Thursday, May 23, 2019

5 Phases of Player Development

The 5 Phases of Player Development

Sports are a great avenue for children and youth to explore and grow in their physical, mental and social development.  There have been several conversations circling around the difference between recreational sports and competitive.  There is even some confusion about the difference.  The competitive world of sports has advanced and the development of players who desire to Play College Athletics is starting at a younger age than it did ten years ago.  If a player wants to play at the College Level or Professionally, the development is starting at a much younger age.  Parents and families are INVESTED when Playing at the College or Professional Levels are the END GOAL.

When you have the END GOAL to play at an Elite level, you begin to make intentional decisions about training.  You invest in going to events where you can gain highly competitive experience and gain exposure to scouts and recruiters.

The high level of confidence we see develop in the Elite phase comes with experience and repetition of the craft.  Players at this level view it as a necessity to win.

There are some that play at a Competitive level and are very intentional about their technical and tactical training which includes film study. We see this level of development when players take initiative to get better and improve.

Players who have sparked a passion for the game they play will be willing to put in the time and effort it takes to develop physically and mentally.  That passion is what draws them in to the Commitment to get to all practices, weight lifting and conditioning.  In this phase, players are willing to sacrifice and forego other activities because their passion for the sport is attractive and they want to get better.

When players have not reached this level of commitment, they may just be interested in the sport. There is nothing wrong with be interested in a sport and playing recreational sports or intramural sports.  This type of play is for those who truly enjoy just playing for fun.  There is a great amount of interested players who truly enjoy playing but have no desire to get serious about competing at a high level.  It is important to identify the difference between Interest and commitment, because it can cause frustrations for players, teammates and coaches when some parties are committed to development and others are not.

The beginning of the process can be at any age and typically players will find out pretty soon if they have an interest in learning more about the sport.  Some take a liking to it almost immediately and some don't understand it, but in due time - seem to pick up interest in the sport.  The Introduction of a sport can take any amount of time for players to learn the rules and basic skills necessary to play.

What phase of the development process are you in?  Do you desire to reach the elite level of performance in your sport but lack commitment, passion or competitiveness?  Perhaps training and repetition is the missing piece to you developing further.  Research your sport, take initiative and ask your coach for more resources and help with growing.  Your development is a process and it takes time, dedication and focus in a particular sport if you ever desire to BE ELITE.

Thank you for reading and don't forget to share this with somebody.  #KBJAcademy #BeElite #PlayCollegeBasketball

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Top 10 Blog Posts

KBJ Academy Top 10 Blogs:

#10: Trust 

9/20/18 - Building a team of any capacity requires for people to trust.  There are several levels of trust that must be developed in order for the team to reach optimal success.  Here are some areas of focus on building that leaders can evaluate:

1. In order to be successful, there must be a level of trust in the leader.  People who do not believe in their leader will not execute effectively and will not invest all they have.  

2. Another key area to be aware of is the level of trust in each other.  These are the most common areas of vulnerability because you have different people coming from different backgrounds, beliefs, systems, lifestyles etc. trying to figure out their role within a team.  

3. The last area that I want to bring to light is trust in the process.  I can say this from experience playing on several teams, coaching several teams and also running businesses managing million dollar budgets --- "if your response to failure is blaming someone else, you won't have a lot of trust in your process.  People want to know that they can be safe to make mistakes in your organization and not be ostracized because of it."  Now can you effectively correct and criticize people who make mistakes....absolutely!  Do not get it confused, you can and should always correct mistakes made, but the process that you develop as a leader must give room for mistakes and have prepared steps to recover.  



#9: People Builders

5/22/16 - Why did you decide to become a coach?  Is it to help people?  Is it to win games?  Is it to be in authority? Is it simply out of a love and passion for the game?


Whatever your reason, have you began to develop your purpose on a deeper and more fulfilling level?  If you have been coaching for more than five years, I hope the answer to this is YES.  Hopefully by now you see the effect you can have on players, coaches and community members and you choose to use that in a positive way. "Our young people are the future leaders for our world and we have to prepare them to take this opportunity to serve, lead and uplift others." 


