Youth setups, therefore “kids”, are our greatest resource in sports. Children have pure energy, are creative, but because they are still in the progress of physical and mental development, they may find it difficult to determine their own path. That’s why they need a mentor. In basketball, mentors are the “coaches” who work with young players. Since they work with individuals who are in the development stage, their plans and methods should be different from A team coaches.

In order to create this difference, they should have information about the physical and mental development of children as well as sports knowledge. Right knowledge paves the way for right education. As players get to know themselves and their characters gradually take shape, they integrate the knowledge and the changes into their games. Therefore, it will affect their professional sports life in the future. Of course, nowadays, due to outdated methods and wrong knowledge, children lose their interest in sports and may quit early or lose their chance of being professional due to injuries.

In example; “shooting” in basketball doesn’t mean anything by itself. This movement is a whole with the athlete’s body. The health of the body automatically affects the technique of “shooting” and its efficiency. Technique alone will not be enough for the athlete to progress. In order to ensure proper development and the least possible risk of injury, coaches must understand the player and therefore the whole structure and development of a “child”. They must create and implement a sustainable and purposeful plan accordingly.

What about our bond with people from whom we have learned basketball over the years and whose methods we have adopted by working together? As basketball changes and develops, is it disrespectful to them that we renew what we know about basketball and to put forward our ideas because the information we receive from them is less compatible or directly incompatible? The only thing that does not change is change, and unless this truth is embraced, we are doomed to be left behind. This has nothing to do with our respect and love for the people who raised and educated us, and the value we give them. Therefore, ignoring scientifically proven, plausible and up-to-date information will cause trained athletes to go out of the game. The only things you don’t have to accept are the ones that go against the nature of basketball. (such as promoting extreme individuality rather than team play)

As a coach, you have embraced the change in yourself and in the sport, and you are ready to progress and develop. So how much support can you get from the system? It varies depending on the way individuals in the system perceive change and the goals they already have. Creating an environment that is open to progress for young athletes can only be possible with the correct perception of the system you are connected to and with the same goals they must share.

A second issue is the value the system shows and adds to athletes, especially coaches. People working in all fields, including sports, have a high level of motivation and determination only when they are valued, encouraged and rewarded for the work they love, and they reflect this on the athletes they work with. The most important thing to remember is that there can be no sports without an athlete. For this reason, it is important to train qualified trainers, to encourage them to train qualified athletes, and to invest in the right spot.


[1] SERKAN KARAYEL, Science of Sports, Yöntem Üzerine Sohbet B01: Yetenek Seçimi P02