The McFarland Girls Basketball Boosters believe that the best way to provide a positive experience for our youth is to focus on creating a positive environment full of opportunities for players of all skill levels, teaching great fundamentals, and developing a competitive attitude which establishes the connection between teamwork and roles and how they relate to team success. These three core principles are the driving force for us as we continue to find a variety of ways to get the girls in the gym and playing this wonderful game of basketball with each other. The Fall Season is when we will provide the majority of our support for our 3rd through 8th graders. This season generally occurs during the October-February time frame when the girls youth program gets top priority on gym use and corresponds with the Fall Leagues. Please note that there is a basketball skills development program available for 1st – 4th grades through the McFarland Recreation Department. MGBB also offers McFarland Little Spartans ball handling development program from January through mid-February for 3rd through 5th grade girls and Sharp Shooters shooting program for all 3-8th grade McFarland Girls throughout the summer.
Any tournament/traveling teams that occur beyond the Fall Season (generally January-March) will be run solely by the volunteer coach(es) who is dedicating their time and resources to provide players with additional/extra opportunities. The McFarland Girls Basketball Boosters encourage providing girls in our program with these “extra” basketball opportunities and therefore will provide practice scheduling support (note that all practice scheduling requests need to go through the MGBB Board of Directors so that we can provide for a centralized, effective and efficient girls basketball scheduling process with McFarland Buildings and Grounds in order to maximize the gym time availability for the girls in our program) and will provide equipment/uniforms for these teams.
Fall Season Philosophy
The creation of positive opportunities for our girls is first and foremost the most important thing to us. We understand that it is not the wins or losses, but a positive basketball experience that will help keep girls involved and active in this game. At each grade level we accomplish this goal by putting them in positions to be successful in an environment that is developmentally appropriate.
Generally, within 3rd to 5th grade we will be splitting teams evenly based upon skill level and attempt to play players relatively equally as well. (Depending on the specific circumstances of an individual grade level, the Board may provide exception to this framework for 5th grade.) This will give players a chance to get comfortable with the game and focus on working together and developing camaraderie. The majority of practice time will be spent on basic fundamental skill work with everyone in that grade practicing together. A basic offense will be taught for game play, but we are really looking to develop a great skill base for our players, not a team that can run a bunch of plays. Each day players will be challenged to be better than they were last practice and develop an attitude of competing against themselves to improve each day. Players will play all positions and not be pigeon holed into a specific position based on their size or skill level. Everyone should get a chance to try new things as they are learning the game.
In 7th and 8th grade, we will continue to focus on creating that positive environment by providing players of various skill levels the opportunity to compete with players and against other teams of similar ability. Teams will continue to develop relationships with each other by practicing together and competing within practice to make each player better. When it comes to games, teams will be split in a way that will allow each player to develop a variety of roles on their team that will best support their growth as they approach a more competitive level. Splitting of the teams will be based on skill level so that players on each team will be able to work with peers and against opponents of similar ability. We believe this will allow all players to play a more significant role on their team and continue their growth and is aligned with the philosophy of the middle school basketball program as well. Each player’s team selection will be based upon their current level of ability and will not be determined by the team they were on previously or the number of years they have been a part of the youth basketball program. Furthermore, selection to one team or the other is not an indictment of that player and will not effect their placement on future teams at the middle school or high school level. An attitude that focuses on doing what is best for the team will be reinforced at this level, so playing time will not always be equal, but every player will play in every game. Players will begin to learn the importance of developing a role on a team and will continue to expand their skill levels to find more ways to grow as a player.
6th grade will be a hybrid of the 4th/5th and 7th/8th grade level guidelines. The overall philosophy of this grade level will again be focused on terrific skill development, with practices dedicated mostly to skill work and working together with all the other players of this grade level. The team split philosophy for games will be determined each year by the volunteer coach(s) with the assistance of the girls basketball booster BOD, if needed. The goal being to provide the best game experiences and resultant player development for the 6th grade group of players each year. Understand that rarely will all of us (coaches, players, parents, etc.) be in agreement how this will work best. The coaches will use their best judgement in determining the most effective option for the 6th grade.
We do encourage parents to be supportive and encouraging for not only their child, but the other players on the team as well as the coaches and officials. Our coaches are volunteering their time and energy to provide a great learning experience for these student-athletes and should be treated with respect. Parents are encouraged to address concerns that they may have no sooner than 24 hours after a game and should approach the coach first as well as give the issue adequate time to be resolved. If they still do not feel satisfied, they may contact the MGBB Board and/or Varsity head basketball coach. They will then work in conjunction to address any coaching issues if an obvious concern arises to ultimately develop a solution that is best for the girls basketball program.