Regional Development Program
The Regional Development Program is a player and coach development system for males and females. Regional squads are put together at the U13, U15 and U17 age groups. It serves as both an annual identification and development process for England's ten regions and the regions of Scotland and Wales. The program provides players and coaches with a direct pathway to progress from their home club to regional selection and then to home countries national junior squad selection. It links clubs to country through localised organisation and knowledge.
The regional squads will be made up of the best of the club players from the region and players with potential to represent their country at national junior level and beyond. Regional squad players will be coached to the British Basketball Areas of Emphasis in the training phase prior to competition at the Regional Development Tournament. They will learn and develop individually through their involvement with the regional program.
The program is focused clearly on player and coach development - whilst the program culminates in Regional Development Tournaments at each age group for both genders, winning these tournaments is not the goal. The regional coach's effort is directed to developing each and every player in the program, building on the skills taught at club level. The program is a test for players and coaches as to whether or not they can adapt to a program and style similar to the National Teams program. The recommended training phase is a minimum of 10 hours to 45 hours of teaching and learning the national curriculum of team concepts and key understandings.
The program is also a key part of the coach performance pathway. Coaches learn and implement a national curriculum and are then assessed with a view to improving their coaching. Coaches are selected on merit, given a brief to prepare a team to national standards and then assessed on their ability to meet the brief. The intention is to identify future national team coaches. 'All England' regional coaches are selected from the program, who then progress onto exposure with junior national team programs.
The program also aims to draw club coaches closer together and encourage good communication and establish better collaboration with relation to player development. This will be specifically achieved through discussing and analysing the technical and tactical elements of the Areas of Emphasis. This will ultimately improve the quality of player development.
The Regional Management Committees (RMCs) of England Basketball organise the squads and coaches. The RMC organises the selection process and funds their program. Players are either invited to trial or are nominated by club coaches to attend, learn and compete for selection. Club coaches should liaise with their respective regional coach regarding training and players. The RMCs work with England Basketball to select the emerging talented coaches from each region. Performance Coaching Coordinators are selected to assist the Head of Performance and national squad selectors to identify and develop players for the national pathway.
Focus of the Regional Development Tournament
The focus for coaching and playing games at the Regional Tournament is not on winning the tournament, but on learning. This will require an attitudinal shift by coaches, parents and administrators. The focus is player development through enabling players to learn and understand the key British team principles and concepts and also to apply their individual skills that they have learned at Club or Area Performance Centre (APC) level.
Regional teams will play to a nominated British style, ensuring that key team concepts are understood by players and coaches. Progress and results should be based in terms of player and coach growth and development, or the effort and standard of the play of each team, rather than simply winning or losing.
At the regional tournament selectors will watch games and liaise with each regional coach regarding the progress of each regional team player. Any assessment will then be based on both training and game performance. This will improve the talent identification system and will become the system of trialing or 'trying out' for England squad selection and will ensure that all of the players are developing irrespective of standard. It is important to note that young players (aged 12 to 17) will develop at different rates. The regional tournaments will be held in September and are scheduled so as not to conflict with the work done by clubs and to allow a summer training block for the players. It is also scheduled to allow club coaches to coach regional teams.
Player selection and criteria
The selection process is co-ordinated by RMCs and may vary from region to region. All regional coaches are briefed on the selection criteria for national squad level players and are expected to base their selections on the same criteria.
The criteria are Physical: speed, agility, height, Mental/socio: commitment, attitude, behaviour, energy and effort (particularly in defence), Technical/Tactical: vision, decision making, shooting, dribbling and passing skill level. Potential for developing in these areas is also considered in the selection criteria.
Whilst player selection for APCs is judged on similar criteria, there is no guarantee that an APC player will be automatically selected for a regional team. The two selection processes are separate and are based on available talent at the respective time of selection. Players involved with the APC should be displaying attributes which meet the selection criteria and consequently should be strong candidates but not the sole candidates for regional selection as the criteria is applied to all available players.
The U13 age group will be largely concerned with talent identification and exposing club level players to the Areas of Emphasis and the national system of player development for the first time. It is the first of the national talent screening processes and the first of a series of opportunities for continued development and assessment by national system coaches. The players are still sampling the game of basketball and enjoyment and skill development are still the primary purposes. Players are identified from this stage and continually monitored for the National U15 development programs.
The U15 players will be players who have been playing club basketball for a few years and who are likely to be involved with individual skill development at the APC level. They are players who are deciding whether to specialise in basketball rather than other sports. The regional U15 development program focuses on taking these learned skills and techniques and applying them for the first time to the national principles and concepts of the British Basketball style of play. The age group will be used to assess the basic skill
level of junior players. The regional development program along with the individual skill development in the APCs offers all players a two-to-three year period of 90 hours of annual training where players can develop their basic skills and game understanding under the watchful eyes of nationally selected coaches. Players who represent their National team at European championships are not eligible to represent their region at the U15 level.
The regional U17 program is focused on late developing players for talent identification purposes, particularly those taller players who start, sample and develop late. It is also for continuing regional players who may have represented at other age levels. The player's individual skill base will have been established at club level and supported through the national system. The program is now focused on the regional player and coaches learning and developing game understanding through key principles and concepts of play and working to the national curriculum. Players who represent their National team at European championships are not eligible to represent their region at the U17 level. Coaches will be effective in coaching British style for understanding rather than coaching to win. Coaches will compete tactically through quality coaching of the key skills and principles that underpin effective player development for the next stage of their career.
British Playing Style and Areas of Emphasis
The British game style should be evident at the U17 level with players playing intense and persistent defence including very good full court man-to-man defence and transition defence based on key national principles. The U15 and U13 levels will have emerging elements of the game style.
Offensively the game style will feature well organised fast break basketball with good use of motion principles of team offence and an ability to feed the ball into the post when needed. Dribbling will be more effective and passing will be the predominate ball movement principle. Individually the players will display clear understanding of the Area of Emphasis tactical skills and the player's skill level will display the key hallmarks of the technical and physical skills explained in the Area of Emphasis.
- Based on a solid platform of energetic and committed team man-to-man defence
- Underpinned by effective individual defence which is able to contain the dribble and then apply ball pressure through good positioning, effective footwork and movement with additional effective hand pressure
- Containment through good footwork and technique and then pressure through effective closing out
- A desire to sprint, scramble and drop to the line of the ball in transition defence
- An effective fast break based on both passing and dribbling with sprinting lane runners
- Good ball movement against the defence through passing and sharing of the ball
- Effective fast break into motion principles and concepts
- Effective penetration with the dribble to the basket (no misuse of the dribble)
- Understanding of driving lane/passing lane decision making
- A preparedness and courage to take the perimeter shot rather than decline the shot and dribble penetrate repeatedly