Why an AAU Program Believes Improvement Comes from the Freedom to Make Mistakes | POINT 3 Basketball
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Why an AAU Program Believes the Freedom to Make Mistakes is the Best Part of Summer Basketball

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Coach Robert Calloway of Integrity Sports Falcons in Pennsylvania runs his program with bigger goals in mind than just wins and losses.

“We set personal, team and scholastic goals,” Calloway says. “We focus on playing the correct way. When we do that, wins and losses take care of themselves. 

Integrity Sports Falcons

“Our scholastic objective is to make honor roll. For individual skills development we aim to identify strengths and improve on our weaknesses, and from a team growth perspective we want to prepare each player with a strong fundamental skillset that translates into a solid high school player with a strong basketball IQ. Coaches that receive an Integrity student-athlete get a well-rounded young man or young lady.” 

Calloway aims to always put the players’ best interests first.

“It truly is all about the student-athletes and their experiences. The best thing we can do is work hard to enhance that and give them something tangible to take with them to the next phase of their lives. The worst thing we can do is add so much pressure and unrealistic expectations that we steal their joy.”

Part of Calloway’s mission with Integrity Falcons is to help his players learn to deal with difficult situations.

“We compete with fire and passion, but we strive to maintain our composure in intense emotional situations. For example, in a gam there can be really bad calls, or overly physical plays, that are not clean basketball plays. Our Integrity student-athletes manage to take the high road without being soft and allowing themselves to be pushed around.”

At the same time, he knows that youth want to learn the game and enjoy basketball as much as they can.

Coach Calloway with an Integrity Sports Falcons player

“The best part of summer ball is the freedom to make mistakes,” Calloway says. “Players get to learn and put into use new skills we’ve worked on in practice. It helps them improve their confidence and execute in game situations. More games closer together allow for more opportunities to stretch their skill sets.

“We incorporate a 70/30 philosophy in our practices, which means 70% individual skill development and 30% team flow and scrimmaging with the expectation the players will execute the skills worked on during practice,” Calloway explains.

The Falcons still have plenty of room for improvement, though.

“Our players are very unselfish, but we do not yet appreciate the importance of moving the ball sharply around the perimeter to create lanes or gaps in the defense. We need to have better ball movement as well as quality cuts and screens away from the ball, which all require a feel for spacing.”