More than Basketball
With the Elite Academy, we aim to not only create a youth basketball development program that helps our athletes become more complete basketball players, but at the same time support their growth as human beings beyond just playing basketball. We aim to build a platform that serves our athletes as optimally as possible to facilitate them towards a career as a professional basketball player, but at the same time taking into consideration their psychophysical and social growth by offering them a wide range of additional experiences throughout their years with us.
Elite Academy is therefore a process which athletes sign-up and commit to: a process which just like its players, is in constant evolution itself. The Academy is therefore an all-encompassing holistic and educational basketball program that transcends the often narrow scope of other traditional sports programs. EA players are immersed in an international, supportive and communal environment affording them the ability to discover their full potential.
Our training methodology is one based around long-term athlete development. We do not have a short-term vision based upon winning games or maximising individual stats, because this mindset places an emphasis upon performance and immediate results which often leads to a loss of spontaneity and fear to try new things. A growth mindset however is fostered by an environment where failure is applauded as an example of daring to try, while being supported by honest feedback and communication. This is the embodiment of a collaborative approach where all individuals in the team hold each other accountable for the development of both the individual and the team.
Rather than a results-oriented approach which is all too common in most youth sports programs, we focus on a process-oriented approach. This may of course mean that to outsiders a perception is created that the program is not always “working” or running smoothly, however those “in the process” realise the path they have chosen is not the one leading to the quickest results; rather the one with the highest long-term learning potential and behavioural flexibility. These are qualities developed through a consistent process of trying, struggling and learning over time.
Being too good, too early often leads to athletes refraining from learning new skills, which is exactly what we want to avoid. We want our athletes to be known for being the most creative and innovative. Diversity in the practice environment brings immunity in the game, or as you find within our Elite Athletes Facility walls; “hard in here, easy out there.”
“A process, which just like our players, is never finished – always in process.”
The training process of our Academy is based upon studies that support the superiority of differential learning as opposed to traditional methods. Instead of employing sequential, ‘block practice’ training techniques, we focus on random practice which involves decision-making as much as possible. This is one of the distinguishing factors that separates an amateur player, who may perform well in out-of-context training drills, from the performer; who is able to translate his skill-set from practice to the demands of the game.
All of this starts with the training environment we create day-after-day in practice, of which the game is an extension allowing for new teachings to be applied and tested. Above all, we want our players to enjoy the process, to be constantly challenged at a level that supports their growth, and to discover more about themselves. This is part of their growth towards the basketball players and human-beings that they can become.
Our role is to create an optimal growth-environment for our athletes, a process supporting who they can become in all aspects. This process is not static, but dynamically adapts to observations made from each practice and game through a closely-knit unit of coaches, players and other academy staff.
A process, which just like our players, is never finished – always in process.