Monday, June 01, 2020

Diversity is a blessing in the work place.


Welp, yet again - racism has taken ahold of America via another entry in a very long list of POCs “killt” at the hands (knee) of a member of the “Blue Wall” aka police fraternity.

This new chapter in the book of “untimely deaths” created a weird synergy amongst members of the POC community where most fully expect celebrities, entertainers, professional and college athletic departments who have done nothing but exploit (take from) #theCulture to suddenly reverse their “tone deafness” on social issues and to publicly condemn a system that most have never had to deal with- on a first hand basis.  At best, such thinking seems unrealistic.

This wishful thinking further supports our belief that most, in not ALL, sports departments/ staff should be made up of a cross section of the population in which they intend to work with and/or target and such diversity would allow people/departments to act in a timely, thoughtful and “on point” matter.  Just imagine, an event occurs involving a POC and such an event forces a country to face a NASTY REALity that has been omnipresent from its beginning. Quite sure that professional teams and college athletic departments/staffs that are blessed with a diverse staff WOULD NOT wait 5/6 days to make a public statement on such an generational event.

In closing, perhaps professional teams / college departments should consult with Merriam-Webster’s Definition of Diverse (see below) prior to creating a staff as we head into the next decade.

#theend

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Merriam-Webster’s Definition of Diverse

1: differing from one another


2: composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities

Friday, May 22, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA - MEDIA...

There is no doubt the current situation has put a damper on the life as we once knew, however with change comes an opportunity to grow and advance.

Many people have used the “shelter in” / “stay home” narrative to become and in some cases remain relevant by way of social media platforms.  Whether via Tik Tok, Periscope (Twitter), and of course the ever growing use of Instagram’s “Live” platform many are turning their cell phone's into a broadcast station.  

Although we applaud such ventures and exposure to a wide variety of “interviews” we are left with several post COVID-19 questions.

  • Sustainability - As life returns to “normalcy” will the interviews cease due to life being life?
  • Duplication - Granted there are tons of people to “talk” to via social media, but how many (same) stories are worth being heard on various platforms?
  • Organization - With everyone have the same abilities and access to create a platform perhaps the creation of IGlive Guide is needed.  This will allow viewers to focus on one interview as opposed to jumping in & out of each event.

In conclusion, we are thrilled that people are using their time wisely by taking advantage of  their “apps”, however as with most things in life remaining consistent is a must.  In addition, the introduction of fresh, up and coming guests are essential to a long standing presence in the ever changing landscape. Not to mention, having a sense of respect (professionalism) for others who have "stuck their toe" in the media muddy waters. 

So keep creating and #STAYSAFE

Sunday, July 22, 2018

SE7EN DEADLY SKILLS

As we read various publications and monitor the different social media outlets we are forced to read/watch a lot of "stuff" that can help as well as hinder a players' basketball development.

It seems like yesterday, when we "tossing" tennis balls in the air and trying re-create the (basketball) "wheel".   Through various trials and tribulations, we decided to focus our development program on OLD FASHION fundamental based tenets.  It was at this point, (circa 2010) we created our 7 DEADLY BASKETBALL SKILL list. (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1). Passing
2), Ball Handling
3). Shooting
4). Footwork
5). IQ development
6). Defense
7). "Tool Box" development

As we fast forward to 2018, this skill list has become the bedrock of our development program.  We would contend the "new age" of training is in fact innovative, but despite the "out of the box" training techniques that may exist the idealogy builds upon the aforementioned skills.

We urge players and skill trainers to TRY as many aids, tricks, etc as possible to enhance a players skill set, but while doing so - please ask yourself "would you train Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, Lebron James or Tim Duncan with the same "innovative" drills or will you revert back to the SE7EN DEADLY BASKETBALL SKILL list?

Sunday, October 01, 2017

LOYAL ALWAYS: Maybe

According to Webster, LOYAL means "An unswerving in allegiance. Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product". Although many people claim such status, however as it relates to the basketball landscape this concept "looks good on paper".   

As a basketball training company, we have heard stories about AAU/CYO organizations (coaches) preaching to parents/players the importance of program loyalty yet on a yearly basis coaches switch programs without any type of backlash from their peers.  Last year, we spoke to a parent regarding in speaking with a coach regarding his child playing for another AAU team.



US: "So are you playing with _____ in the upcoming spring tourney"?
PARENT: "No, we are NOT playing in the tourney at all"
US: "Why?"
PARENT: "Our team is not entering a team in our age group"
US: "So, why not play for another team so you can get under the whistle"
PARENT: "We do not want to upset the apple cart"
US: "Huh, but okay"

HINDSIGHT: At season's end, the anxious (talented) player - not only missed out on an opportunity to play on a different team for the mentioned program, but later was "dropped" from "home" team being that the entire program was absorbed by another program.  Meanwhile, the "coach" left for a rival program.
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As a college basketball fan, we have heard the stories about college/univeristies preaching to parents/players and convincing the media about the importance of program loyalty, yet on a yearly basis coaches switch programs without any type of backlash from their peers. Recently, the NCAA put forth a rule that could change the landscape of all athletic programs throughout the country. The proposed rule would allow any athlete to transfer from one school to another without having to sit a year. Such a proposed rule has caught flack from coaches throughout the entire industry. 

