Award-Winning Basketball Coach: "We Are A Life Skills Club"
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Frankie Jones, a 2017 Double-Goal Coach® Award Winner, and his late brother co-founded Denver Kings (@denverkingsbb) in his Northeast Denver neighborhood as a means of teaching life skills through basketball. The organization now serves roughly 60 boys and girls from sixth grade into high school, hailing from the city and suburbs as far as a 90-minute drive. Teams comprising players of a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds play travel ball together in AAU tournaments and several sneaker-company-sponsored circuits.
In this video, Jones says, "We are a life skills club, basketball is just something that we use to teach it." He strongly believes that putting in the groundwork towards teaching life lessons makes coaching easier and more effective. By teaching kids life lessons like respecting authority, his or her parents, and his or her teachers, they automatically know to respect their coaches and officials. As another example, teaching a player that you sometimes need to depend on other people to get things done in life means that they do not question why they should make the extra pass.
Coach Jones emphasizes that his team should spend time on who they are as people and what they are trying to accomplish. He requires players to work hard on behaving off the court- this includes taking away playing time for grades that are not up to par. His hope is that when they move on from basketball, they will always have the lessons that they learned while playing it.