This week’s Tribe Spotlight is on Bay State Jaguars Girls’ AAU Basketball coach Dan Beauchemin.
By way of introduction, I am a 20+ year high school assistant coach and also coach for one of New England’s best AAU Girls’ programs, the Bay State Jaguars. In my mind, winning an AAU/youth title would be great, but making a varsity team and playing in college is my goal for our players. I believe the Read & React has helped us move towards this goal.
When I saw my first Read & React article, I was intrigued because I was looking for a way to streamline our offensive attack and get in more time to get skill work into our practices. I bought the DVD’s and started implementing parts of it right away, finally jumping in with both feet a couple of seasons later.
My current team is a 9th Grade Girls team and the core has known nothing other than the Read & React since we started together in Spring 2013. Each year I add new players and assimilate them into the actions of the Read & React pretty quickly.
I am very biased towards this group – they are one of my favorite teams I have coached. It is not an elite/national level team, but it is a good team, full of great kids who enjoy the work of basketball – a coach’s dream.
To me, this is the biggest payoff: I now have a group of flexible players who can react to a wide variety of situations on the fly. Not only has the system helped me build their skills, but their decision-making has improved as well. I can make formation changes on the fly, assign roles and actions to specific players and see them understanding what I am asking. We are close to “positionless basketball” at this point.
Players (and coaches) learn through experience and mistakes. This team has had to play through some awful basketball to get to where they are today and it’s not perfect now! But they are learning to play and they are getting better each season. At the end of each season I look at numbers and replay games and situations in my head to determine if I should make changes to our approach and each season I hold steady with the Read & React.
Do we win every game? No!
Have we lost close games because I trusted their decision-making or would not diagram up a set play? Keeps me up at night sometimes.
Does it magically reduce the time that players need to become better? Of course not.
Would I do it again the same way? Absolutely!
I believe the Read & React helps me build complete, knowledgeable players and that’s why I continue to improve my understanding of it and look forward to introducing it to my new 6th Grade team this Spring.
I am happy to answer any questions about our experience with the Read and React, visit out website for contact information.