#8: Screens

5/20/18 - Its one of the most utilized offensive fundamentals of the game.  Whether you are playing 3 on 3 or a full on 5 on 5 real game competition, screens are a great tools that should be practiced daily.  What is  screen?

Image result for setting a screen in basketballScreen - When a player uses his/her body to block a defender to get their teammate open for a shot.  One of the most historical teams of all time UCLA won 10 national championships with great offensive techniques which included spacing, ball movement, players moving with out the ball, timing and screens!  To this day, the UCLA screen is still being used throughout the country because of the tremendous success this screen opens up when used correctly.  

KBJ's 4 Tips to using screens:

  1. TIMING: Wait until the screen is set before you move, if you are moving at the same time as the screener that's an unforced turnover (moving screen)
  2. SPACING: make sure you have adequate space to set/use the screen
  3. RUB: Rub off screener shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot so the defense can not slide through
  4. AWARENESS: Take what the defense gives you. Check to see if the screener's man helped over - then the screener is open, or if helpside came over, then their man is open  


#7: Community

4/22/17 - One thing that I always enjoyed about playing sports was being apart of something that was bigger than me.  I truly believe that anyone who has ever been apart of a team, understands how that dynamic can help you get through the highs and lows of life.  You draw closer together during loss and you celebrate with each other when you succeed. Things that seem impossible alone, become attainable when we know someone is there to support us.  It becomes your community.    As we continue to grow older, we move at times and join new communities.  We have some people leave our communities.  I believe one of the most valuable things we can create in any job, school or neighborhood is to establish a sense of community.  When you have a community, you have unity. You have people who care for one another.  You will also have people that support you even when you feel like giving up.  The best part about a community is that you are never alone.  You have people that look forward to seeing you and miss you when you are gone.  Who doesn't want to belong to a community?  We were created to connect with one another.



#6: Giving Back

6/7/16 - One of the most beneficial gifts we can attain on this earth is wisdom. The actual pursuit of knowledge is a life long process but as we grow and learn, we should not forget to give back to others.  So to continue growing our business - KBJ Academy and giving back to other coaches or players that might be seeking answers we are in the process of building on our services to offer.




#5: The Play

8/2/17 - "play" in sports is nothing but a standardize way to play the game of the sport that's being played.  Within a play, there are a lot of elements that go into performing a play.  Different elements that go into performing a play is formation, what action is being performed in the play, and what are all options in the play that should be looked at in attempting to reach team goals in the game.  Coaches, what is your play?  How does your team learn all elements that make up the play?  For example, any business or organization you work for have policies.  Policies are the "plays" within an organization.  Procedures are the elements that employees learn to make policies work and without procedure, there is no policy, without policy, there's no reason for procedure.  How will your team be successful?
  • Formation
  • The Action Performed In The Play
  • What Are The Options Players Can Use
Now that we have discussed three elements within a "play," remember what was mentioned in the first paragraph; "a play is nothing but a standardize way to play the game."  As much teaching and repetition that goes into players being equipped with all the different elements of a play to run that play to perfection, a key phrase to remember is "play the game."  Coaches, players can run plays more freely to showcase their talent within the play if you break down the play so they can "play."

259 Views = https://www.kbjacademy.com/2017/08/the-play.html

#4: Learning Styles

11/21/17 - As promised, I want to expand on my previous post about the 4 different learning styles according to the VARK model.  VARK is an acronym for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic as the four main learning domains.  My first year as a head coach, I decided to have each player take this quick 5 minute test that helps me see how they best learn.  As I went on through the years of coaching, I studied them so well, now I can pickup on someones learning style simply through conversation and hearing their tendacies.  I have also become more observant and I watch when the light bulb goes off so I can make a mental note to help with teaching those individuals.  You can learn more about the VARK learning styles here: http://vark-learn.com/

For creating a positive learning environment, it is important that as a leader, teacher or coach you are aware that everyone learns in different ways and at different speeds.  I want to write this blog to be more about how to implement and apply these learning styles.  Have each player and coach take a learning style survey so you can better understand how to get information across to your team.  

