What is a development league and why do I need it? A development league is a sports team that focuses on the player development of participating athletes. These are common for professional sports. The NBA's G-League is just that. Its formerly known as NBA Development League (NBA D-League). MLB has a tier for their development league- Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A . Development Leagues are a great way for athletes to be exposed to a higher level, learning more about the sport. It cultivates success & builds a winner's mentality. It is rare to see a local youth developmental league. Other countries have a higher value for this, offering them to the community often and early.
It's easy for young children to join a basketball team. Each year goes by of only playing and the results are catastrophic. When players look up after being passed along, they're in middle school double dribbling, chasing the ball rather than working the floor, fouling on defense, and missing just about every shot. Better yet, athletes look up and they're a high schooler at a beginner level. (It's not an exaggeration. We've seen it.) At this point, players are too far behind to be a contributor. Stagnation has destroyed any chance for a successful outcome. It would take a lot of training to gain the necessary skill to build their basketball IQ. What's more, these players don't posses the mentality of a self-motivated, passionate athlete.
It's better to teach athletes while they're young, rather than correcting bad habits. They're able to be molded into efficient players, assets, and competitors. When people are shaped, they're often stuck in their ways. It can be like pulling teeth to change a person's mentality. The unwilling become rebellious. Like clay, it's better to reshape and correct in the early phase of the process. Once pottery hardens, you have to break it to fix any error. It's a much more tedious and difficult process. Who knows what you'll come up with.
Build a Winner's Mentality
Because developmental leagues aren't common in our culture for young athletes, basketball training has to be added as a part of their regime. I don't mean random or seasonal basketball training. Not just the 10 weeks of summer or during pre-season. Proficiency requires more than that. Know that consistency produces results. Be mindful that it takes time to master a skill. Taking breaks for long periods of time slow down progress. Multiple parents have confessed, "My biggest mistake is pausing training." Whether your athlete doesn't want to do the work, or the little success they obtained stopped them from wanting to improve more, they lose when player development training ceases. Eventually, playing a sport will transition from being fun, to learning more, to gaining a seriousness about it. When it's enjoyed, athletes look at player development training as a sacrifice, not a punishment. (This is the separation in a winner's mentality and a loser's mentality)
Give athletes the tools they need young and watch them have a higher success rate.