Love the game

It’s Valentine’s Day, so Yanders Law wants to remind you to love what you do - especially basketball!

Keeping a love of the game of basketball is very important when striving to become a great player. Loving what you do does not have to only apply to basketball or other sports - it is important to love your job, your life, or whatever motivates you to be great.

We hear from the pros all the time about their love for the game or occasionally how they fall out of love and drift away from the sport. Love for the game is a common theme from the top-tier athletes.

Almost everyone likes sports, but it takes true passion to be in the gym for hours each day perfecting your craft.

The game of basketball has been everything to me. My place of refuge, place I’ve always gone where I needed comfort and peace. It’s been the site of intense pain and the most intense feelings of joy and satisfaction. It’s a relationship that has evolved over time, given me the greatest respect and love for the game.
— Michael Jordan

Do not be afraid to pour your heart into something like basketball. Even when your days as a player are over, the game gives back in unexpected ways. You can love watching the game, coaching the game, writing about the game (a personal favorite), and much more.

This Valentine's Day, cherish what you love. Have a little chocolate if you must, but don't forget to put down the box and get some free throws up too.

Happy Valentine's Day from Yanders Law!

Applying Yanders Law experience to school ball

Unfortunately, playing for Yanders Law cannot be a year-round, exclusive commitment. However, everything learned and practiced with us can be year-round.

The coaches and staff involved with Yanders Law are diligent in reflecting the views that come from our Founder, Rob Yanders. In all that he does, Rob’s dedication to improving young people shines through absolutely. On-court improvement, skill development, and teamwork are invaluable, but so is camaraderie off the court, respect for authority, and giving back.

During our leagues, tournaments, and practices, Yanders Law squads focus on immediate tasks and matchups at hand. Preparing for opponents and doing all the little things is essential in the moment. However, we make sure to add focus on long-term goals as well.

On the court, we focus on skill development that will stick with players even after they hang up their YLB jerseys to begin a new season of school ball. The on-court lessons learned playing for Yanders Law are the same essential skills that players will need, regardless of the team they play for. We also strive to create leaders that go from our teams to lead any other teams they may be involved in.

We boast multiple alumni athletes that have gone on to play basketball at the next level following our programs. You may have also seen that a few of our local high school players have been making some noise. Anton Brookshire, Isaac Haney, and Twilah Carrasquillo all being recently named Ozarks Sports Zone Athletes of the Week being a prime example.

Unlike many teams, we consider successes outside of our program to be just as satisfying as successes within it. We love getting to root for Brookshire’s Kickapoo squad, Haney at Dora, Carrasquillo at Verona, and of course many, many more.

The high standards that Yanders Law holds its players to extends off the court as well. The only thing we love to see more than on-court success is caring, high-character moves off of it. We thrive on positive development of our athletes as people. We want nothing more than to turn out such individuals that can spread all of these traits around their communities and impact the world.

As we share in you or your player’s successes, make sure to tag Yanders Law or give us a shout so that we can get to see the impact that makes everything worth it. Good luck to all of our players as they wrap up their seasons and prepare for district contests, or whatever may be next at their level of play. Above all, continue to work hard and show them what you can do!

Never be ashamed of where you are from

Towns no one has heard of, cities where it is tough to stand out from the crowd; everyone is from somewhere. Embrace your journey.

Everyone has a story. Guys and girls from all over may share passions for things like basketball, but no one is quite the same as you. Embracing yourself as a person or player means you must own every part of your life. Never be ashamed of where you come from.

For better or for worse, you are the culmination of all of your experiences in life. Some of them were great experiences that you could see making you stronger right in front of your eyes. Some experiences really hurt at the time, but they still altered your path to make you the unique individual you are today.

Be the best version of yourself in anything that you do. You don’t have to live anybody else’s story.
— Stephen Curry

Look back at the toughest times that you have had in your life. In the end, they made you much stronger in many ways, right? The best parts of your story couldn't have happened without the early chapters.

On the court, you are not the only player that wants to win and dominate the competition. You will often have to bring your very best to achieve your goals. Your very best means drawing on experiences, hard work, and an understanding of what makes you uniquely you.

