The Los Angeles Unified School District has added 130 new schools over the past several years. With that being said, these schools are now faced with building their athletic programs among the many schools who’ve already established themselves over the decades. How does a program get up to par and put itself on the radar, let alone be competitive enough to compete with the top dogs?
Chavez High School is faced with such a task. The school is located in the San Fernando Valley, looking to make a dent in the competitive basketball hoop world of Southern California. Their head Coach Jeff Davis, has a daunting task of building his program from ground zero. Is there a recipe for success? Sure there is, as he and his coaching staff are on the right track. During a recent tourney game at Village Christian, the team went up against Burbank High School. Although the team didn’t come away with the W, many factors were in place that will ensure their success this year – and years to come.
As players head off the court, coaches need to let them know what mistakes they’re making , not only to make their game better individually, but help the team as well. The Chavez coaching staff does a great job teaching kids about the game and holding them accountable for their actions.
Factor 1: Coaching.
The coaches are saying the right things on the sidelines during games, as well as in the huddle during timeouts. Their coaching staff shows passion, good knowledge of the game, and a willingness to talk to kids instead of just screaming at them and putting them down. This is key for a young program, whose kids may not buy into your philosophy of play, until you show that you care about them and are willing to nurture them for their mistakes. Just benching kids and not communicating with them is a recipe for disaster for smaller schools on the rise.
Factor 2: Playing as a unit.
The team shows a passion for the game and a willingness to play team ball. Cohesion (ability to play as a unit) is a critical component to develop as young programs establish their ‘identity’ on the court – especially against the better competition. While playing against Burbank High – which was a major jump in competition for Chavez – they showed early on that, if we play as a unit and run our stuff, we can hang with anyone. Rarely did we see anyone trying to be a ‘soldier boy’ and take over the show – disregarding the rest of the team to get his. It’s all about believing in yourself and stepping up as a team at the end of the day. As Chavez continues to grow, look for this squad to continue to improve on its mistakes – somewhat like being in the classroom – games are tests, measuring your level of knowledge before taking the final exam. It’s all about becoming battle-tested at the end of the day you feel me.
For newer programs just starting out, coaches must stay in the ear of their players in order to get their point across. Image by PopScout
Factor 3: Organization and support factor.
Doing the little things can make or break young teams as they develop their sense of play. Do you have support from your assistants who know the game and truly care about you as a person and player? Are you filming games and watching film to get better as a unit? Have you developed a pregame regime? Do you have family and school support during games that allow your team to develop a since of pride – knowing that people care about you and show up to games to support you? It’s difficult to gauge this during tournament play but we did see Chavez filming games, parents cheering and understanding their style of play, and a strong support system behind their bench – staying in players’ ears when they were down and letting them know that someone cares. Good stuff for up and coming teams.
It’s definitely a tough job developing new programs with the limited budget many LAUSD coaches are faced with. Of course there are many other factors that come into play as well. But believing in what you do and truly caring about your players will get around and before long, you will be one of the talked about schools and land yourself on the map. Word on the street you feel me. As Chavez coaching staff continues to nurture kids and give 1000 percent, look for the Eagles to become a force to be reckoned with in years to come. Show up and support your team family, faculty, and administration. PopScout sends his blessings.
Take a look at highlights from the Burbank vs Chavez game played December 28, 2016. We spotlight Jr. Guard David Parks. Chavez bounced back the following day, defeating Kennedy by a score of 68-60 and will play today, December 30, 2016 at 5:30pm at Village Christian. Come out family and friends to support this young, up and coming squad. Stay in the lab young men and continue to play and develop as a unit.
Become Great at what you do.