05/15/12 On Thursday, May 10th, the Plymouth Boys Basketball Program hosted its 1st annual Father/Son Clinic under Coach Bales which included over 100 participants.  The clinic was used as an opportunity for several children in grades K-8 to spend an evening with their father, family member, or friend developing their skills as a basketball player while having a fun time with them as well.  During the first half of the clinic the Plymouth boys basketball coaching staff and high school players took the participants through a round of stations that included passing, shooting, dribbling, and defensive drills.  The purpose of this was to not only assist the younger players in how to play the game, but also instruct the adults on how we want the drills taught.

Once the stations were complete, the adults and youth players split up to hear some guest speakers.  Ryan McNeil, former Plymouth basketball player from this past season, and Winston Yergler, a former North Judson-San Pierre Bluejay player under Coach Bales, spoke to the players for several minutes on the importance of doing your best, having a good attitude, and also what it takes to be a great player.  The players also demonstrated some shooting and ballhandling drills for the younger Pilgrim players.

While this was taking place in the gym, the adults had the opportunity to listen to a couple of guest speakers as well.  Todd Gongwer, author of the book “Lead for God’s Sake”, took time out of his schedule to talk to the father’s and other adults on the topic of leadership.  Being a father and husband himself, he used some of his own life experiences as examples of times of influence for his family and others.  The book, “Lead For God’s Sake”, has been endorsed by former Irish football coach Lou Holtz and current Ohio State Buckeye coach Urban Meyer.  The other speaker was former Notre Dame Fighting Irish great and current San Antonio Spurs D-League player Luke Zeller.  Although Luke does not have children yet, he was able to touch on how his father positively impacted his life growing up on and off the court.  The evening concluded with a game of dodgeball for the younger Pilgrim players and high school players.  Overall, it was a great evening of learning basketball and life skills in the gymnasium.

Coach Bales commented, “This is one of the greatest camps or clinics we do because it allows the opportunity for dad’s and their children to spend an evening together.  It is neat to see the dad’s assisting in drills, rebounding for their son, and encouraging them along the way.  I think it is another great example of how parents can have such a positive impact on their child.

Bales said, “It was a very beneficial night because parents also get to see how we teach certain drills and also got to hear some outstanding speakers, but the highlight of this night is giving kids an opportunity to hang out with the person they look up to and allowing adults a chance to have some fun with their child.”

“It was even more special to me this year because I was able to participate alongside my two older boys Nolan and Mason.  I thought our players and coaching staff did an outstanding job of interracting with the adults and kids and working to help improve our program”, Bales added.

The Plymouth Boys Basketball Program will be hosting its fundamental and skills camp on June 12-15.  Information will be coming soon.