out Basketball winter squad went and conquered capturing the Adidas Tournament of Champions crown in Portland, OR over the President’s Day weekend. Although the squad was short two of their post players, the girls were able to enter every game and show them how All Out Basketball is played.

With the leadership of Coaches T and KS from the bench, the girls played a fast paced game which none of the teams they faced could catch up too. This group of girls were clicking on all fronts, the perfect storm to take over the court. Each game was won by an average of 27 point, every player getting minutes, scoring and defending like champs. In the end, the AOB squad went 6-0 and took the ‘ship!

Many AAU teams say “family” but no team means it like the AOB family of players, parents and coaches. The sisterhood that has been developed on and off the court is the kind that will continue whether the girls play together or support each other on other teams. This is what AOB is about. The relationships built, the friendships made, the sisterhood and the family that is created. Each player brings their individuality, their uniqueness that is accepted and loved by one another.

All Out Basketball is proud of the players for a winning winter season and a record of 15-6! Sprummer is around the corner and we look forward the upcoming season. The players will continue to learn, grow and thrive in the sport they love and we look forward to watching and supporting the squad!

 

Winter Season

All Out Winter season kicked off on Monday, November 27th! We held our first practice at the new Eagle Staff Middle School gym which is like no other! Coach T and the All Out staff are excited to welcome the new Winter Squad. We have returning: Alma, Colbi, Emma, Kiana, Leila, Lindsey, Riley and Zaza. Joining us, we want to welcome Allie, Ava, Gabby and Maggie

This squad is a powerhouse and we look forward to a fun and exciting (and winning) season!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what our squad is up to!

https://www.facebook.com/AllOutBasketball/

https://twitter.com/All_Out_Bball