Embrace your personal history, even if there are things you would rather forget. You do not have to dwell on those things, but do not be afraid to think back and recognize the ways that it made you a stronger person. Even if you have been lucky enough to avoid major hardships, there are always experiences to reflect back on when striving to be great.

Yanders Law aims to push players and people at all levels to be the very best they can be. Do not be afraid to approach our coaches or anyone else with any tough times you are going through. Just remember, it is all another chapter in the story of your greatness.

Merry Christmas from Yanders Law!

Merry Christmas, everyone! We talk a lot about using holidays and weekends to outwork your opponents, but maybe hang with family on this one.

At Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement, we are serious about hoops. However, we are also well-aware that there are plenty of things that are bigger than basketball. Over at The Basketball Movement blog, we have discussed doing inside work on rainy days, getting in a gym on holiday weekends, and more. That said, Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for stepping away from work, school, and play to focus on what is important.

We were thrilled to partner with The Basketball Movement and Jones Family YMCA to show the power of basketball with our Angels of the Hardwood event. It was great to show that even as basketball organizations, there are still ways to get involved in the true reason for the Christmas season.

To all of the players, parents, fans, and Yanders Law coaches and staff - Merry Christmas! This is an excellent time to reflect on a year’s worth of accomplishments, hardships overcome, and great things on the horizon.

Thank you to everyone that helped us to make 2018 successful. We are proud of everything that has been accomplished and proud to have worked with everyone who helped to make it happen.

Enjoy this time with family and friends and remember what Christmas is all about. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tips for parents or other fans

Playing the game can be tough, as can coaching. Watching the games? As invested fans, that can be tough at times too.

As fans of youth basketball, it can be all too easy at times to get involved in everything that goes on on the court - especially for parents. You are taking your kids to camps, practices, and games as well as footing the bills for leagues, equipment, and so on. This gives a deep feeling of involvement with your player and the program.

This is a good thing! You should be active and engaged in what is going on in your son or daughter’s lives. However, this involvement can also make things a bit difficult when you see your athlete placed in tough situations or under-performing.

Just remember - it is often best to address these situations according to the time and place. On the way to or from games are terrific times for constructive discussions, as everything is fresh in the player’s head. At practices, that is the coach’s jurisdiction. Let the coaching staff handle everything on the floor.

Where things often get tough for parents is where it is toughest for all parties - during games.

There are fine lines to walk during games. On the one hand, you are encouraged to cheer on your players and team, to praise them during their successes, and to build them back up when they make mistakes. As such an invested individual though, you may sometimes make mistakes.

Encouragement is always helpful, there is no limit on that. Where things can go wrong though lies in criticism, whether it is of your player, the coach, or even referees. Shouting at the refs will build bad blood between that ref and your team, no matter where it comes from. It also sets a poor example for the players, leading them to believe referees are a scapegoat for their shortcomings.

Criticizing coaches or your player’s teammates is of course discouraged as well. It will distract all of the players and take away from the important focuses of playing the sport.

Finally, save constructive criticism of your own player for another time. Your son, daughter, or otherwise is already going to be aware when they make a mistake. Compounding that with a public disappointment of their parents is going to get in their head in a big way. During game time, just remember - encourage, encourage, encourage. Let the coaches and team handle the rest.

Being an involved parent or fan is important, just do your best to go about it in the best way possible. Yanders Law is a tight-knit group, and we have faith that our parents, players, and coaches can set great examples for each other.

The definition of team chemistry

Coaches, fans, and basketball pundits all love to talk about team chemistry. What does it really mean?

At the risk of starting this off like a middle school essay, let’s just go ahead and state the literal definition of the word “chemistry”. The definition is not as clean and simple as we may like. However, you can see how when broken down, it can be simply applied to the sport of basketball.

Google defines chemistry as “the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.”

To start, we can fill in a few of the terms with basketball jargon: Identification of the players of which a team is composed. Identifying for our purposes isn’t just knowing your teammate’s names. To achieve ideal chemistry, you must know their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.

