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Jr. NBA Coaches Academy: Leveling up Basketball Knowledge of Thai Teachers

The spread of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on sporting activities around the world as stadiums, gyms and playgrounds have closed or limited access to group activities. This has also deprived kids the opportunity to play sports and socialize with their friends, which the same can be said for P.E. teachers and coaches training Thai youth in their physical sporting activities.

With the COVID-19 situation under control in Thailand, the government has allowed physical activities to resume with strict hygiene and social distancing protocols set in place. However, there are other factors that have hindered the learning process for sports including time, distance and access to coaching. Jr. NBA, the league’s youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, returned to Thailand virtually through the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy online, a series of workshops conducted via video conference calls that educate participating teachers on fundamental basketball skills and application.

In Oct. 2020, Jr. NBA Coaches Natalia Andre, Carlos Barroca and Rob Newson led the online workshop and taught the Jr. NBA Asia curriculum to a group of 50 teachers from five provinces across the country including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Nakon Ratchasima, and Nakonsri Thammarat.

"Having the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy conducted through an online workshop was beneficial during the current COVID-19 situation. The NBA brings the best training in the world and with the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy, we had a fun and engaging experience to learn the proper techniques and drills to teach the game of basketball to boys and girls," said Thailand national basketball player and coach Daranpong Apiromwilaichai.

With the support of the Ministry of Education, the basketball manual has been integrated into the Thai physical education curriculum, which features 9 modules (Year 4 to 12) comprised of 6 lessons per module incorporating various techniques and drills to teach the fundamental skills of the game.

To supplement the manual, instructional videos from NBA/WNBA players, legends, coaches, strength, and conditioning personnel are available at www.jrnbaasia.com.

Tips from Jr. NBA Coaches on How to be a Successful Coach

  1. Make learning basketball engaging and fun

Jr. NBA coach Carlos Barroca said, "Warming up, playing, and learing are the training foundations but it is most important for training to be engaging and fun! Coaches need to have a passion to train and your kids can feel it. Start your class with a big smile! The team wants to play the game and is not always keen to practice so as the coach, you need to balance between practice and playing the game. Plan your training and adjust accordingly to get your players’ maximum attention and motivation."

  1. Maximize your surroundings to train basketball and stay fit

During this difficult time where individuals can’t practice as much, it is not a reason to deprioritize training. Jr. NBA Coach Carlos added that players and coaches alike can continue to stay healthy and strong at home by following four tips:

  • Keep moving by running up the stairs or around the house
  • Maintain your strength by doing exercise routines such as squats and bodyweight push-ups among other workouts
  • Get enough rest
  • Eat good food and drink a lot of water
  1. Teaching life lessons and continuing the process of learning

"The Jr. NBA core values of sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude, and respect (S.T.A.R.) provide kids life skills that they can use off the court and in the same way, a good coach teaches skills and techniques but can also prepare students for a life beyond basketball," said Jr. NBA Coach Nat?lia Andre. "While coaches teach kids the same skills, it’s important to remember that each player is unique and learn at their own pace, which may require different methods of teaching. More importantly, teachers need to continue learning to optimize their coaching skills in order to boost the long-term development of youth players."

Since its launch in 2017, Jr. NBA Coaches Academy has trained over 5,000 teachers from over 2,000 schools in 15 cities across Thailand. Aspiring teachers and coaches can access the Jr. NBA Asia curriculum at www.jrnbaasia.com and on the Jr. NBA Teachers Corner mobile application on the App Store and Google Play.

Fans can also access the official Jr. NBA Asia website in Thai language and watch "Jr. NBA at Home", an interactive content series featuring basketball skills and drills that can be conducted in limited space.

Jr. NBA Thailand is supported by Gatorade, Spalding and Take-Two. TrueVisions is the official media partner while Shoot It is the official Jr. NBA co-organizer.

Follow @JrNBAThailand on Facebook and @jrnbaasia on Instagram for the latest news and highlights on the Jr. NBA Asia program. Fans can purchase NBA merchandise through NBAStore.co.th, the official online NBA Store in Thailand. For all things NBA, visit www.nba.com.