Frequently Asked Questions
1) Are game days a single game per week or tournament type of games? Weekends?
Games will be held mostly on Saturdays at rotating locations. Players will play 2 games every “Gameday” and will be move from different groupings of players, so they may not necessarily always have the same teammates or opponents. We want players to be challenged and never to feel too “comfortable.” The key is forcing players to take chances in order to build their own confidence. Through high level teaching and competitive game repetitions, we can stimulate their individual growth within a team environment.
2) Are the games every weekend from April-June?
The first Gameday starts a few weeks after the start of practices in order to ensure that players are prepared, trained and understand concepts. We want our games to be much more than simply tossing up a jumpball and letting chaos takeover. Players will be encouraged and allowed to play with freedom to stimulate decision making, but it’s equally important to have enough structure so that they’re prepared to think their way through the game as well. There will be a minimum of 9 Gamedays between the second half of April and going through the end of June.
3) Are the games against other non-Academy AAU teams?
Our games are against other Academy players. Teams change from week to week as we reshuffle players to ensure that they’re competing at the appropriate level and constantly being challenged. In the future, we will select the best players from each age group and enter outside tournaments. Long-term we have plans to have the best AAU teams in Pittsburgh. The Academy will be our main incubator so we can ensure that our players are learning what they need to play at the highest levels. Basketball IQ is vital for future success and we want to instill these necessary principles in players as early as possible so they can be prepared for their basketball future.
4) Where are The Academy games located and what is the general travel range?
Gamedays will rotate locations between our various Academy practices sites. However, many will be held at Moon because of the size and quality of the beautiful facilities there. We strive to make The Academy and our Gamedays in particular as convenient as possible for parents. Therefore, we provide the schedule and exact locations well in advance in order to help parents plan ahead because we realize that logistics and scheduling can be a challenge for busy families involved in multiple activities.
5) What are the age range and expected team size?
Players will placed in groupings and divided into Gameday teams to compete against similarly skilled and/or talented kids. We believe that players need healthy competition and to be able to work their way through appropriate challenges because it doesn’t stimulate growth when the competition is either too challenging or too easy. We therefore move kids up as needed when we notice that a player needs to be challenged. This means that a talented 4th grader may very well play with and against older players through the course of The Academy.
6) What days of the week are practices, and do practices strictly consist of a player’s team and coach?
There will be two weekly practices with one geared primarily toward individual and technical skills development, and the second practice focused on team and tactical skills. USC practices will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays for example whereas practices may purposely take place on staggered days at another location . The practices do not consist of just a player’s team and coach as Gameday teams will change from week to week. There will be several high level coaches at each of The Academy practices and Gamedays teaching, correcting, encouraging and educating.
7) Can my son still participate if we know that he’ll miss some practices and games because of baseball?
Some players play other sports and that’s absolutely fine with us. In fact, it’s great and we actually encourage and support kids that play multiple sports. Our practices are purposely staggered on different days and times between locations so that parents can schedule with us to do a make-up practice at another practice location. If we know in advance that a player may miss a Gameday, we can discuss possible options to play an extra game or two on a different Gameday.
8) My son plays for another AAU team, but also wants to do The Academy. Is that doable?
Yes, it’s absolutely possible and there will be a number of players in The Academy who also play concurrently for another AAU organization. Long story short, we’re here for players that need high level teaching and game opportunities, which don’t always necessarily happen within their “normal” situation. We provide a comprehensive learning environment for players to practice, learn, play and grow. Therefore players from outside AAU teams often join The Academy to get more game reps on our Gamedays, more skills development in our practices, or simply want to be involved with us on the days and weekends that they’re not with their teams.
9) What is the “Varsity” Division?
This is a separate division in which varsity boys players learn, practice, train and play in highly competitive games with an overall focus on improving their skills and basketball IQ.
10) What makes The Scoring Factory and The Academy in particular different or better than the competition?
We care about basketball education and long-term growth. We know that the allure of “exposure” isn’t relevant until a certain age as college coaches can care less about talented middle school or elementary age players. We want players to experience and learn through making mistakes in games that are within a +/- 9 point margin because nobody learns from winning or losing by 30+ points. We have high level experienced coaches that care about teaching and creating an enriching environment in which players are corrected and taught, while being inspired to fall in love with the process.
For further questions please email us at info@TheScoringFactory.com