Flyers Travel Team Program Information
Updated Tuesday May 14, 2019 by FHB.
We offer travel teams for Boys 10 and under (10u), 11u, 12u, 13u, and 14u and Girls grades 5/6 and 7/8. For boys, the age refers to their age on the upcoming August 31st. For girls, grade refers to their current grade. Every September, everyone moves up a level.
Teams practice, train, and play year around. We divide the year into four, three-month seasons. Typically, teams will attend at least one tournament per season and participate in scrimmages or “league” play against other local travel teams throughout the season. While the games are fun and a necessary part of the learning experience, the primary emphasis of the Flyers program is on the quality of training the players receive.
At the time of the Flyers founding in 2005, we were coming to realize that there was a demand for a higher level of instruction; a demand that our rec league programs were not fulfilling. Players were approaching us with the goal of playing in high school and beyond, wanting an extra push, and ready to give a stronger commitment of time and work. Other travel level programs existed, but politics, inconsistant organization, and a lack of an emotionally healthy environment in these programs was turning families off. We decided to pair the general philosophy of Foothill Hoops (a dedication to fun, learning, confidence building, and character enhancement) with a more rigorous practice and training schedule implemented by highly qualified, professional coaches. Thus, the Flyers Program was born. Today, our program is running year around, and our teams are perennial contenders in leagues and tournaments throughout Southern California.
Our Mission and Goals
Our program is for players who LOVE basketball and can’t get enough of the game. The Flyers provide a high-quality travel team experience focused on physical and emotional player development without the baggage that surrounds other travel/club programs. How we are different:
- Our friendly, patient, yet highly qualified and accomplished coaching staff
- A lack of politics (dads don’t pick the teams).
- Our focus and dedication to all players, rather than an elite few
- Opportunities for older players to join a team later in their development
- A realistic and healthy dedication to the sport; embracing recovery periods and participation in other sports
- While winning games is a goal for us, it is not our primary goal. Coaches are not evaluated nor retained based on their W-L record
The goals of our coaches are simple:
- Provide the players with outstanding basketball training
- Develop the character and confidence of every player
- Teach players what it means to play committed, winning basketball
While our trophy case is growing, we don’t measure our success based solely on win/loss records. Rather, we measure our success on our players continued success after they graduate from our program. The Flyers have a long track record of that success; graduating players have gone on to play varsity level basketball at Crescenta Valley, La Canada, Muir, Ribet Academy, Flintridge Prep, Village Christian, Glendale, and St. Francis High Schools.
It is important for players and families to know that a commitment to your travel team is greater than the commitment that is usually expected from your regular recreation or community league team. The Flyers are not merely an extension of the Foothill Hoops Rec Leagues; they are a different concept. At the travel level, drills and plays are becoming more and more interdependent, and if your player misses a practice, it sets the entire team back. In tournaments, we face some of the top talent in the country, and thus do not take our practice schedule lightly.
Upon signing-up, you are agreeing to:
- At least a three month commitment (families have the option to renew their membership every three months) where your team's obligations takes priority over other extracurricular activities
- One 90-minute team practice per week (typically Sunday afternoons)
- One 90-minute group training session per week (typically on a weeknight)
Practice and Training:
One of the goals of our program is to prepare players for a high school basketball experience. At the high school level, players usually practice 5 or 6 day a week, and missing practice for any reason other than for a school-related event is not tolerated. Our coaches echo these expectations.
Our players will be asked to attend a 90 minute team practice once a week and a 90 minute skills training once a week. If your player cannot commit to the two days per week, the travel program is not the right fit for your family.
All of our coaches have previous high school and/or college level coaching experience and many of our coaches are currently on other coaching staffs. Not only are our coaches accomplished and knowledgeable, but they are vigorously screened to make sure their values and principles match up with ours. Rather than focus on the accomplishments of a few elite players, our coaches are dedicated to giving EVERY player a positive and productive experience. You can read more about our coaches on the “Staff” page at www.FoothillHoops.org.
While players will primarily have the same coach for their time with our travel teams, the coaches often fill in for one another and communicate regularly as a group as to organization-wide strategies and set plays.
Recovery Periods and Participation in Other Sports
We believe it is imperative that players take time off every few months to reduce the risk of injuries due to repetitive joint and muscle use and to avoid burn-out. The research suggests that time taken away from the sport can help the body recover, and also allows for the information to be processed by the brain at a deeper level. This is why few months we take mandatory recovery periods.
While we do not disallow players to play another sport while playing on one of our travel teams, we strongly discourage it. We have a “one sport per season” philosophy. We encourage participation in other sports, but would prefer if your player took a season off from basketball to pursue other athletic interests.
If your player wants to take a season off to play another sport (i.e. take the fall off to play soccer or take the spring off to play baseball/softball) this is highly ENCOURAGED. The research shows that players who diversify their sports experience end up acquiring skills and experiences that help them in their primary sport. If your player wants to take a season off in order to play another sport, please talk to your coach and also email Paul Young (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your player’s roster spot will not be jeopardized when he or she is ready to return in a few months’ time.