As a coach, once I got a hold of really appreciating these learning styles I was able to create environments that would accommodate these different learners.  Another reason my teams play so hard for me and my players give me such great effort is because they UNDERSTAND what I am saying.  Not because of me being a "great coach" but really more because I am compassionate and understanding that not everyone learns the same way.  So I must be sensitive to them individually.  Preseason is so vital to teams bonding and really understanding my expectations as a coach.  So I must intentionally create practices, meetings and film sessions that engage all learning styles so that each one of my players is able to grow and learn our team identity and style of play. 

260 Views = https://www.kbjacademy.com/2017/11/learning-styles.html

#3: Feedback

11/16/16 - I often hear coaches say they give their players constructive criticism.  Some have said that this generation of players are too "sensitive" to receive it.  I want to challenge all coaches and really any person in authority to try the concept of giving feedback instead.

Here is the difference. See constructive criticism - although in your eyes - you think you are really helping. As a coach and even a player I received constructive criticism and gave it. What I came to finally realize....At the end of the day - it's still criticism. It's like saying this will be a "friendly tornado." It very well could be friendly, but you better get in a closet because it's still deadly! A tornado is a tornado! So you can dress constructive criticism up however pretty you like, it is still criticism.

Coaches are not critics. Coaches are teachers of a specific sport. With that being said,we are not called to criticize, but instead to teach. So to sum this up - I encourage you wherever you are to give feedback.


#2: Mental Toughness

3/1/18 - I can recall as an athlete being told to have mental toughness and even coaching players saying the same thing.  What is mental toughness?  How can one have mental toughness without first being taught how to do so?  Here are a few quick tips on mental toughness that can apply to athletes, coaches, employees, managers, leaders or even children:
  1. Define your Identity: Know who you are.  Know who you are capable of.  Know what your strengths are.  Know what your weaknesses are.  Write these things down and be confident in them.
  2. Repetition is the pre-requisite to Confidence.  You will be confident in something you do repeatedly (even if it is the wrong thing).  I have seen players take bad shots and they are confident in those shots, because its what they have always done.  I have seen children not get their way and throw a tantrum because it has worked in the past to get there way, so they keep doing it.  So when you see these bad habits - redirect them to what is appropriate.  Then repeat this and have them repeat the correct habits.  This could take weeks, months or even a few years before you see a change.  You will know that their confidence has shifted when you no longer have to redirect, that they are self led.
  3. Confidence in your own identity and gifts will be huge keys in this next one which is Cooperate with others.  Collaboration or better known as Team Work in today's world, because we cannot expect to have success in life - alone.  How can a team be successful if the people within are jealous and manipulative and trying to tear one another down.  The ability to work with others, be confident in your own identity and appreciate other's strengths - is pivotal in our life.  We must be ok with others having success.  We must also be empathetic when others have pain and do what we can to help them keep moving forward.

#1: Creating A Learning Environment

10/23/17 - As we travel and help other people WIN in their goals and aspirations, we had a very interesting dialogue that I want to blog about and share:

  1. Connect with each PERSON and Create a Sense of Belonging
  2. Listen Actively
  3. KNOW Your Audience
  4. Accommodate EACH LEARNING STYLE 
  5. Have a PLAN
  6. Articulate the GOAL
  7. Evaluate and Give FEEDBACK


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

It’s time to be intentional about TEAM Building!

Who have you trusted with your dreams and goals?  Are they FOR you?  Have they been where you are trying to go and willing to help you get there?

Surround yourself with a TEAM!


When we take ownership of our surroundings, we can change things.  We can position ourselves for success.  Here are some quick tips to reach those goals you set long ago, tried and never quite finished....the goals you thought about, but dared not to tell anyone:

1. Go back to the place where you were able to dream.
2. Forgive yourself for not being where you thought you would be by now.
3. Forgive whoever hurt you or mis-guided you....Press the RESET button.
4. Write down your goals and make the VISION plain.
5. Surround yourself with a TEAM that can get you to these goals.

