Creative basketball training
By Carin R. Kirkegaard; courtesy photos
Club basketball tournaments have paused for the spring, but local youth basketball players are staying on top of their game. Four neighborhood boys, Chance and Cayden Conroy, Aidan Peck and Jack Tomlinson – all members of the Elevation Flyers club basketball program – have been working on shooting, ball handling and agility skills in their respective driveways and garages.
Typically, club basketball season begins with tryouts held in March and tournament play beginning sometime in April and continuing through July. Having played basketball since both boys were in kindergarten, this season was the first for the Conroy family to delve into the world of a more competitive league. Cayden, the youngest made the 10 and under team and Chance made the seventh grade team.
It is also Jack’s first season playing for the Flyers. An avid athlete, Jack has been swimming and playing flag football, soccer and basketball on a variety of teams since he was in kindergarten. At the 11 and under team tryouts, Jack saw the competition and he was nervous. “I tried my best and played my hardest and made the top team; the team I wanted,” said Jack.
Aidan Peck, a Jaguar for Rock Canyon High School’s basketball team, has been playing club ball for several years. This year is his second playing for the Flyers. Aidan, a shooting guard, said that on the Flyers he serves in a leadership role for the team.
Not being in a gym has been a challenge for the club, but fortunately Matt Barnett, owner of Elevation Basketball, was quick to partner with JB Youth Hoops, an online app-based individual basketball training program. The program owners were willing to work with Barnett and create a set of workouts designed for each level of basketball players throughout the Flyers program. Compared to the other basketball teams he’s played on, Chance said, “workouts are a lot tougher, but I like the challenge.”
Players watch videos of the various drills and then record themselves doing the workouts. They then upload the videos to the app and their respective coaches can provide feedback on the skills and what they need to work on, as well as praise a player when he is doing well.
Aidan commented that “Elevation is giving us drills that are keeping our skills going.” While many basketball players can certainly practice on their own with a hoop in the driveway, what the Flyers are getting is constant feedback from a coach, said Barnett. In addition to workouts, each team has Zoom meetings to review plays, and Barnett is also recording interviews with NCAA basketball coaches and NBA players like Chauncey Billups to keep his players engaged.
Cayden summed up what everyone is feeling, “workouts are pretty fun, but I can’t wait to have my first game.”