SCOTT DREW (ESPN.com) INTERVIEW.  "It would be the worse rule ever.  It would be the wild, Wild West.  Coaches don't agree on everything. On this, I think we'd be UNANIMOUS" 

HINDSIGHT: It is well documented that NCAA coaches make millions of dollars leading young men and women in "athletic battle" some, like Scott Drew, raked in over 2 million for the 2015/16 academic year.  There is no secret their livelihood depends on student-ATHLETES who can perform on a high level, however is it fair for the coaches to not to heed their own words of loyalty?  Especially, when MANY coaches "switch" colleges on a yearly basis.
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As a business, we have heard stories about professional teams preaching to agents/players and convincing the media about the importance of team loyalty yet on a yearly basis players are traded from team to team.  In April of 2017 in the midst of the Eastern Conference playoffs, (former) Boston Celtic star IsaiahThomas lost his sister in a deadly car crash in Tacoma, Washington.   Although Mr. Thomas, felt anguish, he decided to continue to perform for the Celtics as they battled the Chicago Bulls.  He cited his family, the fans and organization's support and loyal as a reasons to continue the basketball journey.  These sentiments were echoed by the team's brass yet in August (2017) Isaiah was sent packing to "THE LAND" for fellow all star performer and "loyalist" Kyrie Irving.  

KEVIN DURANT (Bill Simmons' Podcast) INTERVIEW. “Guys have been getting traded in their sleep for years. Guys have been getting the shitty end of the stick for years. I mean, some guys have been fucking over organizations, too. It’s no loyalty. It’s business. There’s money involved.”

HINDSIGHT: 

Q. So, the question remains - who has "An unswerving in allegiance. Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product". 

A. TO BE DETERMINED

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The need for COMPETITION.

It seems that everyone via various social media platforms is enthralled with "Hoodie Melo" and his super exclusive "pick up run".  We would be the first to admit that we have nothing but respect for the professional players who are willing to use the "off season" as an opportunity to challenge themselves against the "best".

For the younger generation this is nothing new for Michael Jordan had his "Breakfast Club (6am workouts), Magic Johnson organized the "UCLA Run" and in the NYC area Jim Couch oversaw his legendary NYC runs and as of late our Mark Williams and NYAC's Milton Lee / Ross Burns organize a "private invite only run" however the difference in yesteryear's runs compared today's is access.  It is no secret that today's world is social media driven which allows "lay people" the opportunity to see/touch today's athlete as they go through their "normal" life unlike the pre social media "runs" of "back in the days". Such access allows for some to say social media is both a gift and curse, however with the amount of "knowledge" we are slightly confused on competitiveness of today's budding athlete.  



There is no doubt that today's athlete is social media savvy yet they appear to miss the overall point of the phrase "IRON SHARPENS IRON". Instead, they enjoy watching players compete but they, themselves, lack the intensity fortitude to actually push beyond their personal state of "normalcy".  This mindset seems odd especially for players with the expectation of making a team, earning college offer, securing a scholarship, and / or garnering professional opportunities.  

As a basketball training company we would love to train players on a individual (1 on 1) basis, however it is our belief this is NOT the best practice for players who are looking for 100% development.  From our vantage point, to obtain optimal development the following formula must be adhered to.

1/4 time basketball practice with a talented coach who builds their skill and confidence + 
1/4 time playing games + 
1/2 time improving individual basketball IQ and skills = 
100% Optimal Development.

In short, in order to effectively grow as a player/person one must COMPETE.  Hiding from competition will only provide a player with a false sense of reality and ultimately create a pseudo self image that can lead to failure as he/she elevates to the "next level".  As famed fashion designer Gianni Versace stated, "It is nice to have a valid competition: it pushes you to do better" 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER

As the summer comes to an end and majority of the youth basketball players return home from traveling throughout the country there are a few observations that we witnessed throughout the summer however we will address one MAJOR issue in this blog entry. 

Having watched many trainers post samples of their workouts and players endorse "big name" skill instructors, we noticed the various drills are not being applied to REAL game situations.  

This blog entry is NOT to "kill" anyone trying to making a difference, but would recommend most trainers to apply a "work smarter" approach to increasing a player's game.  We would also like to stress the parents to be aware of "bait & switch" techniques as well as inform the trainees (the products) to study their game and hold the skill instructor accountable for ADDING to their game as opposed just filling the allotted time with irrelevant drills.

Back to the gym aka GROUND ZERO!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NBPA Clinic + FREE GIVE A WAY

Team FOOTPRINTZ + NBPA Partnership

On August 30th, we will partner with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) for a 2 hour basketball clinic that looks to provide boys/girls ages 9-17 a structured basketball learning experience at NBPA's exclusive training facility and home court of NBA players.

This unique clinic will emphasize our 7(seven) DEADLY BASKETBALL SKILLS:
  1. PASSING
  2. BALL HANDLING
  3. SHOOTING
  4. FOOTWORK
  5. IQ DEVELOPMENT
  6. DEFENSE
  7. "TOOL BOX" DEVELOPMENT


Clinic Highlights
  • NBA Player appearances (subject to availability)
  • Expert basketball instruction focused on skill development
  • Half court games, station drills, and contests with prizes
  • Feedback from Team FOOTPRINTZ skill instructors
  • NBPA Clinic Tshirts for ALL participants

FREE TShirt Details 

To be eligible for a FREE Team FOOTPRINTZ Tshirt, clinic participants must register via NBPA's website by July 31st, 2017 and upon completion of the registration process, simply email a copy of your receipt along with your mailing address + shirt size to teamfootprintz@gmail.com.

Then expect your Team FOOTPRINTZ Tshirt in your mailbox by August 22nd, 2017.