Latest Guides

Cover Story

A Step Ahead of The Game of Basketball

A Step Ahead Learning Center gives young kids the opportunity to learn basketball the proper way to give them the A Step Ahead" in Life. Through the HotShots Sports Leagues

Published on Thursday, June 20, 2013 | 4:42 pm

Basketball is a sport that requires teamwork and fundamentals. HotShots teaches these skills at a very young age. In the Hotshots league children learn sharing and the basic fundamentals of basketball. The skills are taught to kids as early as 18 months old.

Some people ask if 18 months is too young, Jacques Bolton, founder of HotShot Sports, explains that our experience shows that these children are not too young to participate.

HotShots is one of the first organizations in the nation to create a team sports league for children 18 month – 5 years. As parents came out to watch our 3-5 year old league, the younger children would accompany them. The younger children would begin to pick up the balls, run and pretend like they were dribbling. We noticed that they were very coordinated. So we successfully designed a creative program which gave these 18 months – 2 year old children an opportunity to enjoy fitness and the basics of basketball.

Positive reinforcement is an important tool in the HotShots league. One week, we teach our kids a basketball fundamental. The following week, we reward them for their progress and then we encourage them to learn the next skill Bolton explains. Parents are also encouraged to applaud and cheer while their kids attempt to master a skill. This makes it fun for the children to learn the skill and it gives them confidence.

Games are played every Saturday. The 18 month old [kids], start with fitness, drills and then they progress to playing games. The 3-5 year olds start learning the fundamentals of basketball and then play games. It is a fun experience for children and parents. Kids also learn how to share and participate with their team, building a team concept.”

Getting these players to do drills, especially the 18 months to 2-year olds, may seem difficult, but Bolton tells us that these kids go through “drills that mimic their natural physical movements. Their natural walking, sitting and standing, and they don’t know they’re actually doing sit-ups, push-ups and other fitness techniques..

Parental involvement and participation is extremely important to the success of the program. Fortunately, parents participate all the time and they really encourage and motivate the kids. Parental involvement is one of the reasons that we are one of the first organizations in the nation to run a successful team sports program for 18 months to 5 year old children. The coach to player ratio in the toddler league is 1:6, says Bolton, however because all parents are present it makes the adult child ratio 13:6 Which is enough to provide a safe playing environment. Each year we average 200 children in our programs. Starting your kids young at HotShots Basketball will teach them the basics of basketball, team concepts, fundamentals, and discipline. Skills that can be used in sports and life as well.

A Step Ahead Learning Center is located at 789 Altadena Drive, Altadena. To find out more what sports programs the are offered, visit or you can call (626) 786-0548 for more information.

Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.

Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *