05 Jun Tribe Spotlight: Indiana Primetime Sports
Indiana Primetime Sports was started by Brandon Lafferman in 2010, with the goal of creating a great youth sports program that teaches kids values on and off the court. Lafferman and Chris Van Den Berg started the basketball program that year with two teams. Both coaches had prior experience with the Read and React and wanted to build a youth basketball program around those principles.
The teams played in local leagues, and parents watching our program were quickly drawn to our positive coaching and style of play. The number of teams doubled quickly, and more coaches were brought on staff. Evan Suttner, who had previously used the Read and React Offense at a local middle school, joined the staff full time in 2012. The program has grown every year, and now has 28 basketball teams from grades 2-9.
What people love about our program is that our teams play together as a team. No Primetime team emphasizes one player over the other. Every team in our program runs the Read and React, with an emphasis on the first three layers. Our teams are recognized for their balanced scoring and ball movement. We want every player in our program to develop skills in all areas, and we know the Read and React is the best way to accomplish this. All of our players get opportunities in games to handle the basketball, make decisions, and score.
We have seen many other programs that focus on just one or two kids who have the ball in their hands all of the time and get every set play run for them. We have often heard complaints that the coach’s son is always the point guard, or always gets to shoot, while other players don’t get the same opportunity to develop. We started our program to get away from that; we have no parent coaches for any of our teams.
The Read and React has also helped us in practices. Our teams play man-to-man defense, and having to learn to guard all of the actions that the Read and React has in practice has improved our in-game defense. It is much easier for us to defend against a team that has set plays than it is for teams to guard the constant ball and player movement of the Read and React offense.
The Read and React system also allows us to focus a ton of time on skill development in practice. Our early practices focus on teaching the layers of the Read and React, as well as our defensive principles. But after they understand those layers, we can spend a lot of time developing individual skills within the offensive system. It has been amazing to see the improvement of players year to year. Our players stand out in tryouts and games because we have been teaching them HOW to play, and not how to run a bunch of plays. We do not waste time in practice running a million set plays over and over again. We really want our players to understand how to play the game, and we want to increase their IQ so that any coach would want them on their team. More and more of our players in middle school and high school are making their top teams, largely thanks to the basketball IQ they have.
We have become well regarded as a player development program, and have grown exponentially thanks to the Read and React Offense. We were able to build an entire youth sports organization around the principles of this offense, and we are grateful to Rick and the Better Basketball organization for introducing us to it!