Participation in the Foothill Hoops Recreational Spring and Summer Leagues and Summer Camps
In the spring and summer months, participation in the Foothill Hoops recreational spring and summer leagues by all of our Flyers players is not required, but strongly encouraged. Flyers players can participate in a Foothill Hoops recreation league at half the cost. The Flyers will not be entered into any tournaments on Foothill Hoops Spring or Summer League game days.
We feel that participation in the recreational leagues is beneficial for three reasons:
- It gives the players valuable minutes on the court with which they can practice their newly acquired skills.
- It gives players a different perspective from a new coach.
- It provides our travel team players the invaluable opportunity to develop leadership skills. We hope that the confidence and experience they gain with the Flyers can translate into a leadership role in the rec leagues.
Flyers players may also attend any session of the Foothill Hoops Summer Camps at a reduced rate. Our camps are a great way to spend an entire day with the game the players love, while being reminded of the joy the game can bring.
Teams typically play in one tournament per month. In the summer, fall, and winter also like to enter the teams into “league play”, meaning we might get 5-6 games organized by an outside group against other teams over the course of a few weeks. Our coaches also often look for scrimmages or “friendlies” with other local teams.
Coaches will submit a roster for games and fees will be divided equally among the players asked to play. Coaches will pick their players for any given day/game based on participation and work done at practice.
While we don’t implement a program wide playing-time rule like we do in our recreation leagues, our coaches still prioritize the development of every player and will always do their best to get all players meaningful minutes. Still,coaches will give the most minutes to those players who have earned them with their work at practice. Coaches are free to manage the lineups as they see fit in order to maximally benefit, not only each individual, but the group.
In seasons past we have attended tournaments and participated in league play in Pasadena, Glendale, San Marino, Monrovia, Northridge, San Fernando, Valencia, Los Angeles, and Orange County. One of the most thrilling aspects of the Flyers program is pitting our players against some of the best competition Southern California has to offer.
Uniforms and Apparel
Players will be required to purchase their uniform, and any other necessary gear for the season. Depending on the season and apparel availability, families are typically required to make a one-time purchase of a “Team Gear Bag” in their first season with the program. A “Team Gear Bag” includes: a game uniform, socks, a practice uniform (required to be worn at all team practices), warm-ups for game days, and a gym bag. Gear bags are $200.
Try-Outs and Holding Roster Spots
Every three months we hold try-outs to fill open roster spots. These try-outs will be announced on www.FoothillHoops.org. Try-outs are usually held in February (for spring), May (for summer), August (for fall) and November (for winter). In August, we roster a brand new 10u boys team and add a significant number of incoming 5thgrade girls.
We firmly believe that players should have the opportunity to join a travel team later in their development. All too often, programs only take players at a young age, and then rosters are locked until the kids go off to high school. Other programs identify skilled 9 year olds and assume these will be the most skilled 14 year olds. We know this is not always the case. If players develop later, or aren’t quite ready to commit to the travel level at an early age, we are still open to adding them to rosters at age 12, 13, or 14. Our coaches are open to carrying more than 12 players for practices and will give new players every opportunity to earn tournament roster spots and game-time minutes with their work at practices.
We do not believe in cutting players from teams. Once your player has made a team, we are committed to making her better and are dedicated to her experience for as long as she wants to stay with the program. We believe the fear of being cut leads to a stressful environment that is not conducive to learning, and thus players will never be cut due to a lack of skills or growth, or to make room on the roster for a more talented player.
However, at the end of every three month period, our coaches will evaluate the commitment level of each player. At the beginning of the season, coaches will set-up clear and concrete attendance policies. If attendance at practices and trainings is less that what the coaches require, the coaches may not allow players to renew their membership.
The cost for each three month season is $325. That fee includes all your team practices and training and scrimage games. Tournament fees are not included in the cost and will be divided among all players and charged to a registered credit card online.
Players may elect to play in the Foothill Hoops Spring and Summer Leagues and may attend any session of the Foothill Hoops Summer Camp. Registration cost for Flyers players is $100 (normally $225) for any league or camp. Participation in these leagues and camps is optional and encouraged.
First time families will be required to buy a “Team Gear Bag” for $200. Team Gear Bags include your game uniform, socks, practice clothes, game-day warm-ups, and a gym bag. This is a one-time purchase and must be purchased in the players first season with the program.
We will not turn any players away due to financial limitations. If you are interested in the Flyers program but are concerned with the costs, please email us at info@foothillhoops@org.
Your Support Staff
Paul Young, General Manager: email@example.com – Contact Paul regarding scheduling, roster, uniform, gear bag and payment issues, and try-out information.
David Rasic, Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.org - Contact Coach David with all basketball related questions.