CLINTON — For Clinton Community YMCA Program Director David Torbert, the upcoming Youth Basketball season holds special meaning. As a one-time participant of the program in the early 90s, Torbert said his role now in running the program is much more meaningful.
“I have a lot of great memories playing Y basketball,” Torbert said. “You get to play with your friends, and for those kids that enjoy basketball like I do, there is nothing better than learning new skills, and having fun while you do it.”
The season, which begins in early January, will feature a throwback to YMCA youth basketball programs of the past. In 2020, all 2nd-8th grade teams will have separate practice time either on Tuesday or Thursday evening during the season. Torbert said the idea for more practice time was not about overloading, but rather, furthering the development of young players.
“It’s difficult to teach something and have it stick with a child when you only briefly introduce it,” Torbert said. “This way, our coaches can plan practices to work on specific skills in a controlled setting. And on game days, the teams can install these skills into game-speed situations.”
In addition to the basketball opportunities for kindergarten-8th grade students, Clinton Community YMCA will again offer Saturday morning clinics for preschool-aged children. Torbert says these sessions are meant to introduce basic basketball concepts, and find fun ways to engage participants in the sport.
The YMCA, which relies heavily on volunteers, will feature coaches that bring a wealth of basketball knowledge – something Torbert said he looks forward to as the season gets underway.
“We always have great parents that step up to coach our programs,” Torbert said. “I am truly grateful for their willingness to sacrifice their time and energy to make it a great experience for these players, and I think the players will come away from the season with a stronger skill set and love for the game.”
A special thank you to this year’s YMCA Youth Basketball sponsors, which includes Ace Hardware, Baum Chevrolet Buick, C&P Custom Printing, Covenant Animal Clinic, DeWitt Savings Bank, Marco NPK, Inc., and Rogers Complete Concrete Co.