Dawson Blanck Seeks Your Input on Present-Day Question: In-person, remote, or hybrid?
I couldn't have been prouder on Saturday, October 14, when the Minnesota Youth Basketball Alliance, which is comprised of over 170 community-based youth basketball associations throughout our state, hosted a Preseason Coaches’ Clinic at the National Sports Center in Blaine. This clinic was presented by MYAS (Minnesota Youth Athletic Services) and Trusted Coaches.
Each speaker was not only accomplished, but inspiring:
* Lea B. Olsen, who shone with the Gophers basketball program and now works as a basketball analyst and keynote speaker, noted that while wins and losses are fine, the life lessons learned through sports are more important.
* Jim MacDonald, “Coach Mac,” who was inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was the head basketball coach at Fridley for 32 seasons, highlighted the importance of creating a fun environment in which teamwork and hard work are staples.
* Omar McMillan, head basketball coach at Richfield High School, shared the importance of fostering a family environment on a team through connection.
* Trent Davis, head basketball coach at Irondale High School, spoke about his passion for instructing and guiding young athletes. His insights were especially special for me because I had the good fortune to be one of his football coaches in high school, and it's cool to see him come into his own in the world of coaching.
* Ashley Ellis-Millan, head basketball coach at East Ridge High, inspired all of us by discussing the importance of being a transformational coach, not a transactional one.
The on-court instruction was led by Mike, Kyle, and Rhett McDonald, all members of the incredible McDonald legacy, who shared keys in identifying advantages within your team; MYAS Director of Officiating Services, Tony Schrepfer, who discussed the coach and referee connection; and Josh Freeney of Summit Orthopedic, who provided some great ideas around proper conditioning and warmup techniques.
There were demonstrations and drills featuring players, and a delicious Raising Cane's lunch.
Check out the Moments from the 2023 MYBA Coaches' Clinic
At MYAS, we are dedicated and committed to fulfilling our educational foundation and providing opportunities for each role of the youth sports experience to develop.
We got very positive feedback from those who attended the coaches’ clinic, and we heard from folks who couldn't make it due to conflicts and challenges.
Therein lies the dilemma and the Present-Day Question that I alluded to: What is the best way for us to serve coaches and youth sports administrators with training and education?
During COVID, everyone was forced to shift to online meetings and webinars. Since then, some organizations have continued to meet remotely, some are back to in-person meetings, and some have shifted to hybrid. In late 2021, I set the expectation that MYAS team members would return to our office because of the importance of collaboration within our organization.
We all know the need is there for each role of the youth sports experience to learn, discuss and develop regardless of their experience level. But what is the best way for us to facilitate that need? How can we best serve the Minnesota youth sports community right now?
In-person? Remote? Hybrid?
I don't have that answer — and I'd love to hear your input. I invite you to email me directly (email@example.com) because this is something we can't hide from. It’s our new reality that requires hard conversations and approaches in order to accomplish very important goals.