INDIANAPOLIS -- In a continuing effort to improve the quality of youth basketball, iHoops, the official youth basketball organization of the NCAA and NBA, has partnered with the National Federation of State High Schools to launch the iHoops Coach Certification program. The interactive courses, available exclusively through iHoops.com, are designed to provide new and experienced coaches at the grassroots and high school levels with substantive tools to improve coaching and mentoring skills, fundamentals and strategy, and knowledge of the game and its core values.
"Coaches are trustees of the game and we believe this program, which has been developed by basketball experts and complements iHoops' mission to improve young players' athletic, educational, and social experiences, is a tremendous starting point to help coaches become better at what they do," said iHoops CEO, Len Elmore.
Endorsed by the NBA, NCAA, USA Basketball, and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the innovative iHoops basketball and mentoring lessons, instructional videos, best practices, and continuing education are tailored for coaches of players ages 19 and under and ages 12 and under. The interactive coursework will help coaches teach the game positively while making the safety and well-being of young players the priority. After completion, coaches will be listed in the official iHoops Coaches Directory on iHoops.com.
"USA Basketball has partnered with iHoops to further develop the level of basketball coaching expertise for our youth," said USA Basketball CEO and Executive Director, Jim Tooley. "The iHoops Coach Certification program, including the on court tutorials, will be an excellent way to assist with the education of basketball coaches at various levels."
The AAU, one of the nation's largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations -- and iHoops partner -- pledged to work with its thousands of youth coaches to encourage participation in the online program, including coaches involved with national championships at all age levels. "The AAU is committed to continuing education for our coaches and we have sought programs that provide more practical knowledge of the game's values, as well as instruction and mentoring development," said AAU Director of Sports, James Parker. "We believe the iHoops Coach Certification program accomplishes all of these important elements."
The foundation for the iHoops instructional courses was developed by researchers and scientists at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University. The three courses designed for interscholastic-age players and two courses for pre-adolescent children include basic and advanced skills in playing offense and defense. Additionally, each level guides coaches in how to develop a mentoring philosophy, communicate with parents, acquire a stronger understanding of the needs of young people of various age groups, and create a positive learning environment.