7/21/2010 – SOURCE: TIMES-GEORGIAN.COM [Click here to see article.]
Standing in front of roughly 60 students of the game, Chad Songy reflected on a not-so-memorable stretch where he shot 13 percent from 3-point range during the first eight games of his senior season at Millsaps College.
This coming from one of the top marksmen in the league just one year earlier.
It boiled down to a matter of confidence — something he momentarily lost during that troubling time.
But not for long.
Songy, a director of Point Guard College, a multi-course curriculum that focuses more on the mental side of the game and leadership skills, went on to tell the students seated throughout the lecture hall inside the Coliseum on the University of West Georgia campus on Wednesday afternoon about how he regrouped and gained back his shooting stroke, and, more importantly, his confidence.
It proved to be one of many lessons Songy, who was first introduced to PGC nine years ago as an athlete, offered to the group, which wrapped up the week-long session on Thursday morning with a final exam, another unique entity of Point Guard College.
They do, of course, spend time on the court, as well. But that’s not where the actual teaching takes place.
Because while traditional basketball camps typically feature only on-court issues and interests, Point Guard College — which Songy makes certain to note is not a “camp” — brings forth life lectures that focus on the mental, social and emotional challenges an athlete will face on and off the court.
“It’s not just a camp where they come and play basketball for five days. They learn about being a better person, about being a better athlete. They learn about the game,” Songy said. “That’s why I love it. Because it’s different. We teach them how to think the game. Become coaches on the court.
“We don’t refer to ourself as a camp because we feel like it’s a learning environment, specifically like college and less like a camp.”
Point Guard College was the brainchild of Dick DeVenzio, a former standout at Duke University, who went on to author five books. PGC proved to be DeVenzio’s pride and joy, something he devoted his passion to until his death in 2001.
Point Guard College stretches throughout the United States, as well as Canada.
“We have about eight sessions in Canada and about 30-something in the United States this year. We have six different directors and different courses,” Songy said.
Songy attended PGC for three years as an athlete prior to joining the staff, where he’s worked for six years, serving as the assistant director last year before being promoted to the director this year.
“So almost a decade I’ve been around it. And the reason why is because it has the ability to transform not only people’s games, but their lives,” Songy said. “It did for me. I was a different person after PGC.”
A Louisiana native who now lives in Austin, Texas, Songy said one of the main principles he tries to focus on is communication.
“Not only do we teach them what to say, we teach them how to say it. So we teach them to use a name first to get someone’s attention, then give them the information,” Songy said. “So we teach them how to communicate.”
During a drill called “[SCHAPE]-shooting,” the students had no option but to communicate.
“I don’t start it until all of them are communicating and giving reminders to their teammates,” Songy said. “The big things they leave here with are to think the game: communication, leadership and confidence. We talked for an hour about confidence. I think so many players, athletes, struggle confidence. People in life struggle with confidence.”
There are several different courses offered through Point Guard College, and this particular one was DeVenzio’s original: ‘Think the Game.’ There is also the ‘Essentials Course’ (high school and college), ‘Prep School Course’ (seventh to 10th grade) and an ‘Advanced Concepts Course and College Course’ (for athletes that have played one year of college ball).
THINK THE GAME
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And for Songy, he doesn’t know where he’d be in life without Point Guard College.
“I don’t think I would have played college without attending this course three times,” Songy said. “I think it’s a great way for athletes to improve their game. It’s so different from anything else out there. That’s why I’m around it. There’s nothing else like it. You know, teaching the game in the classroom with videos. So they get to hear it, see it and do it. They hear it in the lecture. They go do it out on the court. They come back and watch film of it.”
As a Raptors fan, I gotta be honest…I didn’t think this would ever happen. Here are a few interesting facts you may not know about PGC’s connections to this Raptors team
PGC Basketball recently partnered with DNA Basketball Academy to host a special clinic in Hawaii with NBA center Enes Kanter of the New York Knicks.
After 82 regular season games, the NBA schedule rolls into the playoffs this weekend where a pair of PGC grads will make their postseason debuts.
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.