Sometimes we are surrounded by sweet people or we have friends that love something about us, but they have no personal interest in our success.  People who are FOR US will not let the dream die without seeing it come to pass.  People who are truly on our TEAM will encourage us, correct us and remind us of those goals we set and continue to support us in the highs and lows of life.  The TEAM doesn’t have to be BIG for you to accomplish your goals, but the TEAM should be engaged and invested in our VISION.


We have spent the last 12 years coaching and training young men and women from all over the world to reach their goals.  We listen to their dreams and their aspirations and we give them practical tools to reach their goals.  We may have only coached them for a season, but we were able to instill some lifelong lessons that have carried them beyond sports.


Take some time to evaluate your TEAM and find people that will PUSH you forward to WIN!  Winners surround themselves by winners.  We cannot WIN surrounded by losing mindsets, losing morals or losing conversations.  Cut the ties and consider the cost of your dream.  The vision will cost you sometimes but people on your TEAM are willing to invest in YOU!  Enjoy this blog post and don’t forget to share KBJ Academy with somebody you know. #KBJAcademy #TEAMBuilding



Monday, November 5, 2018

Coffee with KBJ Season 5

Are you enjoying cooler weather and pumpkin flavored....everything? 

We sure are....but there is one more reason why we love fall! Season 5 of Coffee with KBJ premiers tonight at 7:30 pm CST on Facebook live and Spreaker.com!!

Can't make it at 7:30??? Find us on iTunes, iheart radio, Google Play and Spotify and enjoy the motivational podcast anytime!


Listen to "Coffee with KBJ Season 5" on Spreaker.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Trust

Building a team of any capacity requires for people to trust.  There are several levels of trust that must be developed in order for the team to reach optimal success.  Here are some areas of focus on building that leaders can evaluate:

1. In order to be successful, there must be a level of trust in the leader.  People who do not believe in their leader will not execute effectively and will not invest all they have.  These are identifiable by teams who have coaches screaming to the top of their lungs and players have no emotional response.  When you see players not respond (be it good or bad) there is a lack of trust in the leader's direction.  This could be because the leader at some point contradicted themselves, could be because the player feels some level of favoritism, or it could be their own personal resistance to the leader from a personal experience they have not let go.  Either way, these indicators are a sign that the leader has got to take time to develop a relationship and a level of trust with the player.  Take them to lunch, ask them to help you with an app on your phone or take a moment to just visit with them in some down time to reach them and ask them to help you understand their hesitation.  This is the beginning of developing trust in a leader.

2. Another key area to be aware of is the level of trust in each other.  These are the most common areas of vulnerability because you have different people coming from different backgrounds, beliefs, systems, lifestyles etc. trying to figure out their role within a team.  This can especially be difficult because last year their role may have been different from what it currently is.  So transitioning to a new role can cause jealousy, friction, confusion and a lack of trust among team members.  This can be alleviated through diversity training, role definition and meetings that empower each person to own their place within the team understanding that one person is not more important than another and that each person is valuable.  Once this is understood, you can give them tools, training and encouragement to own their role and add value to the team.  This happens not just with time but with strategic personal development to the people that make up the team not only from the leaders or coaches but should also be a daily goal for each team member.  A great measuring tool to ask daily and ensure trust is being developed is for everyone to ask "How can I add value to my team?"  Instead of what can my team do for me.  This will cause the focus to shift towards the Team.

