When I go to Google and I search Basketball Near Me, I shake my head.

When I think about all of the wasted time and money spent with these “organizations”, it makes me question whether what we’re doing is beneficial. When I think about what we do and how we do things, I know that we’re different. What we do changes lives. Forget basketball. We make a difference on the court too. But these players light up when they walk in the door. Most of them have a blast.

We are like a fire. When some players come to see us, they catch on fire too. Now whether that fire stays lit once they leave us varies, but when they are there it’s a different energy level than before. Other players come to see us and get burnt. They don’t come back. They aren’t really made for this and that’s ok too.

When a player finds that renewed energy and passion, it reinforces the fact that so much of what they’ve experienced before has been terrible. Like really terrible. And I mean in every way. I mean what they have been taught, what they haven’t been taught, and what has been expected of them. It doesn’t matter if they are 7 years old or 17. Most of them have had horrible experiences that give them a really poor perspective. The real problem is that they don’t think there’s anything else. It’s all the same. Why would we be any different? It takes them a month to realize that we are who we are, we can’t help it, and we’re different from anything they are used to.

In so many cases, the only things they have been taught are random plays and drills that don’t mean anything or help them in any way. They haven’t been taught the skills or mentality necessary to really be successful. The expectations are so out of touch with what they haven’t been taught that players develop a mindset that crushes any willingness to try new things or work at a speed and intensity level that will actually benefit them.

We only have so much time. Every minute wasted is another minute that someone else didn’t waste. This is not a basketball camp. This is not the hype squad or babysitting. This is Hoops College and we believe anyone can learn if they are willing. Sometimes you have to learn how to learn, before you can learn. But that’s ok with us too if you’re trying.

What are we teaching kids when we tell them it’s ok to miss practice? What are we teaching kids when we allow them to just “play this weekend”? What are we teaching kids when we literally aren’t teaching them anything?

It bothers us. Basketball means a lot to us, in so many ways. It’s not a side hustle or a profession. It’s more than just a game. Unfortunately, the basketball “culture” turns it into everything we hate. Hype. Superficiality. Egos. Narcissism. The list goes on and on.

We don’t call ourselves coaches or trainers. We don’t want to be associated with that. We are just people who love the game and helping others in a way that not many people can. They just haven’t been where we’ve been and done what we’ve done.

Don’t say “D1”, “NBA”, or “Pro” around us, unless you want the truth. The thing is that we’re going to treat you the same if you never say those words. But, if you say either of those things, you’re going to push a button that throws fuel on our fire and most people end up getting burnt. They aren’t ready to match our level and the level that is required to make that happen.

So many people tell you what they are going to do for you instead of what you’re going to have to do to make it happen. We will do whatever it takes to help you, but until you’re willing to do your part, what we do is completely irrelevant. Anyone who tells you anything different is lying to you. There are no shortcuts. There is no “easy way”. It’s all just work. This is why most people don’t make it.

It’s not because they don’t have the potential. It’s because they aren’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do what it takes to really be successful, but no one is telling them that. They feed into the narrative that it’s someone else’s fault or that someone else is going to get them what they want. They feed the monster that devours any kind of self-accountability and makes players think someone has some magic pill. It’s so annoying. The only magic pill is the truth. And the truth is you have to work and sacrifice if you want to be elite.

That’s not what you want to hear. You want to say it’s political. You want to blame it on coach or exposure or whatever else. After years and years of working with players at literally all levels, the TRUTH is that you’re not eating right. You’re not sleeping enough. You’re not putting enough time doing the right things in the right ways to help you improve. The truth is you’re not willing to take responsibility for your situation and own it. It’s so much easier to blame someone else and then do something else because it’s “their fault.”

Maybe it is their fault. Then do something about it. Own your situation and control it. Or don’t. It’s up to you. If you don’t, you won’t make it to where you say you want to go.

Everyone wants to be listed first in Google. We don’t want to be listed first in Google, if that means we’re associated with what’s going on around here. We are different. We aren’t trying to be different. It’s just who we are. We didn’t set out to ruin the basketball culture. We just wanted to help players get better. Well, if that means that the culture gets ruined along the way, so be it. It seems like it needs to happen.

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