Youth coach workshop a slam dunk!

March 21st, 2014

The first Hoopstarz coaching workshop went off with the sonic boom of success filling the court!

Ten aspiring Hoopstarz coaches joined us in Palo Alto Saturday to learn about Hoopstarz philosophy, practice, and to get immediate experience working with kids.

Youth coaching workshop Palo Alto March 2014

After a brief introduction by head coach Adam Dallas, the participants played “Bet you didn’t know” to learn about each other and to test a critical skill to coaching: intuition. We then learned about the 7 traits of a great coach (see our blog HERE for details) and why each one is important to develop as a coach. For example, Trait #2 (Healthy Communication), Adam explained, involves looking students in the eye and getting eye level with them when speaking to them.
Youth coaching workshop closeup This habit, and making sure you follow through on what you say as you look them in the eye, inspires respect between players and coaches, he said.

After getting to practice some coaching skills with each other outside, we moved to the gym in the afternoon where kids greeted us and the participants got to practice coaching right there and then.

All the coaches showed the essential trait of a Hoopstarz coach-enthusiasm-and we hope to see all of them again on the Hoopstarz team soon!


Hoopstarz March 2014 Youth Coaching Workshop Class

The 7 Essential Traits of a Great Youth Basketball Coach

December 12th, 2013

Seven Traits of A Great Basketball CoachThere are many characteristics that make a great coach: patience, a sense of humor, charisma, the list goes on.  But of all the attributes of a great coach, there are seven essential traits no youth basketball coach can succeed without:

1. Passion. We want players to learn to love basketball. By bringing enthusiasm for the game and for the opportunity to play with each other, the coach makes an unforgettable experience that will keep players coming back for more.

2. Healthy Communication. Coaches need to interact with players and parents with patience, compassion, respect, and an open mind. Their listening skills and ability to communicate rules and discipline with empathy is essential to positive player conduct. Remember: when players understand why a rule is a rule, they are much more likely to remember and follow it.

3. Positive Leadership. The coach is responsible for a positive experience in the context of a safe and fun class. They need to demonstrate confidence and communicate positivity through both body and verbal language to accomplish these goals in a short amount of time.

4. Basketball IQ. Basketball IQ is applied knowledge. Coaches need to go beyond the measurable attributes of knowing rules and drills and teach strategic, big-picture thinking like how and when to use skills in live situations. A good coach ties the drill being practiced to its game application so the players develop their Basketball IQ.

5. High Energy. It is said that one should only teach what one knows. How can you teach a sport if you don’t show the energy necessary in athletics? Coaches should do what they can to demonstrate the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle to a players’ success on and off the court.

6. Continuing Development. A good coach will always strive for perfection and continue developing their skills throughout their career. This can be accomplished by reading online resources, taking continuing education courses and certifications like the Hoopstarz Basic Coaching certification. Most importantly, it is accomplished by trying new things and keeping basketball fun for both coach and player.

7. Involvement. A great coach is involved with each of their players and works with them individually and as a team to support their basketball endeavors. This means paying attention to personal development throughout the season, and giving individual feedback so each player knows how important their role is — regardless of their skill level.

At Hoopstarz, we make sure our coaches have a strong foundation in all these areas before they can join our team. We run 2-day workshops to help new coaches learn how to develop these skills, and we offer an apprenticeship for continued education. Visit us at or contact us at to get involved!

Up Your Coaching Game In Our One-Day Workshop!

January 21st, 2014

Basketball Coaching Workshop


Join The Hoopstarz Team!

Want to coach basketball, or are you a coach looking to improve your skills? Come see what Hoopstarz is all about in this one-day workshop, and get introduced to our IDEAL Coaching Method through both classroom and interactive, on-court skills training.

Participants will learn how to embody the 7 Essential Traits of a Great Youth Basketball Coach, including tips on how to achieve great communication and positive leadership. This workshop is a great fit for high-school, college, and junior college athletes, as well as parents or community members who are interested in becoming a basketball coach.

We’ll start the morning off with a classroom session from 9 – 12 am. Following lunch, we’ll move into an interactive skills class from 1 – 3 pm. We will also invite some of our Hoopstarz students to come to the afternoon session, giving you a first-hand look at how a Hoopstarz class is run.

Some participants will be invited to apprentice with us this spring, with the goal of becoming an Assistant Coach during our Summer Basketball Camps. If you are looking for an exciting coaching opportunity, don’t miss this workshop!

Here are the details:

Saturday, March 15
9 am – 3 pm at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto

Please RSVP by March 5.
Contact coach Adam Dallas to reserve your spot:


Why Hoopgirlz?

October 9th, 2013

It's All About Girl Power!

Coach Dallas started Hoopgirlz because there just wasn’t a beginner-friendly girls basketball class available in Los Gatos. In his years of coaching experience, he has found that girls learn differently than boys and often times aren’t willing to ask questions if they are outnumbered in a co-ed class.

“This class provides these girls an open arena to experiment without judgment, to learn through mistakes, and receive relentless encouragement from the coach and their peers,” Coach Dallas said.

If you know or are the parent of any girls ages 6 – 12 and think they would benefit from a more encouraging environment where they can grow their confidence before joining co-ed classes, send them over to us!

Check our class schedule to see when the next Hoopgirlz session starts! You can drop in for a free class or sign up for the rest of the season.


Hoopstarz To Run National Junior Basketball League Pre-Season Clinics In Los Gatos!

