To develop a top-notch high school or summer basketball program with consistent success, you MUST develop a good feeder system. This is what the great coaches do. This will ensure that you have skilled players every single year and will set you apart from your competition.
To develop a good feeder system, getting player participation is a must, otherwise your whole feeder system is for not.
Here are some tips to improve player participation:
- Bring younger groups into some of your practices. You'll have opportunities to build closer ties with their coaches, and you'll expose them to the higher skill levels they will need to make the team later on. The younger kids idolize the high school players too.
- Bring younger groups to some of your games. Again, this will reinforce program ties and will give the kids a taste of the excitement that they could be a part of when they're older.
- Run a special event like a Christmas Vacation 3-Day Camp for your feeder community. This will give you a chance to to work more extensively with the budding athletes. The fact that you take the time and effort to do this for them will make a great impression on the kids and set them on a productive developmental track.
- Showcase younger groups in halftime competitions at your games. This gives them a taste of the spotlight and a chance to demonstrate their game to you, whose opinion they value tremendously. Be sure to give them plenty of meaningful encouragement and feedback on these occasions.
- Attend games of your feeder teams. Seeing you in the stands will let them know that you are interested in them and will give you a chance to monitor the culture that has been established.
- Build good lines of communication with the coaches in your feeder system. Before you know it, you'll have gained their respect, created allies, and found at least a few new good friends.
- Frequently and consistently talk and meet with coaches in the feeder system (this includes lower level coaches in middle school and so on). This is VERY important. You MUST develop real relationships with these people. This is the key to success. You must get to know these people on a personal level. Meet with them frequently to learn about their needs, get their opinion, and also communicate your vision. A consistent schedule is a must if you want your feeder system to be successful.