Wolf Pack basketball players have been able to lace up their sneakers and get back onto the hardwood during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sessions began on June 15 and will go until August 8.
Basketball is mentioned in Yukon Health’s recommended activities for community and individual sport.
Training sessions must adhere to “non-contact skills – passing, shooting, defending and team structure (offence and defence); small groups,” according to Yukon Health.
Wolf Pack coach Tim Brady said the club will follow the guidelines on group sizes, 10 or less, as well as instituting more protocols.
“We have protocols in place to meet the guidelines,” said Brady. “All players will get their own ball, cleaned before and after training.
“We have hand sanitizer on site and we will be mindful of maintaining social distancing on the court. Players have to disclose if they’ve travelled out of the territory and stay home if they show symptoms. I think we are in good shape.”
Brady said there haven’t been practices since March 8.
“It’s been a while for a lot of players,” said Brady.
Since he has had an extended break from the court, Brady said he has been working on developing training sessions that fit with the territory’s guidelines.
“The stuff we do will be different than how I like to teach the game,” said Brady as Wolf Pack practices, pre-COVID focused on learning game scenarios and making players make quick decisions.
“It’s going to be like the tai chi of basketball. We will work on skill and technique. We can do that in a way that minimizes contact.”
Brady said the challenge has been designing a program that teaches team structure within the guidelines.
“Team structure and systems without a defender is tough,” said Brady.
“For fundamental skills to transfer you need to run drills that are as representative to real game-play as possible.”
Despite the challenges, Brady said he’s confident he will still be replicate game-like scenarios for the young hoopers.
“We will carve out a short piece for the fundamentals and then still try to replicate the game as best we can,” said Brady. “The challenge has been to find ways to do that. You can do volume shooting and work in drills to teach kids decision making.
“We still want players to understand the decisions they are making regardless of their skill-set.”
Sessions are being divided by age group and last one hour, 30 minutes, each group will train twice a week.