QuickStart Sports, LLC, based out of Battle Ground, teaches young kids in Clark County the value of sports at an early age.
One of its basketball programs takes place on a weekly basis throughout the month of August.
Chris Heath, the owner and director of QuickStart Sports, recognizes the necessity of teaching children sports as early as possible.
“I’d say our goals are to mentor kids to do sports and show them the joy that sports do to help them better prepare for middle and high school athletics,” Heath said. “We run after-school programs at the various Battle Ground schools, we run summer camps, as well as through community-ed, and then we run beginner programs for kids starting at age 3.”
The summer basketball program is focused on fundamentals and skill-building through drills and games.
“My main hope and goal is for them to have fun playing the sport and to see that they can be good at something, so that they will want to pursue that as they get older,” Heath said.
A lot of the kids who enter the program haven’t played basketball before, so the program is perfect for beginners. The staff teaches the kids how to dribble, shoot and rebound, along with other techniques. They also celebrate and praise the kids when they do well, Heath said.
Besides the fundamentals of the sport, Heath said QuickStart teaches kids core values like sportsmanship, teamwork, competitiveness, following rules and hard work.
“Some of those things I believe are a lot more important sometimes than the skills,” he said. “You need to be able to work together as a team, you need to be coachable, (and) be willing to learn from other people, either mom or dad.”
The program has existed for over eight years. Heath said some of the kids he has observed have grown to become middle school athletes as they continued to build on the skills they were taught through QuickStart.
“If they’re playing in middle school, then obviously they found that joy in that sport that we strived to give you. … If they’re still playing at that age, that’s a good sign,” Heath said.
Since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in the state earlier this year, Heath said it’s been nice to run the programs without making the kids wear masks.
“It allows us to communicate better, allows them to play harder, and allows more people to be involved and not having the risk or fear of getting sick,” he explained.
As the kids leave the program, Heath hopes they continue on with their basketball journey.
“I always encourage them and say, ‘hey, don’t just let that basketball drop and never touch it again,’” Heath said. “We spent every day working on different dribbling things. … You can do that stuff at home in your driveway, your front yard, whatever.”
The basketball camp will run on Aug. 6, Aug. 13, Aug. 20, and Aug. 27 at Pleasant Valley Primary School, 14320 NE 50th Ave., Vancouver. It costs $15 per day.
Kids who are 3 to 5 years old are welcome.
Parents can register online at quickstartsportsllc.com/registration.
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