In a world where club sports and travel leagues dominate the landscape of youth basketball, the Oak Brook Park District Youth Basketball League strives to cultivate an environment where winning isn’t the only indication of success. Designed for players in grades 1-4, development is key and coaches are trained to highlight an individual player's strengths and and hone his or her skills in a fun and positive environment.
This philosophy is one that Oak Brook Park District youth sports coordinator, Steve Hoffman, has been perfecting here for six years. A former parent of an Oak Brook Park District Youth Basketball League participant himself, Hoffman knows the importance of providing a worthwhile experience. In his book, high quality, consistent coaches are key.
The youth basketball league maintains a player-to-coach ratio of 5:1. Under Hoffman’s direction, participants have the advantage of receiving consistent instruction year after year and he works to ensure that each player-coach interaction is designed to provide a specific benefit. “Many of our current coaches I have either previously coached myself, or have been involved in this program for several years now,” says Hoffman.
With more than 20 years of coaching experience, six of which have been at the Oak Brook Park District, Hoffman continues to bring the Oak Brook Park District Youth Basketball League to new heights. Since he accepted the youth sports coordinator role in 2012, participation in the Oak Brook Park District Youth Basketball League has grown each year, increasing more than 126% from 2016 to 2018.
Hoffman’s talent for engaging a wide-range of age groups is another factor in providing a high-quality experience that kids enjoy.
Every week, children work in a team setting and focus on how each individual plays an important role as part of the larger group. Participants receive feedback in a non-competitive environment and apply this feedback immediately through drills and live game situations. Each player participates in one practice and one game each week. The central focus of each practice and game will be to promote teamwork and sportsmanship in a fun recreational environment.
With ample opportunities to interact with their peers, children develop a sense of belonging and build leadership skills that are valuable on and off the court.
Hoffman also looks to provide kids with additional opportunities to grow. “Our youth basketball program and youth sports camps have become really successful over the last couple of years thanks to Steve,” says Mike Azzaretto, athletic and recreation manager for the Oak Brook Park District.
According to Azzaretto, Hoffman was integral in developing a partnership with Breakaway Basketball that allows for Oak Brook Park District Youth Basketball participants to further develop fundamental skills. New for the 2019 season, Oak Brook Park District’s Youth Basketball League participants are eligible to participate in the Breakaway Basketball Additional Practice sessions. This unique offering is designed to enhance students’ basketball capabilities through an advanced training program administered by one of the largest skill development programs in Illinois, serving over 8,000 players per year.
Although Breakaway has administered camps for several years out of the Oak Brook Park District, this is the first year that the youth development organization has partnered with the park district to provide such an opportunity.
According to Breakaway Basketball founder, Greg Ktistou, the park district is where most children are first introduced to youth sports. “When a child’s first coaches have great energy and enthusiasm it is contagious. Young athletes are like sponges and can get better very quickly when they work on the right fundamentals the right way.”
This summer, introduce your little one to this incredible coaching experience!
Register today for Oak Brook Park District's Little Dribblers Camp with Coach Steve Hoffman!
Little Dribblers Camp teaches kids ages 3-6 the basics of basketball through age appropirate activities and fun games. New to basketball or not, your child will have a blast learning to dribble, shoot, and pass! Register today!
Basketball Hoops Camp (ages 7-12)
Register today for the next session of Basketball Hoops Camp
Your child has the opportuniity to refine fundamental skills for the upcoming season! Through fun, strucutured drills and games, your child will learn and improve dribbling, shooting, passing, defense and rebounding. Register today!