Dear basketball friends,

By starting the journey to this beautiful sport in the summer of 1978, I could not have known the evolution of both the sport of basketball and my personal path to it.

After a 46-year process of completing small and large chapters of both athletic and professional life, I have shaped the framework of values in which I have existed as athlete and person. At the same time, I formed my training philosophy/approach to young ages where I have the privilege of being in the last 35 years.

A young child's decision about which sport is about to follow depends on the positive experience he or she will gain from the coach. Also, fun of the game, encouragement of an older athlete, success and satisfaction of the activity are decision factors too.

The 3 main sources of influence on the development of young athletes are the role of the coach, the role of parents and the role of peers.

It is clear that, the extent of the coach's influence (positive or negative) on the psychism of a child who takes his first steps in sports, is the most important factor for attracting or removing, pleasure or frustration.

The knowledge a coach needs to have about the type of coaching process he / she needs to follow in development is a very important factor in the development of athletes, thus we need qualified coaches for team Academies.

However, a qualified coach who does not have the will and love for young children, the patience to understand his young athlete, the ability to impart knowledge, and mainly the ability to motivate and convey excitement to young children, should not be chosen from an Academy.

The role of parents has changed dramatically since the '80s and '90s. It has mutated from supporting to directly involved for both parts of child, life and sport action. The responsibility could refer to administrators, coaches and for sure parents.

Having contact with at least 3000 athletes from ages 6-18 (including their parents) since 1989 and my personal experience from my father who has played his role perfectly for 25 years, I can confirm that the discernment of raising a young athlete is the only way for an independent, mature and well-to-do person.

The attitude of an athlete’s parent should be so discreet that it does not overlap some or all of the personality traits, that the child shapes from the stimuli of the family environment and interaction with coaches and athletes.

There are many examples of athletes who lost their orientation due to the tight embrace of parents and the constant interference in all their child's expressions.

On the other hand, children with little supplies, often with no family support, decide to invest in endless hours of training to become what they dream of and make them complete personalities.

Of course there are bright examples of parents who support their children like being the best teammates.

As a conclusion of this brief contact, I would like to encourage all involved (family, coaches, Greek Basketball Federation, agents, team administrators) to return to the basics of young ages. By this, I do not mean dribbling, passing, shooting but mainly the approach, the right guidance, the planning of the training and the goals of the young athlete to harness the given talent of the younger generation.

You can browse this site for a better understanding of the principles that govern the long-term planning of training in developmental ages, the training content applied to the athlete's developmental stages and the development model service pillars.

Yours sincerely,
Achilleas Demenagas

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