Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Keep Up the Momentum: Summer Youth Basketball

Posted by Jeremy Kelley on July 1, 2019

Keep up your momentum this summer at the JCC

The “basketball season” has come and gone and much of the sports world will turn their attention to Major League Baseball or NFL Training Camp or whatever sports season is up next.
For the coaches, staff and players at the JCC, however, the end of the competitive season simply means that the beginning of the off-season is right around the corner. Contrary to popular belief, the off-season may not be exactly what you think it is. The competitive basketball season only lasts about 6 months or so but a comprehensive basketball training program stretches the full year round. Most players forget (or just aren’t
aware) that what they do in the off-season plays a crucial role in how their season plays out.
Add in the all-important pre-season phase to the mix and you now have a full year that looks something like the following…pre-season (2-3 months), in-season (6-7 months) and off-season (3-4 months). Let’s take a closer look at each phase in a basketball training program and what
it involves…
So you’ve taken the time to prepare during the off-season. You’ve rebalanced your body in order to reduce the risk of injury. You’ve hopefully begun to develop high levels of strength and you’ve laid a good aerobic foundation…this is where it really starts!
This phase is not easy. But the rewards are well worth any short-term discomfort. You should start to move away from general aerobic conditioning and towards more basketball-specific sessions. Basketball is a multi-sprint sport. In a game you’ll be required to perform several
successive sprints close to maximum speed on numerous occasions. The result? Your body quickly begins to accumulate lactic acid. Your ability to recover from this build-up of lactic acid can have an enormous impact on your performance. As such, your basketball training program
must incorporate anaerobic endurance drills. As the competitive season draws closer your basketball training program should place more and more emphasis on quickness and agility. Again your conditioning must be basketball specific…try to incorporate a ball and basic passing and shooting skills.
So after all that preparation and hard work, you’re fit for life! You need never visit the weight room again! Well, not quite… But you can begin to enjoy the benefits of all your hard work and discipline. Because of your new level of fitness, your skill on the court will increase. There is nothing more debilitating and disconcerting than trying to perform intricate skills when you’re gasping for breath. Likewise…It’s a great feeling to know that no game situation is as demanding as the training sessions you’ve endured. The goal of the in-season is to maintain what you’ve developed during the pre-season.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the off-season. It’s a prime opportunity to restore the imbalances that basketball places on the musculoskeletal system. Of course, it’s also a time when you rest and recuperate. But resting does NOT mean doing nothing…it takes just a few
weeks of sedentary lifestyle to undo the majority of any fitness you’ve gained over the previous season. You will lose some fitness and that’s absolutely fine. It’s a necessary trade-off for recovery and mental refreshment. “Off the court” areas of focus on for the off-season
include aerobic conditioning (some kind of low intensity, cardiovascular exercise), strength conditioning (focus on core stability) and flexibility conditioning. On the court, get back to the basics. Head to the courts on your own and get some shots up. Play in some light pick-up games to keep your skills up. Work on those areas that will separate you from the rest of the team when the next season rolls around.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” is a motto that so many successful players and coaches have uttered over the years and it couldn’t be more true. While there may be more skilled or more athletic players, ANYONE can make up that deficit with hard work and dedication on and off the court.

Check out the JCC Basketball page or see below for more information regarding our Summer (off-season) basketball programs as we offer skills clinics for players of all ages and we have recently partnered with The Scoring Factory and Drill 4 Skill to provide top notch power, explosive and skills training programs here at the JCC.

