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Sharing helpful information, special offers and fun ideas with the i9 Sports family
January 19, 2018
Before your child starts scoring goals on the field, you should teach them how to set goals! Taking the time to teach kids about goal setting can help them to grow and develop in a variety areas and will also help them be more successful as adults.  
Teaching your kid about different types of goals, how to define their goals and how to track progress will help set them on course to make their dreams come true. Follow this approach to goal setting with your child and help them build a plan for success!
Types of Goals
Goals can be categorized by timeframe (short-term and long-term) and also by accomplishment type (physical goals or character goals). Short-term goals are meant to be accomplished in a small amount of time, such as a week or a month. Long-term goals are intended to be achieved in a longer amount of time, as in several months or years.
Physical goals are skill based and require practice and learning. Mastering dribbling, reading chapter books, learning to do a cartwheel, or building up endurance for running are all examples of physical goals.  Character goals require practice too; building good habits takes time.  Examples of character goals are always telling the truth, being a helpful teammate or remembering to say please and thank you.  Have your child pick one short-term goal and one long-term goal to accomplish and then have them define whether their goals are physical goals or character goals.
Goal Setting Techniques
Your child can use the WOW and SMART methods to help define their goals. WOW stands for “Within One Week.” If your child can add the phrase “Within One Week, I will…” in front of their short-term goal, then they’ve set an attainable, well defined goal. WOW goals are typically short goals, but several WOW goals can sometimes be used to help to achieve a long-term goal.  
Long-term goals can be defined using the SMART method.
  • Specific: The goal is detailed and exact. The goal should address who, what, when, where, why and how. Ask your child to answer each of these questions to ensure that they’ve clearly defined their goal.
  • Measurable: Your child should determine a way measure their progress so that they can know exactly when they have met their goal.
  • Attainable: Goals should be realistic and within your child’s reach in the time frame they have defined.
  • Relevant: The goal your child chooses should be something that is important to them right now. Choosing a goal that is relevant will help keep your child motivated to achieve.
  • Time: Establish a time frame in which the goal will be met. Time can be defined in terms of weeks, months or even a year. Having your child set a “due date” for their goal can help keep them committed to working towards the goal.
Tracking Goals
Teach your child about the importance of regularly checking in on the progress they’ve made towards accomplishing their goal. Explain that monitoring their growth can help them stay focused and on track. Measuring their progress can also help them determine if their goal needs to be changed. Sometimes your child may need more time to reach their goal or they may need to make their goal to be even more challenging.
Creating a chart that shows their improvement can be a fun craft project and a great way to help your child meet their goal. A chalkboard, a whiteboard or even a sheet that you can add stickers to are all great methods for measuring growth. When your child is checking in on their progress, be sure to ask them “What can you do TODAY to move towards completing your goal?”
Goal setting is a lifelong skill that you can be used in many facets of life.  Use these guidelines to teach your kid how to set and achieve their goals – New Year’s Resolutions aren’t just for adults!
December 19, 2017
Finding a youth basketball program that balances instruction with healthy competition can be challenging for parents. At i9 Sports, we want to make sure your child receives the right amount of instruction, regardless of how old they are. We’ve developed age-appropriate curriculums for three different age groups designed to fit your child’s needs.

Pee Wees

The i9 Sports Pee Wee basketball curriculum focuses on helping your child become comfortable handling a basketball while teaching the fundamentals of the sport. Teaching kids about teamwork is an important part of this program because this will be the first team experience for many kids. 

Through our instruction, your child can learn the basic skills needed to play basketball including how to properly dribble, shoot, pass and move with the ball.  Drills aim to improve the large and fine motor skills, as well as cognitive development of this age group. During the season, instructional activities are planned in fun formats designed specifically for kids of this age. 

The most essential elements of the Pee Wee basketball program are to increase your child’s self-confidence playing basketball and to have fun!

Juniors

The Juniors basketball program emphasizes the basics of the game so your child can continue to grow their skills in dribbling, shooting and passing. While remaining focused on fundamentals, this level of play starts to incorporate additional advanced skills such as offensive plays. 

Your child will learn about key basketball principles such as boxing out for the rebound, driving to the basket and how to execute a fast break. We keep score at the Juniors level, but we’re still always looking for teachable opportunities to help your child progress. 

The goal of the Juniors program is help your child advance their basketball skills while keeping things fun so that they’ll keep playing. 

Seniors

Kids playing in our oldest age group have a strong grasp of the fundamentals of basketball. Our i9 Sports coaches work with these young athletes to help them fine-tune their skills while teaching more complex parts of the game. 

