Coach Art Bogan of Team 4XIII in Oklahoma has rooted his program’s growth not only on player development but on personal development as well.
“Our first priority is personal development,” Bogan says. “Without the person growing, the player will one day fail. Second, we are a skills development program when it comes to basketball. Our goal on the court is that our players go from good to great as individuals. We want to win every game we play, but we want to win at life even more.”
These goals aren’t exclusive of one another, but they are not always easy to achieve, especially in the ultra-competitive youth basketball space.
“For youth basketball, you need a program founder who understands the fundamentals of basketball,” he continues. “The parents of our kids have become believers because they see us constantly working to improve the basics. We start every practice with footwork drills, weak-hand layups, and ball handling. Our defensive game plans center around making the opponent beat us doing the things they are worst at.”
Bogan puts a lot of emphasis on defense.
“We teach our guys that defense can carry you far: your ability to get a stop can make you a valuable contributor even if you have an off shooting day.”
He also knows there is still a lot his team can improve on, especially on the offensive end.
“Our biggest issue the summer would have to be our shooting from the three point line. I'm not a coach that builds a team on the basis of shooting a lot of threes, but I understand how that shot can be a momentum swinger.”
Team 4XIII has had a solid summer season, but Bogan keeps his eyes on the long-term.
“We are a year round program, so we don't really place more importance on the summer over other times of the year. With that being said, we lost our first game in almost a year recently. It was the first game of the Great American Shootout, one of the top events in our region. Our guys responded by winning the next five games to win the championship. Tough times have never made the man, but they have always shown who we really are.”