San Diego State head basketball coach Steve Fisher knows the game of basketball inside and out. Since Fisher became head coach in 1989, he has collected numerous Coach of the Year honors, had more than a dozen of his players selected in the NBA Draft and won a coveted NCAA championship.
Fisher’s success is not solely tied to his knowledge of the game, but also his dedication to his players and his extraordinary ability to teach. For a week in late July, instead of watching and instructing his own players, Fisher was busy teaching the basic fundamentals to a different group of players, most of which have yet to hit their growth spurts.
The reigning Naismith Coach of the Year hosted the 2011 Steve Fisher Individual Skills Basketball Camp here on campus. The camp focused on developing the fundamentals and playing competitive team basketball, but also featured the enjoyable elements of basketball.
“We try to make sure we keep the camp competitive and skillful,” Fisher said. “You try to teach the kids, but at the same time you want them to have fun also. We want everyone to feel included.”
The camp was broken into two sessions: morning and afternoon. The morning stations and drills covered the basic fundamental skills of the game, such as dribbling, passing, shooting, defensive skills, and moving without the ball. The afternoon was dedicated to guest speakers and five-on-five games to help develop teamwork.
The equal time set out for games and drills made for a fun, well-rounded educational experience for campers.
“I learned a lot about shooting, passing and dribbling during the drills,” Austin Cook, 10, of El Cajon said. “The games in the afternoon were my favorite part. I had a lot of fun.”
Many of the parents who stayed to watch the camp were very impressed with the organization, the interaction between players and coaches and the continued attendance of Fisher.
“I was very impressed with the skill development and intensity level of the camp,” Tim Cook, the head basketball coach at San Diego Christian College and father of Austin, said. “I was also very appreciative Coach Fisher actually took the time to run some of the drills himself. That is what you want when you send your kids to a camp like this.”
Despite the challenges of teaching young children instead of collegiate athletes, Fisher still finds enjoyment in the camp year after year.
“It’s really a lot of fun,” Fisher said. “To see kids keep coming back every year makes it all worth it.”