3. The last area that I want to bring to light is trust in the process.  What is your process as a manager, leader or coach?  Have you clearly defined the process from beginning to end?  Is your process comprehensive to others?  Have you taken time to break the process down into seasons or like in the business world - 4 quarters of the fiscal year.  Have you studied the trends of the different seasons that your program goes through and are you able to identify the highs and lows so that you can successfully lead your team through your process?  Have you developed steps to regain momentum when you do experience a low or is your response to blame somebody?  I can say this from experience playing on several teams, coaching several teams and also running businesses managing million dollar budgets --- if your response to failure is blaming someone else and that's it, you won't have a lot of trust in your process.  People want to know that they can be safe to make mistakes in your organization and not be ostracized because of it.  Now can you effectively correct and criticize people who make mistakes....absolutely!  Do not get it confused, you can and should always correct mistakes made, but the process that you develop as a leader must give room for mistakes and have prepared steps to recover.  For example, practicing what to do if your basketball team turns the ball over.  Have built in drills in practice that allow players to condition and prepare for mistakes so that their response is moving on to the next play and stopping the ball so the other team doesn't go on a run from one mistake.  It should be apart of your process as a coach.  When you have a realistic process that gives room not just for when we have momentum, but includes when we have lost it, players will commit to the process more because they can give it all they have and know what to do when they make a mistake.


Consider trust to be one of those intangibles that can not be as easily calculated as points on a scoreboard but can be just as critical to the success of any team.  Take a moment to evaluate your team's trust in you, each other and in the process.

We would love to hear back from you about what you think about our blog.  Leave us a review, rate us and don't forget to share this with someone you know.

Kevin & Brenita Jackson



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Giving Back

We believe in giving back at KBJ Academy and we wanted to celebrate 4 years in business by honoring our supporters. We cannot say thank you enough to every person who bought a ticket to our conference or if you made a donation in the past year.  Thank you.

KBJ Academy is a consulting business founded by Kevin and Brenita Jackson in August 2014 with just a blog to offer basketball coaches insight from our experience of changing losing cultures to winning cultures.  After the blog, we began to offer individual skills training, camps, clinics and hosting various tournaments. 

As the business progressed, services expanded to offer team building retreats, business coaching and a podcast called "Coffee with KBJ" which is available on itunes, iheart radio, google play, spotify and spreaker.com.  Kevin and Brenita spend most of their time traveling to pour encouragement and motivation into each person that they cross paths with including starting a mentoring program in 2017.  This mentor program has grown since its inception and includes boys and girls ages 5 and older all over the Dallas Ft. Worth metroplex. 


TRSS Mentoring Program 2018 Members


TRSS Mentoring Program 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Check us out on Facebook for the whole album: https://www.facebook.com/KBJAcademy/

If you or someone you know would like information on our mentoring program, you can email us at trssmentor@gmail.com or visit us online at http://www.trssmentor.com/ to donate or sign up!

Friday, July 27, 2018

TEAM Building

What is a TEAM to you?  A group of individuals who come together for a common goal.

Would you consider that you are apart of a team in your family, on your job and even in your neighborhood?  It's true!  Though not in the traditional sense of how we probably limit the concept of team building to sports environments, we can use the same concepts to build stronger relationships in ALL areas of our lives.  Watch this video by KBJ Academy owners Kevin and Brenita Jackson to dive deeper into how we should look at our TEAM!

After deciding that you want to build a SUCCESSFUL team, have you had an opportunity to dive into the various areas that could affect your team?  Take some time to consider the people around you and the relationships you have.  Do they work with you or against you?

Consider your adversity and hurdles that would come your way and how would you work to grow through those challenges.  Are you surrounded by a team of people that will work with you to achieve your goals.  

How are you building your team?  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Screens

Its one of the most utilized offensive fundamentals of the game.  Whether you are playing 3 on 3 or a full on 5 on 5 real game competition, screens are a great tools that should be practiced daily.  What is  screen?

Image result for setting a screen in basketballScreen - When a player uses his/her body to block a defender to get their teammate open for a shot.  One of the most historical teams of all time UCLA won 10 national championships with great offensive techniques which included spacing, ball movement, players moving with out the ball, timing and screens!  To this day, the UCLA screen is still being used throughout the country because of the tremendous success this screen opens up when used correctly.  Even as I watched the women's final four this past March I noticed great screen setting and use in order to create quality shots especially from Notre Dame.  Love watching them play, very fundamental and very high IQs.

