Parents:  I know this is a LOT OF STUFF!!  I get how busy everybody is.  But these are your children, and I love children!  So i sometimes get quite detailed about issues like this (Our tournament approach) because I think it takes time, energy, effort and COHERENCE to explain why Basics does things the way we do, which is often the OPPOSITE of the status quo.  And our “tournament” model is indeed the opposite for good reason. 

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Time is Short

A key to growth and development in basically ANY endeavor is repetition.  This is a LAW OF LEARNING and is life long.   Basics is all about repetition, giving these kids the required reps to improve. The youth basketball status quo is often the opposite. The status quo is most often about playing and competition and outcomes. Repetitions are not even in the equation and it’s the main reason why so many kids can’t play.  They are unprepared.  NOTE: we believe “youth basketball” relates to players ages 18 and younger.   17-18 year old kids are still kids.


Time is short.  If you want your son or daughter to excel, NOW IS THE TIME for improvement and repetition.  Don’t delay.


It’s difficult to explain that competition is often the last thing these kids need. Competition and competitive growth are barely related. The ugly fact is many kids get worse when they compete, because they don’t have sharp skills to begin with.  How are they going to improve by competing when their skills are weak or even moderate?


Competition does NOT sharpen skills.  Competition REVEALS skill.


This brings us to our “tournament” model.  Basics insists on running our own events because the status quo is inconsistent.  I am being polite.  As my mom taught me, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.”  So I will talk about the events Basics manages. We have officials.  The kids wear uniforms.  There will be NO admission April 30!!  (normally-$3.  Kids under 12 FREE)  There is a scoreboard that tracks the score.  And the similarities basically end there.   In bullet point form:


  • Time permitting, it is very likely your kids will do the MIKAN DRILL before we play.  PARENTS:  where is your child on this skill spectrum? See HERE for numbers and what they mean.  This is an objective measurement of skill.
  • Nearly 100% of the teams and players will be Basics players (occasionally we have room for an outside team)
  • We only want 7-8 players on a team.  We sometimes only have 6.  We hate when kids are sitting, can NOT stand it.   THIS IS WHY WE REALLY NEED TO KNOW IF YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER IS GOING TO MISS THE EVENT. (2022:  April 30 and May 21)  Please communicate if you will miss these events.  [email protected]
  • There is NO ZONE permitted.  See this NBA Coach decrying youth teams that play zone.
  • If we only have 5 or 6 kids on one of the teams, we will often grab another Basics player hanging around and BOOM!  They get to play another game.   TIP:  hang around.
  • If a game is unbalanced and not competitive, we will often juggle the line ups to create more competitive match ups.  We may re-set the score.
  • A principle of mental strength is to not care too much about outcomes, that if we focus too much on outcomes, the chances for a negative result skyrocket.  This is why we don’t really care too much about these “games”.  Basics is far more interested in your son or daughter not missing ANY practices.
  • Every team plays 2 games in either 2 or 3 hours MAX.  IN and OUT of the gym.  Then go about your day and enjoy Michigan in the spring.  See video clip on basketball in the state of Michigan.
  • Our players will CLEAN UP THEIR bench areas after each game.  They will not leave any messes.  This is important.


Whether your son or daughter is the VERY BEST player or just scratching to make a team, Basics is the right choice.  Players who attend our training will improve.



  1. A Basics varsity team once went 7-1 at a Detroit AAU event, won the event by 25 points in the final game and it was easily the WORST experience I have have ever had in youth basketball.  INFO HERE
  2. Crunch Time podcast: 7:49  Ages 10-13
  3. The code of Travel Teams: 5:11
  4. The Mikan Drill.  WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER?  I mean REALLY???  If the kid isn’t in the excellent category, why in the world would parents pay all that $$ when the kid can’t play to begin with?  2:30
  5. Mental Strength Champions:  4:11