One would probably be hard pressed to find any summer youth sports camp with a more streamlined approach than was found at the Jacksonville Fightin' Maiden Basketball camp, which took place this week at the Jacksonville High School Gymnasium.
“We just asked the young ladies for two things,” Tony Harris, Jacksonville High School head girl's basketball coach, stated on Wednesday. “First, we wanted them to have fun and secondly we wanted them to learn control — to be able to control their eyes, their body and the (opposing) defender.”
Harris kept the girls on their toes, both in the fun and in the fundamentals departments.
At one point, following a short break at the mid-point of the session, Harris cranked up the volume on the music system and then encouraged camp instructors and JHS assistant coaches, Brittany Jacobs and Abby Martin to show the young ladies gathered at center court how to relax and have some fun, at which time Jacobs and Martin showed off their dance moves which were impressive enough to make the Cherokee Charmers proud.
The lighthearted moment served as a segue into a layup-shooting contest; anactivity that the young ladies really seemed to enjoy.
Harris said that what he was concerned with more than anything was seeing individual improvement in each camper, regardless of their respective skill levels.
“Every young lady here is a better basketball player today than they were on Monday when they first walked through the doors of the gym,” Harris said. “That's our mission to improve each day.”
So, what is the secret to the rapid improvement?
“The key for each of them is to concentrate on improving themselves and not worrying about the competitor,” said Harris. “When they start to do that, they start getting better in a hurry.”