March 12, 2019
Snow Valley: A Learning Environment for Coaches – Part II
This is part two of a four-part series on the history of Snow Valley Basketball Camps written by Pete Van Mullem. For the full part two of the four-part article series, follow the link.. http://www.pheamerica.org/2018/snow-valley-a-learning-environment-for-coaches-part-2/
“If the coach is learning the athletes are improving.”
Herb Livsey, founder of Snow Valley Basketball Schools had a vision to run a top instructional basketball camp and at the same time help coaches become better teachers. Coaches knew that if they were chosen to coach at Snow Valley Basketball Schools it was a commitment to not only coach but to improve.
When asked about his experience, sixteen-year camp veteran Pete Gaskill remembered his first summer saying, “I’m a 22-year-old kid – thinking what am I doing here? My experience was significant in terms of gaining a better understanding of the game. But most importantly how to communicate it and how to teach it,” said Gaskill. “Everything I do seems to come back to Snow Valley.”
Over the years, coaches have worked under the directors at Snow Valley and are very familiar with the phrase “The Snow Valley Way.” The Snow Valley Way refers to the style and teaching methods used at Snow Valley. Instruction is focused not only on improving skill sets of campers, but also coaches. Skills are introduced in a way in which campers and coaches can learn and practice drills. As drills are introduced and explained, coaches provide feedback in real time which allows campers to see improvements in their skills as the day progresses. Livsey would hand pick coaches to lead Instructional clinics each day. To be picked was an honor and a moment to shine, this created a setting for coaches to not only practice but reflect on their craft.
Another long-time coach, Wyane Carlson remembers, “You take those teaching lessons not only from the basketball court, but into your history class,” says Carlson. “You’d watch them (coaches) and how they taught, how they worked with a group of kids, how they understood if learning was taking place and if learning was not taking place. Then how they would re-teach it.” Watching how other successful coaches teach and introduce drills and skills is quite the experience for a coach at any level.
Livsey established a program that was more than about campers improving their skill sets over the course of a week, he created an environment that pushes coaches to be better. He balanced his coaching staff with both experienced and young up and comers in the coaching community, making sure that he has the perfect balance. He knew the game of basketball was changing and he wanted to have a hand in what was yet to come to basketball.
Players, coaches, and parents interested in Snow Valley Basketball Schools can visit https://www.snowvalleybasketball.com/ or call 1-800-645-3226.
About US Sports Camps
US Sports Camps (USSC), headquartered in San Rafael, California, is America's largest sports camp network and the licensed operator of Nike Sports Camps. The company has offered summer camps since 1975 with the same mission that defines it today: to shape a lifelong enjoyment of athletics through high quality sports education and skill enhancement.