Bears build toward the future at fundamentals camp

RAINSVILLE – Plainview High School’s basketball coaching staff hosted more than 60 elementary school students from several towns throughout the area at their fourth-annual fundamental basketball camp from Monday through Wednesday.

Each day of the camp saw first, second and third-grade boys and girls take the court from 8:30-11 a.m. before fourth through sixth graders came in to practice from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Every day here, we’re really focusing on fundamentals,” Plainview boys head coach Robi Coker said. “This is a really fun group to work with because you can see them getting better each day. We’ve been doing a lot of station work, a lot of ball handling, and we’ve really put an extra effort into teaching these kids how to jump-stop and pivot. If you ever watch a pee-wee basketball game, there’s two calls a referee will usually make, those being jump ball and traveling. So, we’re trying to get our campers to get better at that so they can play a cleaner game.”

Campers competed in several competitions as the coaching staff aimed to teach them good basketball techniques.

“It’s all about fundamentals here,” Plainview girls’ head coach Heather Powell said. “We let them have some competition and some fun along the way, but everything we do here is working to teach them all the fundamentals of the game. This can be a building block for many of these players. We hope that they can learn some things here, take them home and have a brother, sister, mom or dad play with them help build on their game there as well.”

Participants even worked on shooting with shorter goals to focus on learning the proper way to shoot the ball

“We’ve lowered the goals for the kids as well to focus more on shot technique,” Coker said. “A lot of times with these 10-foot goals, it will force our kids into some bad shooting habits. We’re not worried about the height of the goal, we’re just trying to get these kids to learn a proper way to shoot the basketball. Hopefully these kids can take one or two of these drills home and become better basketball players.”

Powell said that it is rewarding for her as a coach to see these young campers grow with the game and become great players.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Powell said. “Some of our girls that graduated this spring, I remember them coming to little kid camps like this. Several of them come back and help sometimes, too. To see those kids, or young women now, invest and reinvest in this school and in this area I think that says a lot for them and the people of this area.”

Coker was pleased with the turnout at this year’s camp as well, and he said it’s great to see that participants have someone who wanted them to be there.

“We have about seven schools represented again this year, and it’s a great group,” Coker said. “It’s fun watching kids that want to be here. Obviously, someone cares enough about these kids to get them here. We talk to them a lot about being grateful for the chance to work on their game, because there’s a lot of kids who don’t get the opportunity to go to a camp. These kids are all very fortunate to have somebody in their lives who cares about them enough to get them here, and we’re happy to have them.”

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