The launch of the Northern Lights Basketball Academy
by Randy Pascal
Local basketball coach Kyle Beers sees his new Northern Lights Basketball Academy (NLBA) as a complementary service to the Sudbury
basketball community, rather than a competing offering.
His challenge is making sure that message gets heard.
"I've had some tremendous coaches along the way and they've really inspired some tremendous passion for the game in me," said the 35 year old teacher who
has guided the Lasalle Lancers' senior boys teams in their recent run of success.
"I'm proud to be in a position where I can give back to an already strong basketball community here in Sudbury. It's a well established community, and
I think what I can do is come in and help out some of these teams and programs by filling little holes that are not being met."
"As a high school coach and former club coach, I recognize that it's hard to meet everybody's needs," Beers continued. "Some of these seasons are very
short, condensed seasons, so you're not always able to give the attention to individual athletes. This is an excellent opportunity to get extra reps,
private instruction, where I can complement what the coach is trying to achieve."
"If the players are taking care of some of their own skill development elsewhere, these coaches can focus more on their own philosophies and their own
strategies for their particular team."
In a perfect world, Beers would love to see the NLBA serve as a collaborative effort, helping northern athletes even the playing field with other
parts of the province. "It just kind of progressed, spit-balling ideas off different players and coaches," he explained.
"We really thought there could be a need for this. We're trying to create a spot where we can get the talent from Sudbury, and maybe the north, together,
where we can share philosophies, help each other get better."
Pragmatically speaking, Beers will be offering a combination of both condensed skill-specific sessions, in addition to his core product, a six week once
a week (two hour sessions) program. The content is not limited to on-court teachings.
"We want to cover what it means to be an elite athlete, everything from mental preparation, having your body ready to respond, nutrition, sleep habits,
all of that stuff. We want to cover social media literacy. The athletes need to be aware that their social media presence leaves a footprint that is going
to follow them all the way through their careers, and their professional lives as well."
While the NLBA will tend to cater to athletes between the ages of eight to 18, Beers acknowledged that the early, more formative years could well
produce the greatest impact.
"I would like to start with younger athletes and continue to work with them through their progression, through elementary, junior high and high school,
so that they are prepared to take that leap to post-secondary."
Open to both boys and girls, the Northern Lights Basketball Academy will also feature a week long camp in July. For further information, visit the
Academy website at www.northernlightsbasketball academy.ca.