The current trend that most teams use in today's game on the men's and women's game is the ball screen which forces the defender to have to choose how they will guard the ball.  With the ball screen, defenses may switch, hedge, trap or even go under the ball screen which is primarily based on the kind of offensive threats they are up against.  If the guard is a good shooter, then usually a hedge, trap or switch works best.  If the guard is more effective getting to the rim, then going under the screen is best to cut them off before they turn the corner.

Another factor to consider is the players setting the screen. The person setting the screen is typically the person who gets open because their man has to communicate that a screen is coming their teammate, they have to help and recover.  These factors give the screener seconds to roll, pop or even slip based on how they are being guarded.

Screens in the game of basketball are an act of selflessness.  A player who is committed to the team's success and focused on getting someone else open will always set a good screen.  This is a great motivator for players who don't see their purpose within a play - If you set a great screen, You will get open.  Its that simple.

KBJ's 4 Tips to using screens:

  1. TIMING: Wait until the screen is set before you move, if you are moving at the same time as the screener that's an unforced turnover (moving screen)
  2. SPACING: make sure you have adequate space to set/use the screen
  3. RUB: Rub off screener shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot so the defense can not slide through
  4. AWARENESS: Take what the defense gives you. Check to see if the screener's man helped over - then the screener is open, or if helpside came over, then their man is open  


Whatever level you coach, whatever style of play you coach, screening is a huge part of the offensive fundamentals that all players must develop.  I encourage you to work on setting, using and defending screens daily.  Go through various types of screens so that your players are familiar with them all: UCLA screens, ball screens, flex screens, flare screens, pin screens, down screens, back screens, cross screens and stagger screens.  Great floor spacing and solid screen setting will yield great open shots for any team.  Check out kbjacademy.com for more blogs related to this article.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mental Toughness

I can recall as an athlete being told to have mental toughness and even coaching players saying the same thing.  What is mental toughness?

How can one have mental toughness without first being taught how to do so?



Here are a few quick tips on mental toughness that can apply to athletes, coaches, employees, managers, leaders or even children:


  1. Define your Identity: Know who you are.  Know who you are capable of.  Know what your strengths are.  Know what your weaknesses are.  Write these things down and be confident in them.
  2. Repetition is the pre-requisite to Confidence.  You will be confident in something you do repeatedly (even if it is the wrong thing).  I have seen players take bad shots and they are confident in those shots, because its what they have always done.  I have seen children not get their way and throw a tantrum because it has worked in the past to get there way, so they keep doing it.  So when you see these bad habits - redirect them to what is appropriate.  Then repeat this and have them repeat the correct habits.  This could take weeks, months or even a few years before you see a change.  You will know that their confidence has shifted when you no longer have to redirect, that they are self led.
  3. Confidence in your own identity and gifts will be huge keys in this next one which is Cooperate with others.  Collaboration or better known as Team Work in today's world, because we cannot expect to have success in life - alone.  How can a team be successful if the people within are jealous and manipulative and trying to tear one another down.  The ability to work with others, be confident in your own identity and appreciate other's strengths - is pivotal in our life.  We must be ok with others having success.  We must also be empathetic when others have pain and do what we can to help them keep moving forward.
These three steps will position anybody for mental toughness.  Like I tell each player I have ever coached - anybody can be mentally tough during good times or when you are up by 20 points in a game.  The true test of your mental toughness will be when adversity comes and everything looks like it will fall apart.  Will you know who you are in that moment?  Will you have confidence in what you have been doing and practicing?  Will you work with others to make sure you overcome this?

Mental toughness is not developed overnight.  Nor is is practiced enough in our world today and when we experience hard times, we begin to question who we are?  Why are we even doing this?  DO NOT BECOME A VICTIM TO THIS WAY OF THINKING. 

Take intentional steps today by being transformed in your mind and renewing the way you think!

#BeBlessed

KBJ