Eleven year-old Anthony Watt is a true and determined young athlete. He has dipped his cleats into several sports over the years. He was a basketball player at a very young age. Then, he hung up his Jordans for football. Today, at age 11 the Tejeda Middle School 6th grade student-athlete is back on the hardwood with a reignited passion for basketball. What beckoned him back? Shooting For Success’ Basketball Camp.
He just couldn’t get enough of it.
“When I returned to SFS Camp I started getting really good at it and that made it a lot of fun,” Anthony says. Not only that, Anthony rediscovered the social aspect of the Stone Oak area basketball camp. He saw a lot of his friends at the camp and easily made new ones.
Shooting For Success Camp is one that’s open to a wide range of ages and skill levels. It is structured progressively so each day campers build upon the skills they learned the day before. The day consists of drills, hands-on shooting mechanics, endurance activities, scrimmages, and fun games that incorporate basketball skills such as quick feet, staying with a man, and shooting baskets.
Anthony says his favorite camp segment is scrimmaging where he gets to put his newly acquired or improved skills into game play action.
It’s fun, according to Anthony.
At eleven years old, however, Anthony is just as observant to the learning benefits a camp like Shooting For Success offers.
He recognizes that he’s gotten much better in several areas. “My layups have gotten a lot better,” Anthony reports. As a left-handed athlete, Anthony has favored going to the left side of the basket. Now he’s more comfortable going to both right and left sides – a crucial skill for a player if he or she is to outsmart and outplay a defender.
“Coach Dee wouldn’t count the basket if I made it by going to my left (comfortable) side,” laughs Anthony.
Master the uncomfortable to become comfortable ~ An SFS philosophy Anthony now knows well.
It is philosophies like this as well as a set of core values the club emblazons on the back of its camp tee-shirts that Anthony’s mom, a former athlete herself, really likes.
“I want my kids, any time they’re in sports, I want them to learn things that can be helpful not just on the court or field, but off of it too,” Christine Baratta says. “The environment is also very friendly where it has been really easy for Anthony to make friends.”
Another benefit of the Shooting For Success camp Christine points out is that it runs week-long and a player can do multiple weeks. In fact, many returning campers and those who also play on the Shooting For Success competitive club team do exactly that. As a working parent, the schedule is convenient for Christine. Anthony likes it because the more weeks he attends camp, the more his skills improve (another growth-minded realization).
But, this disciplined player wants to get even better.
So he asked his mom if she might sign him up for private, one-on-one training with Coach Dee, one of the coaches who runs camp and coaches the club teams too.
She said absolutely.
Now, with multiple weeks of camp under his belt, as well as private training, Anthony has challenged himself with a new goal : making the Shooting For Success Club Basketball Team. He sees the jerseys of others on the team often around the gym. He wants nothing more than to earn one.
Playing club basketball requires a higher skills set. It also takes a serious sense of dedication. Club teams practice multiple times a week and Shooting For Success coaches expect their club team players to voluntarily attend open gym hours on weekends.
It is no easy task, but it is one that Anthony has become laser-focused upon ~ all thanks to deciding to return to the Shooting For Success summer basketball camp those months ago.
“I can’t wait for the next camp now and have already asked my mom to sign me up,” gleams Anthony.
Success, for Anthony, is just a few made shots away.
Nov. 21-23, 2002
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Dec. 26-30, 2002
March 13 – 17, 2003