Wednesday, December 9, 2015

6th Boro Hoops To Inject New Blood Into Grass-roots Training

A bevy of cliched titles such as "Shot Doctor," "Skill Development Coach," "Player Development Coach, "Shooting Coach," and others have polluted the Westchester region.
Sure, there have been numerous elite-level skill coaches capable of tweaking the shot form and crucial aspects of one's game.
There is more self-promotion and trainter-to-trainer competition, however, than necessary.

In the Rivertowns region and beyond, there's been a glaring case of underdeveloped youth.

Finding a reputable and reliable training program, beyond the key go-to-guys, can be an arduous task in these parts.
Local product Nihad Musovic and DC Gaitley aspire to alter the grass-roots training landscape.

With 6th Boro Hoops, a training program which orchestrates camps and clinics throughout the Bronx and Westchester, both young men will look to inject young blood and an innovative skills training package onto the scene.

You may remember Musovic, a Hastings native, as a dual sport threat in both basketball and soccer at Fordham Prep. Gaitley, a P.A. schoolboy talent who recently wrapped up a basketball career at Fordham University, hails from a rich coaching bloodline.
 "Growing up in the (Hastings/Yonkers) area, I knew exactly what it was like to find quality training with someone who cared," said Musovic.

"I was extremely fortunate to be paired with Tunney Maher, who ran the Hastings CYO program."

Maher, who died of cancer in 2010, left behind a legacy which saw him catapult St. Matt's CYO into an unrivaled factory for skill development.

 Musovic said he noticed a dearth of skill-centric basketball programs in the Hastings/Yonkers area. As he crossed the threshold from the graduation stage at Fordham into the real world, he became more and more intrigued at the notion of making training a livelihood and a 9-to-5 job (well beyond 9-5 hours).

"A lot people think it's all about the training," Musovic said.

"For me, it is more about to a holistic approach to it. I want the kids to learn how encompassing a beautiful game like basketball can really be. It only gets better the more they push themselves to learn everything there is.
 Gaitley, who authored a three-year career as a cerebral, playmaking guard at Episcopal Academy (Newton Square, PA), had the unique luxury (and added pressure) of having both parents as coaches.

When Gaitley's mother, Stephanie Gaitley, arrived at Fordham, the program was entrenched in the nation's lower percentile of Division-I programs.

The Fordham position, at the time, was a vacant job even an unemployable coach would have turned his or her nose at.

Implementing a new program, Gaitley helped forever change the perception of the once downtrodden, dungeon dwelling program.

Understanding the lack of young blood and tireless workers in the current player development climate, the Fordham graduates' new company takes a fundamentals first approach.

The plan is to methodically eliminate the flaws in young players. Too often have both young men seen coaches and clinicians who would rather empower players' strengths than rectify their weaknesses. It tends to lead to an imbalanced picture--a player who can shoot lights out but can't play a lick of defense for example--at the varsity level.

The urge to develop a skill-set and an awareness in players at a younger age helped create the brand.'

And while spending your early 20s in a gym and going to work in Nike Swoosh shorts, Jordans, and cut-off shirts might seem like a dream job to some, both young men ackowledge the challenge.

"The challenges are gaining credibility," said Gaitley. "You can talk yourself up about how good you are but until you get your brand out there and have people see you, it is easy for parents and children to question you. Gaining trust is definitely the hard part about this job."

Gaitley is cognizant that there is more to it than sharpening up someone's jump shot, teaching them defensive principles and going over concepts such as the pick-and-roll. He envisons a situation in which he's constantly on the move.

"You really have to hustle and earn notice from people," Gaitley explained. "At the start, we had to speak and clinics and conduct our own free clinics to really show people that we have substance. Once we have a core of athletes it will be much easier to gain credibility. Our end game is hopefully to get enough athletes together to start a small and successful AAU program."

They'll run an AAU program in different fashion than most AAU coaches. Thus, Musovic and Gaitley vow to avoid selfish, me-first basketball and preach team concepts.

The goal would be to orchestrate the program like an everyday team, not a piecemeal AAU team lacking the chemistry and fundamentals.

Musovic understands this is a labor of love, but also acknowledges good hard labor will be poured into it throughout.

"In theory, working out with young kids and teens all day seems to be a walk in the park, but it's not that simple," he explained.

"The hardest part is getting their attention and having them believe in you. Once the player believes in you, they open up to you in a way where teaching and training becomes simple. I think our age and youthfulness helps the players associate with us easier than they would with an older parent coaching them."