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MYBA 2023 Preseason Coaches Clinic Recap

By Aidan Whitcomb, 10/17/23, 12:00PM CDT


MYBA 2023 Preseason Coaches Clinic Recap

BLAINE, MN - Over 100 basketball coaches from youth associations across Minnesota gathered at the National Sports Center in Blaine on October 14 for the 2023 Minnesota Youth Basketball Alliance (MYBA) Coaches Clinic. The clinic, presented by MYAS in collaboration with Trusted Coaches and the National Sports Center, was designed to provide resources to youth in-house and travel basketball coaches dedicated to enhancing their coaching skills and techniques.

A collection of some of the best high school basketball coaches around the state provided the attendees with valuable pointers on how to be a successful youth coach.

The event began with former Gopher basketball player and sports broadcaster Lea B. Olsen, who spoke on the powerful impact of coaching to young athletes. Olsen, concerned about the current environment of youth sports, created the Rethink the Win initiative, aimed at shifting some of the negative and detrimental attitudes that plague youth sports today. Olsen cited some of the great coaches who served as mentors in her life, such as Pat Summit, Cheryl Reeve, and the late Flip Saunders. Olsen preached about the importance of trust and relationship-building as a coach to young athletes and their parents. She reminded coaches of the role they can play in an athlete’s life and how they have the opportunity to serve as a guiding voice, instill fun, and ease stress.

Following Olsen, Richfield HS boys basketball coach, Omar McMillan, spoke about investment in coaching. McMillan preached the importance of “We > Me” and investing time, money, and energy into your athletes. He encouraged youth coaches to fully buy into the role of coach and find ways that every member of their community can contribute to the team.

East Ridge HS girls basketball coach, Ashley Ellis-Milan, spoke to the clinic about building relationships as a coach with players, parents, and the community. Ellis-Milan emphasized the importance of being a positive role model to your players and finding ways to be motivational to players of all skill sets. She also encouraged coaches to be as transparent as possible with parents and embrace collaboration.

Irondale HS boys basketball coach, Trent Davis, next gave a presentation about preparation and creating practice plans. Davis highlighted knowing your personnel, in both players and assistant coaches, in order to be successful. Understanding how each member of the team can positively contribute to a collective goal is important to accomplishing success.

MBCA Hall of Famer and former Fridley HS boys basketball coach, Jim MacDonald, talked about the importance of fun, teamwork, and hard work in order to create a successful youth basketball environment. MacDonald emphasized building a positive culture in your team and how a coach sets the tone for their players. He also gave coaching insights into how to create healthy and fun competition within your own team, without making any member feel unimportant.

Summit Orthopedics’ Josh Freeney spoke to the coaches about proper warm-up and conditioning techniques for youth basketball and how to keep players healthy and safe. 

Tony Schrepfer, MYAS Director of Officiating Services, also spoke to coaches and answered questions about official-coach collaboration and what is needed from coaches to have a successful relationship.

The day closed with some on-court instructional tips from Cambridge-Isanti HS boys coach Mike McDonald, Duluth East HS boys coach Rhett McDonald, and Forest Lake HS boys coach Kyle McDonald. Clinic attendees were given tips and drills to use for making their team more competitive by using advantages from the coaching trio.

MYAS would like to thank all the youth coaches who chose to attend the MYBA clinic and demonstrate a true investment into the betterment of themselves and organizations ahead of their youth basketball seasons. We look forward to providing the attendees with continuing education during the 2023-2024 youth basketball season through the MYBA Coaches Club, led by Coach MacDonald. Please also look for highlights, recaps, and messaging from the MYBA Coaches Clinic in the coming weeks and months. 

We look forward to seeing the coaches on the court during weekend tournaments throughout the winter and wish them nothing but the best as they embark on their extremely important role in the youth sports experience.

MYAS would also like to again extend thanks to all the speakers for their invaluable contributions to the success of the clinic.