Squirrel Hill

Contact Jeremy Kelley, 412-697-3538 or [email protected]

Drill 4 Skill Basketball Academy: grades 4-9
Legendary local high school Coach John Miller brings his well-known Drill 4 Skill program to the JCC this summer. This program will help players:
• Learn the foundations of shooting and scoring
• Develop a dynamic set of explosive first moves and finishing moves
• Understand the importance of high repetitions
• Replicate and repeat consistency in proper form
Girls grades 4-9 – Thursdays, Robinson Gym, 6-7:15 pm
Boys grades 4-9 – Thursdays, Robinson Gym, 7:15-8:30 pm
Through August 22
$200; $220/community
Drop-ins $35/class

Little Rookies Skills Clinic: grades K-2
The emphasis is on fun and fundamental skills necessary for younger players to learn to play the game the right way. All players receive a T-shirt.
Tuesdays • 6-6:45 pm, Robinson Gym
July 9-August 13
$75; $95/community

N.B.A. (No Boys Allowed) Skills Clinic: grades 3-8
High energy, enthusiasm and tons of fun create a clinic experience that girls of all ages and skill levels will love. Female coaches are role models in a competitive environment designed to instill self confidence.
Wednesdays, 6-7 pm
Robinson Gym
July 10-August 14
$75; $95/community

Hoop It Up Camp: grades 1-3
Led by Marcus Robinson in conjunction with Crossover Culture, the focus is on developing fundamental skills through individual drills and competitions at a pace suitable for the younger athlete.
Monday-Friday, July 15-19
Grades 4-6
Led by Marcus Robinson in conjunction with Crossover Culture, the camp includes outstanding instructors, a variety of activities and personalized attention. A typical day includes offensive, defensive and group
skills stations, full court games, shooting competitions and one-on-one, two-on-two, and three-on-three play. Coaches provide expert skill instruction in an encouraging environment designed to boost self-confidence.
Monday-Friday, July 29-August 2

Explosive and Power Training with the Scoring Factory: ages 10-18
The well-respected local Scoring Factory brings their training program to the JCC. The Explosive program helps players develop their ability to rapidly change direction, improve short-burst explosiveness and increase jumping ability. The Power program increases upper-body strength with intense exercises.
Mondays, Kaufmann Gym
Power – 6:45-7:40 pm
Explosive – 7:45-8:40 pm
Through August 5
Fee pro-rated

Private Basketball Lessons: ages 10 +
Work closely with a qualified JCC instructor to improve your game. Contact Jeremy Kelley at 412-697-3538 to schedule your session.
Ages 13+: $46 for a one-hour lesson
Ages 12 and under: $28 for a half -hour lesson

South Hills

Basketball Specialty Camps for kids entering grades 1 to 6 

Grades K-5 – 9 am-noon (lunch not included)

  • July 8-12: Grades K-2
  • July 15-19: Girls grades 3-5
  • July 22-26: Boys grades 3-5

After-Basketball camp: Noon-3 pm (lunch included)

The focus is on basketball fundamentals and skill development—dribbling, passing, catching, pivoting, lay-ups, ball agility and correct shooting form. Camp is headed by Coach Rico Abbondanza of Score-USA Basketball

McConnell Basketball Academy

Questions: Steve Manns, [email protected]

Register at the Front Desk.

Classes are ongoing: you can join at any time.


  • Boys and girls: K-grade 3, 10:30-11:30 am
  • Girls: grades 4-9,11:30 am-1 pm
  • Boys: grades 4-9,1-2:30 pm


  • Girls: grades 4-9, 6-7:30 pm
  • Boys: grades 4-9, 7:30-9 pm

4 sessions: $120; $140/community
8 sessions: $200; $220/community
Walk-in: $35

Related Posts

JCC State of Mind - February 9, 2024

read more

JCC State of Mind: A weekly message to staff, board, and stakeholders

December 22, 2023 When I think about the JCC’s approach to community, I often come back to the Jewish practice of requiring a minyan �...
read more

JCC State of Mind - December 29, 2023

At the age of 16, I was hired for an amazing job. That job – titled “camp counselor” – is still, to this day, the best job I’ve ever had. It...
read more

Smartphones, Social Media & Summer Camp

While society has become more reliant on technology, and benefited from it, children’s use of electronics in daily life has also taken off. On avera...
read more