After many months of work and preparation we're finally here, we've made it! For those of you that don't know me, Mark or Sarah, I should let you know that this academy is really the result of three people getting together to combine their passion for helping young people find their own individual greatness through team sports. Ever since I met Mark at one of his group skills training sessions over 4 years ago, I have been looking for the right opportunity to share him and his positive approach to Total Player Development with the rest of the world. When Mark decided to leave his successful sales career over the summer to focus exclusively on helping young people, the opportunity to help him share his skills with more than the small group of players he was training was HERE.
Now, 7 months later, Swish Basketball Academy is a reality. With what started as a dream to give ALL young men and women open access to the best skills training available at the lowest, most affordable price possible has resulted in over 40 players joining the academy in our first week of operation and with another 100 players waiting to join over the next 2 weeks. We've expanded from 4 hours of practice time a week with 3 teams at Aviation Gym in Redondo Beach to another additional 4 hours of practice time a week at legendary Victoria Park Gym in Carson. We are also getting strong interest from a large group of parents in Palos Verdes and Pasadena to expand our program to their neighborhoods in the coming weeks - all of this based on the very simple goal of helping young people find their own individual greatness through team sports.
Mark and I have had plenty of help as we've lead up to our launch. From DeAnthony Langston of the Nike Real Run, to Jason Crowe at Paul Pierce "The Truth", to John "JP" Peterson at Shoot 360 and everyone in between, the encouragement, support and overwhelming goodwill you've shown have helped us move this academy from concept to reality in a very short period of time. In addition to all of the support we've received, the feedback from our new group of players has ranged from "this is awesome" to "can we practice more than one day a week" to "I love my new team"... which, at the end of the day, is what Mark and I had hoped for.
For those of you that are hearing about us for the first time or were told to check us out by a friend, here's what we're all about - Swish Basketball Academy is a Club Basketball Program focused on Total Player Development. You are probably thinking, "What is 'Total Player Development' and why do these guys think it's important?" We define Total Player Development as a combination of physical skills training (dribbling, passing, footwork and shooting) and mental and emotional well-being (social and emotional IQ). We believe that basketball is a great platform for teaching young people life lessons. Our method is very simple, we help young people learn to:
Trust and believe in their ability to make decisions for themselves
Take calculated risks in their pursuit of personal growth and recover quickly when they fail
Invest in others through open communication and collaboration
To this end, Mark and I have been incredibly fortunate to have met Sarah Straton. Where Mark is the brilliance behind all-things-basketball at the academy, Sarah is our shining star for all-things-child development. We met Sarah as we were just getting started last year and we ALL knew immediately that she was the missing piece to the puzzle we were putting together. Not only is Sarah a highly accomplished athlete in her own right (15 year Professional Beach Volleyball Player and Olympian) she is the driving force behind everything we do to help our players feel safe and supported. Moving forward, this blog will be Sarah's forum. She'll use this platform as a way of keeping everyone updated on the methods we're using to support our players, information on how we can more effectively support our players in their endeavors + information and links to emerging sports science and psychology on how we can create optimal conditions for our athletes to perform at their best.
For all of you that have already joined us on this journey... THANK YOU! And, for those of you that are just learning about Swish, please feel free to contact us if you're interested in learning more. Here's to a great 2017!