Coordinated offensive plays and varying defensive structures are part of the instructional process. Scores are kept and rules are enforced. As players continue to gain confidence in the sport, the game naturally becomes more competitive in a fun, age appropriate setting. As kids in this age group grow in their basketball mastery, their leadership abilities and understanding of good sportsmanship also matures.

We have an age-appropriate plan for your child to be successful on the court. Our focus is always on teaching good skills and good sportsmanship and emphasizing healthy competition. Find an i9 Sports basketball program in your area to get your child started today! 
December 04, 2017
It’s the holiday season and you might be looking for a sports-themed gift for your child. It’s easy to buy a shirt or jersey of your child’s favorite team or athlete, but if your child is just getting started in sports, they may not even have a favorite team yet. If your kid is new to sports, we’ve got a few ideas for you to help your shopping go a little smoother.

Can’t Go Wrong with a Ball

Soccer ball, football, baseball or basketball – get your child the most important part of any sport to help encourage their interest in sports. Giving your kid the equipment they need to practice their favorite sport will help them grow and keep them active. 

Gear Up! 

Just like the pros on the field, your kids want the coolest gear. Many of the major sports apparel manufacturers offer a wide range of gear for boys and girls of all ages. From soccer cleats to  duffle bags, help your kids look the part when they’re playing sports! Head on over to the i9 Sports Fan Shop and you'll find hats, bags and socks for your athlete that make great stocking stuffers. 

Books...The Gift They Open Again and Again!

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all." (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) Giving your child the gift of a story that inspires or educates is a gift they can enjoy again and again. Here are a few of our favs.

The Contract 

Written by legendary New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter, this book for middle schoolers tells the story of a contract between Derek and his parents: keep up the grades or no baseball. Inspired by Jeter’s childhood, this book will teach kids about perseverance on and off the field. 


Math and Football
Former NFL player Johnny Rutledge’s book tells a story about how football and math can go together. Written for kids between the ages of 7-10, the book will help your child see sports and education in a different and unique way.  

Books: The Kicks series
World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan’s seven book series for kids 8-12 tells the story of a 12-year old named Devin who loves soccer and is part of a middle school soccer team. The series tells important lessons about having fun, teamwork and believing in yourself. 

Take Them to a Sporting Event

Buy a pair of tickets and take your child to a local sporting event so they can experience the atmosphere of live sports and also learn more about the game. It doesn’t even have to be a huge professional game for kids to have fun. You can find great deals on sports tickets at a local college or minor league event. Many teams at these levels offer more family-focused entertainment and activities. Some of them even offer free or discounted tickets for children! 

Registration for an i9 Sports League

The best gift of all? A registration to a season of i9 Sports! Our leagues offer your child the opportunity to receive age-appropriate instruction for a variety of sports while still having fun on the field or court! If your child is already playing i9 Sports, you can also check out our official i9 Sports Store for game day gear for the whole family!


 
October 24, 2017
Curious about whether you should register your child for basketball? Here’s four reasons to consider registering your son or daughter:  
 
Play All Year
 
All you need is a ball! No other equipment is needed to start playing basketball. Many i9 Sports locations offer basketball year-round. But even if your child can’t play in an organized basketball league in the summers, it’s easy for them to find a court and practice their skills. During the winter months (which is commonly thought of as basketball season), there are plenty of options to find an i9 Sports program for your child.
 
Helps Develop Teamwork Skills
 
Team sports like basketball help your child develop the skills and knowledge needed to be able to work and play well with others.  Basketball only allows five teammates on the court at once, encourages kids to figure out ways to work together to either stop their opponent on defense or make baskets on offense.  By developing teamwork skills, children will also learn how to be supportive of their teammates and how to share with others.
 
Physiological Development
 
Get your kid started on basketball early! i9 Sports offers youth basketball leagues, camps and clinics for kids as young as four years old. Learning to dribble, throw, and catch a ball gives your child a head start on key motor skills and hand eye coordination. Working on these types of skills at young age will develop your child’s major muscle groups and set good habits for a healthy life.   
 
Teaches the Benefits of Practice
 
Basketball is one sport where your child can definitely see the benefits of practice and hard work. It’s not easy at first to put that round ball through the hoop but encouraging your child to keep at it and practice will lead to success. As they practice more, they’ll be able to score with more difficult shots and see how their hard work pays off.
 
With age-appropriate instruction at every level of our basketball programs, your child will be able to learn and develop no matter how old they are.  If you are interested in registering your child for youth basketball, click here!