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A heartwarming basketball story

I hope this message finds you well. In a previous article I called Spain the best basketball blueprint. Today I want to share an example on how they do an excellent job in building a basketball culture. Because I love the story and because it’s a heartwarming  ❤️️ one in times where Corona heavily affects our community.

I had the chance to work for 6 months in Valencia. A couple of weeks ago, the Spanish club shared a message on their social media and I cannot stop smiling when I see it. 

Valencia has probably the most impressive youth facilities of Europe, called l’Alqueria del Basket. Around the main court of the facilities, they created a “Mur dels Somnis” (“Wall of Dreams“). Last week they added the name of the 18 year old Guillem Ferrando. Revealing his name for eternity was a club event with hundreds of kids of the club, as you can see below  👇

A player gets the honour to end up on the wall whenever he or she played at least 3 years for youth program of the club and then makes his first minutes on the first team. 

When I scroll through those pics, I see the sparkle ✨ in the eyes of all those kids. They all want to have their names on that wall. Do you notice that they all wear the same uniform? It’s not just for the ceremony. Every player in the club, from U6 to the EuroLeague roster, including the coaching staff / medical staff / cleaning personel / … , wears the same uniform every single day. 

The club added a picture of Guillem with all the youth coaches he has worked with in the club. For them it’s a priceless reward for their daily efforts.

Everybody realizes that a kid with an intrinsic motivation has a way bigger chance to make it then when his motivation is mostly extrinsic (money, dream of the parents, …). But as a club you can build an identity and a culture to create an environment where everybody takes pride in being part of the club. All such initiatives add up to a stronger intrinsic motivation of the kids. And to that sparkle ✨ in their eyes… 

This current time-out from live basketball gives us a lot of time to overthink things. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to make sure we have our priorities right in running a basketball program…

Who-ever reads my newsletter knows that I’m not the biggest fan of watching “isolation basketball”. Today however, “ISO-BALL” is the only gameplan that will work to stop the Covid-19 virus 🦠. Please STAY HOME to stop spreading the virus!

Take care and stay healthy, wherever you are.  🍀🙏
Pascal.

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Recently I did a podcast with Chris Oliver of Basketball Immersion.