Clark Pierson - March 2020

Introducing My All In AAU Team ‘Kids Need Role Models, Not Critics’ If you know me, then it’s quite possible you know how much I love sports. It makes me so incredibly proud that my oldest son is part of the All In AAU league, a Jr. NBA-certified league that frequently gets scouted by high school and even college coaches. Now, many NBA legends such as the late Kobe Bryant have spoken out against AAU leagues. Bryant explained with candid honesty: “It doesn’t teach our kids to play the game at all. So you wind up with players that … do all this fancy crap, and they don’t know how to post up. It’s stupid.” Michael Jordan started his own AAU group for his 13-year-old daughter to play in because he didn’t trust other groups to get it right. Jordan and Bryant aren’t wrong. YouTube has proven how many AAU coaches scream viciously at their kids. Winning and sponsorships are all that matter to them — and the kids don’t benefit. I know because my son is a very talented point guard, and his team played hard in all their games. Yet, it was a demoralizing experience. They would lose and lack real guidance on how to improve. Or they would win and still lack improvement and real satisfaction with that win. How do you improve your sport? In many ways, it’s the same question as this one: How do you become an athlete? First, I bought the entire team access to a Lifetime gym. I knew how passionate these kids are, and it was breaking my heart that they couldn’t access equipment that would help them succeed. Plus, if they wanted to become professional athletes, hitting the gym would be a regular necessity. Next, I hired a coach who’s a Lifetime fitness trainer and who’s not only incredibly kind but also gentle with our kids. Then, I hired people to create a website and manage a full-time Instagram page for the team. Ever since, I don’t need to recruit for kids; they come to us. My son has always been incredibly passionate and self-driven about basketball, but now he has more tools to help himself grow better and stronger. He wakes up at 6:30 a.m. every day to get to the gym before school. I couldn’t be prouder of him and the whole team. Check out our Instagram at @all.inbasketballclub!


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