August 15th, 2013

Hoopstarz NJBNJB Los Gatos Basketball clinics

Get your young player ready!  The 2013 Pre Season Clinics for the National Junior Basketball league tips off on August 27th. This year the Los Gatos NJB and Hoopstarz Basketball are teaming up to provide preseason training clinics for boys and girls, grades 3 thru 8.

Each player will improve through individual skill development, small sided games, and full court scrimmages.

Tip off is August 27th!

Visualization: A Holistic Training Approach

July 24th, 2013

How Visualization Can Help Your Basketball Game

The American Coaching Academy recently sent a message to its coaches about the usefulness of visualization in basketball.  As an example, they quoted a 2004 study that found visualizing free throw shooting was nearly as effective as actual practice!

“The (visualization group) improved by 23% WITHOUT TOUCHING A BASKETBALL,” they said, as compared to a 24% improvement for the group who practiced free throws for a month.

So here are a few tips on how to use visualization to help your performance.  Other studies also found visualization can help with reducing performance anxiety, even for recreational players.  So give it a try, and let us know how it works for you!

“Put simply, visualization is the process of putting an image in your mind,” the American Coaching Academy said.

Here are some tips for anyone wanting to try this technique out, paraphrased from the American Coaching Academy:

  1. Focus on a difficulty you are having, and then visualize succeeding. This can be a skill, or anxiety, or anything keeping you from your best performance.  Then practice!  Spend 10 minutes working on visualization exercises at least once per week.
  2. Make a vivid image, including as many sensory details as possible.  That means not just picturing the scenario, but imagining the smell, the feel, sound and feeling of that most challenging moment for you.
  3. Make the image steady.  Your mind will want to change the scenario or get distracted.  If you have to, spend less time the first few tries but make the image and the story very consistent and try to stay focused, then lengthen the time.
  4.  Adapt the image as your challenges change.  Check in with yourself each week and decide if you still need to work on the same scenario as last week, or if you overcame that challenge and are ready for a new one.  Keep your visualization up to date with your needs, that will also keep you from getting bored!




Thanks for coming out to Los Gatos’ July 4th celebration with Hoopstarz!

July 8th, 2013

We had a blast last Thursday!  It was hard to keep up with all the mini hoopsters making shots and winning t-shirts.  We had the opportunity to meet many more parents in the area looking for a fun, healthy, and productive activity for their kids this summer so hopefully we’ll be seeing some new faces in our camps soon!

Balloons are fair game at Hoopstarz events

Balloons are fair game at Hoopstarz events

Shooting hoops with Hoopstarz in Los Gatos Coach and student at los gatos basketball demo event with hoopstarz july 4

Five Reasons to sign up for Hoopstarz Basketball Summer Camps today!

June 19th, 2013

With laid back beach days at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz to the south and Silicon Valley tech giants brainstorming to the north, parents in Los Gatos are looking for something right between the two — something to keep their kids having fun in a productive way this summer.

Hoopstarz Basketball has the answer: introduce your kids to the healthy, fun game of basketball!  We are dedicated to the understanding of basketball, the development of the game, and the pursuance of life skills and confidence, and we are determined to help your kids grow both on and off the court.

Top 5 reasons to enroll your kids with Hoopstarz Basketball

  1. Healthy kids are happy kids.  After a school year full of desk time and learning, summer is the time kids get to have fun.  Let them get their abundant energy out on the court, not in the house.  This is good for them and good for you too!
  2. Hoopstarz is devoted to “Life Skillz” by helping kids grow in ways not just helpful on the court, but essential in life.  We help them develop leadership, communication and strategic skills so they can be ready: preparing them for that inevitable day when summer ends and it’s time to hit the books again.  Like John Wooden said, “Failure to prepare is preparing for failure.”
  3. Parents by definition are busy.  Whether it’s personal or professional responsibilities, getting a few hours to take care of yourself while your kids get to play basketball in a fun and friendly environment is essential not just for them, but helps your own sanity too!
  4. Hoopstarz builds peaceful Warriors.  Without neglecting the competitive aspects of the sport, Hoopstarz teaches kids that success is in working hard, not in winning.  By learning to work hard and trust themselves to do their best, kids come away from Hoopstarz camps with more confidence that they can carry with them always.
  5. Hoopstarz is special, and so are our kids.  While most basketball camps focus on developing individual skills, at Hoopstarz we focus on developing a strong and supportive team.  We do this by emphasizing the special skills each individual brings to the court and how the team can benefit and encourage each other’s uniqueness.  No one leaves a Hoopstarz class without knowing that special something they brought to the court, and learning how to appreciate each other’s special contributions.

So, with these reasons in mind and only a couple weeks of summer camps left, make sure to get Hoopstarz on your calendar now!

Hoopstarz summer camp girls shooting Los Gatos Fisher Middle School girls boys basketball

Where will you be July 4th? Join Hoopstarz Basketball for some hoops and games at Los Gatos’s party!

June 19th, 2013

Hoopstarz Basketball will be shooting hoops and raffling prizes in the civic center on July 4th from 11:30 a.m.  Come play with us and bring your friends for a chance to win a free day pass to one of our summer camps!


Click here for more information!Los Gatos 2013 July 4th Flyer_201306101234351556-page-001

Sportsmanship rules at Hoopstarz summer camp!

June 18th, 2013

Sportsmanship ruled the first week of Hoopstarz Basketball summer camps in Los Gatos last week, with the kids cheering their opponents on.

“What I loved today was seeing you guys playing together as a team. That’s what basketball is all IMG_6896 sportsmanship

about!” – Coach Adam Dallas