As a competitive student athlete for over 13 years, playing multiple sports on many different levels, I’ve always found that the environment that I compete in plays an essential role in my success as a competitor. When in a supportive environment, I feel as if my ability as an athlete skyrockets, compared to an environment where the only goal is being the “perfect player”. Finding a place of competition that emphasizes not only improving the athlete’s abilities, but also developing the athlete’s character and positive leadership qualities is integral in establishing a wholesome club. From viewing practices, to talking with the kids and the coaches, Swish Basketball Academy is that type of place.
As I sat watching my first practice, while taking some pictures and photos, I quickly noticed the family feel that Swish Basketball brought out in just the first 10 minutes I was there. Coach Mark quickly introduced me to all of the coaches and people that were associated with Swish Basketball that were in the gym. They welcomed me in like family, needless to say. Coach Mark also appeared to be very involved with the parents of the athletes, as he would frequently stop by and say hi to each one that stopped by to watch their kids. As I sat there, a bit of an outsider, I felt extremely welcomed by everyone who interacted with me.
When I watched how the coaches interacted with the kids, a smile came across my face. It was perfect combination of work hard play hard. The coaches made sure that the kids were doing the drills correctly to make sure they were developing correct skills, and if they weren’t doing it correctly, the coaches effectively told the kids how to correct it in a way that they could understand. I was very impressed with how motivated and focused these 4th graders were, which most certainly speaks to the coaching at Swish. They do things the right way, while still being able to make the kids crack a smile and have fun all at the same time. It blended together to create a competitive environment where kids could improve themselves, compete with their teammates, and have fun all at the same time-- the perfect place for a kid to reach their maximum potential as an athlete.