“…the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change…” Once you know them as mentioned above, you can begin to anticipate their actions, while also watching them grow as players and teammates.

Finally, “form new substances” is the resulting team. Players that know each other inside and out, on and off the court form the teams that will have what is referred to as great team chemistry.

Chemistry can be difficult for teams that introduce or bid farewell to players such as Yanders Law has to do from time to time. Still, stressing the importance of chemistry allows our coaches and teams to have a working understanding of what is necessary at all times.

We create a standard for how we want to do things and everyone’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people.
— Nick Saban

When a team has good chemistry, it shows. Chemistry happens in the trenches, such as during practices. It also happens off the court, when teams are able to bond on more personal levels.

This is an important area for our teams, and we encourage our players to always stick together. Help your teammates up, give them affirmation in real life or on social media, just… be a friend.

For more on teamwork, Yanders Law players, activities, and everything else, keep it locked right here.

Go forth and lead

In basketball and in life, leadership is highly valuable. It is the goal of Yanders Law to turn out as many leaders as possible.

Every individual is made up of unique skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Society and teams are at their best though when leaders are able to step up and guide groups in ways that benefit everyone. Yanders Law teams make sure to do our part in creating as many leaders as possible.

On the basketball court, it is easy to point to a team’s leading scorer or point guard when picking out the leader. This of course does not have to be true. Leadership is possible at all positions.

A player that always makes sure to be a positive presence on the bench is a leader. Players that work to foster off-court relationships with their teammates are leaders. Players that outrun everyone else during practice are leaders. Players that hold teammates accountable in the classroom are leaders.

You can still have the classic leaders as well; The most vocal defender, the offense initiator, or others that lead by example.

Leadership can be a difficult aspect of life to hone. To be a leader means to be one step ahead of others by taking initiative. That can be a bit scary sometimes, and it may occasionally strike a nerve with those around you. The key is to be confident and understanding of the sacrifices it takes to help a team succeed.

If you’re going to be a leader, you’re not going to please everybody. You gotta hold people accountable, even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.
— Kobe Bryant

Yanders Law understands that leadership can come from anywhere, so we make sure to empower all of our players to step up as leaders in their own way. Leadership in basketball is just one of many lessons that we want our boys or girls to take away from time with our program.

Those of you that are leaders already - Go forth! Spread your gift in any way you can that helps others, on the court or off. As our players apply their Yanders Law lessons to their high school teams and other aspects of school, we wish them the best and hope they continue to hold themselves to our high standards.

For more on Yanders Law, you are in the right place, but can also follow along with us on Twiter @YandersLaw

2018-19 high school and middle school games are underway!

Good luck to all of the Yanders Law players whose regular season school games are starting up.

The boys and girls of Yanders Law typically don’t put basketball out of their mind at any particular point in the year. The sport can be played year-round, so there is always time to get in the gym.

Yanders Law basketball doesn’t take much of the year off either, with many of our teams still currently seeing action. Though the program prides itself on Yanders Law team success, it also takes great pride in individual successes of its many young men and women.

Individual exposure can happen anywhere, but there is also something special about playing for your school’s team. The rivalries between schools (or players), school spirit, and playing with others you have grown up around make playing ball for your school a great experience.

So, as many of our players kick off these seasons for high school and middle school, we want to wish them the best of luck! Our support does not stop when you take off your Yanders Law jersey.

Each of our players are part of a brotherhood or sisterhood that carries over no-matter which court you’re on or which colors you’re wearing.

Don’t hesitate to let us know about your successes for your school either. We love to hear about every accolade on the court or in the classroom. Basketball can’t last forever (as a player) so our main goals are centered around cultivating responsible, disciplined, and driven individuals and teammates in all areas of life.

Many of our players are using this time to prove what they can do on the floor and get noticed by coaches and scouts at the next level of the game. A special shoutout to those individuals as they strive to make their dream of continued basketball a reality. (Read up on one such Yanders Law player here)

Good luck to all as these new seasons start up. We’ll be watching, so make us proud!