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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Takin' It to the Hoops

Home Court is a Seattle-area youth sports phenomenon that inspires all of us to help kids reach their full potential. Since Rob Jackson co-founded Home Court 10 years ago, 7500 kids 5 -18 years old and their parents have participated in its transformative hoops programs. Now a permanent Lifeplan Room has been outfitted at the Home Court athletic facility - and did I mention that Rob is a Ninja master trainer? Here's why he thinks Lifeplan is a perfect fit for the Home Court team and the community it serves. - All the best, Andy

"When I heard about Lifeplan, my radar went into overdrive. I immediately realized how great Lifeplan was going to be for our kids, their parents, and our community.

"We've always been big proponents of using youth sports to help kids build skills that will serve them both on and off the court. Our model at Home Court is that you come through as a player to pick up the habits that help you become a strong teammate, a valued leader - habits that lead to success on and off the court.

"Coaching for high performance creates mentoring opportunities ... it's embedded in everything we do. That's why Lifeplan is such a natural fit for Home Court.

"Developing a Basketball IQ is essential for unleashing players' physical skills and natural talents. At Home Court, we develop smart players by identifying the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies and decisions on the court. The smart player sees the play before it happens. Similarly, Lifeplan helps kids develop their Life IQ by helping them identify advantages and disadvantages of their current and future decisions. With Lifeplan, kids can paint the two white lines down their road of life. If you have the two white lines and you make a decision that moves you off-course, you'll quickly hear the 'bump bump bump' from the little safety guards on the side of the road. Lifeplan will make it easier for kids to navigate their road of life!

"Unconditional support is another thing Home Court and Lifeplan have in common. At Home Court, kids fly through the door excited, passionate, and ready to learn. It's 'their' place. And like Norm on the TV show Cheers, everybody knows their name. Home Court kids get our unconditional support; when they experience the Lifeplan process, they're going to feel the same way. Lifeplan will be 'their' place that they create, with lots of people they know - mentors, friends, parents, teachers, and others - ready and willing to help.

"That support does come with one requirement, however: respect. At Home Court, the ONLY thing we require from kids is respect - for the place, their fellow players and coaches, the experience they're going through, and ultimately for themselves. That's the standard we set and it's pretty much the same with Lifeplan. Agreeing to respect those things is a way of creating one's personal values. Those are the kinds of skills that kids can use to guide them down the road of life.

"We're truly excited about what Lifeplan will bring to our kids and their families. Our first Lifeplan participants were some of our 9th & 10th graders. My vision is to bring 300-400 kids through Lifeplan every year, circling back to kids after their basketball days to make an even more lasting impression on their lives. Our ultimate goal is to open up our concept and facility to other constituencies in our area so that Home Court becomes a self-sustaining entity for our community.

"When we ask parents the real purpose of having their kids play youth sports, they say: building character. That's always been our passion and our commitment. What's exciting is being able to say to a young person who may have come through our basketball program, 'NOW let me tell you what's around the corner. Here's this program called Lifeplan...' I can't wait to see their eyes light up."


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