18 Nov Club/AAU Basketball Teams in Tustin
As a Tustin Club/AAU Basketball coach, the older my players get the more important it becomes for me to coach them on how to control emotions, react and play through heckling fans and sideline parent coaches. In the City of Tustin most players are no used to playing against club basketball athletes that hit, bump, tug and talk smack after a missed shot or a mistake. With that in mind, our Tustin basketball club tries to enter AAU basketball tournaments that expose players to a rougher atmosphere. After all, AAU basketball is about teaching the game and toughness more so about winning. I can assure you though once you engrain toughness, wins will come more often. Getting out of your local city and area of Tustin is a great way to help prepare club players for the next level of high school basketball. As kids get older trash talk becomes part of the game. Fans and players alike like to jump in and try to through off players from the focus of the game into focusing on the outside factors. Who says basketball is not a game of mental strength?
In the past few years, I have been surprised time and time again what I hear on the court and from the stands. The conduct of fans, parents and opposing players can go overboard at times. I can understand a little talk when a player misses a shot or turns it over, but when fans start calling players curse words, threats and make derogatory comments, I feel line is drawn there. Remember its a minority of fans that do this, but it only takes that one to scare, break the moral or something terrible to happen.
Message To Tustin Club and AAU Basketball Players:
What we try and teach our club players is pretty basic. When on the floor you tune out everything that is on the opposite side or directly across from our bench. The sounds of what are happening from our bench and on the basketball floor between your own teammates is all you need to be worried about and hone in on. Any negative sounds that resonate from the stands do not exist. There should be a filter in your brain for only the positive; cheering and clapping.
Negative actions are also to be filtered out. Bad calls by the referees, turnovers, missed shots. Those things will happen, it is our job to stay focused and turn good into better and bad into good. We turn it over, sprint back on defense and get the ball back by getting a rebound or stealing it. Standing around pouting compounds the error. My goal is to make sure youth basketball players always keep themselves poised and never at a disadvantage. Control the controllable and weather the uncontrollable. I use exercises in practice and find ways to evoke emotion then talk them through taming the bad into good.
As long as players can keep cool and be taught to channel negative energy into positive energy in the form of team play, defense and team support; the likely hood a player taking himself out of a game mentally dramatically decreases. As a coach my best defense is understanding my players and their body language and make substitutions take my player or players back on by giving them a quick minute then getting them back on the basketball court. The fact is emotions fuel any competitor, but the competitor must learn maintain an even keel use the emotions as fuel for success.