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  • The bounce of a ball. The swoosh of a net. The dripping of sweat. The clenched fist combined with a “Yes!” after a shot is made. These are some of my favorite sights and sounds in any basketball workout.

    I am troubled though… my travels take me throughout much of North America, and I see a lot of empty basketball courts and unused nets. I don’t see or feel the same type of action on courts now as I did when I was growing up.

    You see, I credit a lot of my development to the 2-3 hour weekend workouts I did in Los Angeles as a teenager. I would train with some of the top city high-school players. We wouldn’t scrimmage; instead, our focus was on individual skill development with a lot of attention to ball-handling and practicing game shots – from game spots at game speed. My heart goes out to young people who don’t have those same opportunities.

    Today we have some tough competition for youth sports: technology. Hours, days, weeks, months, and years are going by and the use of social networking sites continues to grow.

    I believe in the power of social media and I know its benefits, but it seems to be taking over many people’s lives. I was in a gym a few weeks ago, only to watch a group of young men take some shots, check their Facebook account, take more shots, and then check their phones again. It wasn’t the most impressive workout or focused training time. It reminded me of how short an athlete’s window-of-time for competition is, and how these young men were wasting such valuable training moments.

    Look, I’m no angel myself. In a recent interview I said that my Blackberry is the one thing I can’t live without. Due the amount of traveling I do, I’m hooked and I rely heavily on it. I was reminded of this during a trip to Canada last week when my Blackberry broke. I was cut off and unable to use the phone for an entire week. It was quite peaceful actually. One of my upcoming personal 30-day challenges will include limited usage of social media – especially at certain times during each day.

    Moving from ‘good’ to ‘great’ doesn’t happen overnight; nor does it happen staring at a computer screen or continuing to develop ‘thumb arthritis’ (i.e. texting). I want to challenge every young person who battles the new addiction to technology. It could be hindering your progress as a student, as an athlete, (and even more damaging) –  as a person.

    Here are a few ways to create a healthy balance in your life:

    • Budget time per day for social media usage (e.g. 30 total minutes a day)
    • Turn your phone off when (a) at school, (b) at any workout, and (c) during any meals
    • Do not allow the phone to be the last thing you use before you go to sleep or the first thing to use when you wake up

    Dedicate more time to your training. Fill these empty courts and watch the improvement happen.

     

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    About PGC

    PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.

    We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.

    Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.

    To learn more about PGC Basketball, including additional basketball training tips and videos, visit our YouTube Channel or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.