Ranch Reflections are articles written by LRHS students and staff who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for Mustangs to branch out beyond traditional news stories.  This edition features one student’s ideas on the value of American diversity.

Sam Clapcich – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – While the game of basketball might seem like an easy sport, the lineups, plays, defensive formations, and overall player morale’s all contribute to leading a successful team.

I love being a coach.  Through all the ups and downs, being able to teach the game of basketball makes my job enjoyable.

Despite basketball being a competitive game, having fun is the most important thing, especially for kids, who should be more focused on enjoying the game, rather than wins or losses.

With these contributions in mind, it’s difficult to coach a young team.

It is often asked why the players are not in positions they prefer, or why they need to be so consistent with attending practices.

Being able to balance all these factors will lead to a successful basketball team every single time.

With a 10-man roster and a 5-man lineup out on the court at a time, this makes two groups.

When forming a lineup, it is important to balance the players skills.

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Younger players have difficulty memorizing plays so it’s better to keep it simple, pick and roll, cuts to the basket, or handoffs.

On the other side of the ball, defensive formations are even more important to winning a game.

Most kids in this age group don’t have the arm strength to shoot behind the three-point line, and overall aren’t the best at scoring, so being able to contain them completely will lead to wins every time.

I use zone defenses such as the 2-3 zone or 2-2-1 are successful in stopping the other team from scoring.

The final contribution to creating a successful team is the kids’ morale.

Keeping children happy is super difficult, and when they are playing a competitive sport, it makes it even harder.

I try my best to keep them entertained; that keeps them in a good mood and makes games and practices go smoother.

The most important thing to remember is patience when you’re calm, they will act like you.

Making sure I stay calm helps deal with parents too. I tell them that there are no favorites, and every decision I make is in the best interest of the team.