YMCA basketball league designed to foster ‘love of the game’
For Lu Brito, players who are part of the Gleason Family YMCA’s basketball league have three main goals: 1. Have fun. 2. Try your hardest. 3. Learn the love of the game.
“Don’t worry about how many points you get, if the ball goes in or not,” said Brito, the YMCA's senior program director. “Playing the right way, it’ll go in more often than not.”
Every Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., more than 30 kids gather in the Gleason Family YMCA’s gymnasium to learn that “love of the game.”
Brito explained that the league currently consists of four teams of kids ages 8-12.
The co-ed teams are pretty evenly stacked, he said. The programming director noted that he and the other coaches assessed the players’ skill levels and worked to ensure each team had roughly the same number of kids of each age.
The first two weeks of the league were dedicated to “skills and drills,” Brito said, which allowed the coaches to evaluate the kids’ abilities and also to teach players the fundamentals.
Now that the first two weeks have passed, the kids practice for about 20 minutes before jumping right into a game.
Brito said that a lot of leagues tend to focus on winning, and noted that the Y’s approach is different.
“To me, if you teach the kids the love of the game, they’re going to want to stick with it,” he said.
Those who are interested in joining the league in the future should keep an eye on the YMCA’s website: ymcasouthcoast.org/locations/wareham/.