VERSAILLES – Under the direction of new varsity coach Travis Swank, Versailles had 80 boys in the second through sixth grades attend its three-day youth boys basketball camp that concluded Wednesday.
The camp was split into two sessions each morning with 42 second and third graders in the first session and 38 fourth through sixth graders in the second session. Almost all the participants were from Versailles with a Covington boy and a couple Russia boys participating as well.
As the camp wrapped up, Swank said he was pleased with the progress the boys showed.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement, and that’s what we’re really here to do,” he said. “We’re coming here to get better each day.”
The focus of the camp was fundamentals of dribbling, passing and shooting. Drills were designed for both age groups with the younger kids doing a lot of stationary dribbling for example while the older ones dribbled while also tossing a tennis ball to work on their hand-eye coordination.
“Not concentrating on the games as much as the fundamentals and making sure that they’re going to be good overall players,” Swank said.
There still was time for the boys to compete with free throw shooting competitions, hot shot competitions and a three-on-three tournament.
“We don’t really care about wins and losses in the tournaments, stuff like that, as long as they’re getting better,” Swank said. “That’s our main goal here at this camp.”
There was a lot of teaching throughout the three days, Swank said, and the boys really seemed to soak it up.
“We’ve had a lot of kids that had struggled dribbling with either their right or left hand, and I felt they left here at least being able to dribble pretty well with their dominant hand and then getting better with their non-dominant hand,” he said. “You love seeing that. You love seeing improvement out of the kids.”
Swank was assisted throughout the week by his coaching staff and high school players. The youth camp provided a good opportunity for the high school athletes to take direction and work on being disciplined.
“They’ve got to learn just as much as these little kids as well,” Swank said. “They’re doing a good job teaching them, and that’s what you like to see.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.