March Madness is a basketball fan’s favorite time of year. Flair for the dramatic paired with passionate fans and determined underdogs creates an exciting sports atmosphere that is hard to match. Cooper Fitness Center Basketball Pro Coleman Crawford has experienced the ups and downs of March Madness as a coach and offers advice for putting together a winning bracket for the conclusion of college basketball season.
Building a bracket is always more fun when friendly competition is involved. Invite family, friends and coworkers to join a bracket pool and decide on a prize for the eventual winner. Set aside some time to make picks together once the tournament teams are announced.
When it’s time to make your picks, do your research first. Try to learn a little bit about each team in the tournament and recognize their strengths and weaknesses. When observing and evaluating each team, keep an eye on the players’ fundamentals. Ball control, passing and shooting skills, which we begin teaching at a young age in Cooper Fitness Center basketball programs, are just as important at the college level as they are for beginners. No matter each player’s athleticism or advanced skills, success within the game of basketball always goes back to the fundamentals.
Next, take your favorite teams into account. Who do you want to cheer for, and why? If your alma mater or family’s favorite team is in the tournament, don’t be afraid to add them to your bracket and see how far they can make it. You want to make sure to have fun and embrace your favorite team!
Although it’s tempting to pick all of the top seeded teams, Coleman recommends picking one or two teams with a seed of 10 or higher. Everyone loves a Cinderella story during March Madness, so take a risk on an underdog that could cause an upset and bust other brackets.
If you use a website or app to make your bracket, it’s important to understand the scoring system. You earn points for each game won by the teams you pick, and you lose points for each game lost by the teams you pick. Using a website or app to track your bracket makes it easy – the program will add and subtract points automatically at the end of each game. The number of points you have at the end of the tournament determines how well you do within your bracket pool.
Finally, don’t overthink it! Creating a bracket for March Madness is a fun way to follow college basketball, even if you haven’t been keeping up with the entire season. The talent on display is exciting to watch and is a great reminder that college athletes were once kids who worked hard to learn and hone their game, much like the children and teenagers who come to basketball camp at Cooper Fitness Center.
Enjoy the madness this spring, and best of luck to your bracket. Follow along with Coleman’s picks here and don’t forget to let us know how your picks performed.
For more information about Cooper Fitness Center Basketball Programs for both youth and adults, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com/ProZone.
Post provided by Meredith Rosson, Youth Programs Director at Cooper Fitness Center.
In any goal-oriented class it’s vital to have one or two participants committed to that goal to serve as role models. Amanda fills that role for the IGNITE! class at Cooper Fitness Center. Amanda has been a participant for more than two years and during that time she has won the highest steps total and highest average step total for the monthly class periods numerous times, highlighting both her effort during class and her consistency in attendance. Since 2011, Amanda has participated in more than 72 IGNITE! classes which include balance, 3D strength exercises, agility, speed, change of direction, plyometrics, hand-eye coordination and competitive games of various nature. Her understanding of these exercises has greatly improved and most importantly her quality of movement has improved. These accomplishments have given Amanda the confidence and skills to be successful when she chooses to play soccer, softball, volleyball or any other physical sport or activity.
Amanda and her mom, Sarah, answered a few questions about her IGNITE! Experience at Cooper Fitness Center below.
What made you initially sign up for IGNITE?
Sarah: Amanda’s pediatrician, Ron Blair, M.D., recommended that Amanda get involved in a fitness program at Cooper Fitness Center. As a family, we reviewed the information on the IGNITE! program and felt that it would be perfect for Amanda.
Amanda: I participated in the first session and enjoyed the activities and games.
Being the most dedicated participant, what makes you sign up month after month for this program and fit it in to your daily routine?
Amanda: I enjoy getting exercise every couple of days. I also enjoy learning new skills for sports. IGNITE! makes exercise fun and I like the competition.
In what areas do you feel you have improved the most?
Sarah: The program has had a positive effect on her being confident in other activities like soccer, softball and gym class.
Amanda: I’ve improved the most in strength, agility and speed.
How would you describe the program to your friend?
Amanda: Fun, but also challenging. You learn something new every day and get better at something, too.
How’s Coach Shannon Edwards?
Sarah: Shannon is both skillful and knowledgeable in directing this program. He has a unique ability to motivate and educate each child while taking into account their individual abilities.
Amanda: He’s really nice and very patient when he teaches you something. He doesn’t go over a skill too quickly and explains it so everybody knows what they’re doing.
What do you enjoy most about IGNITE!?
Amanda: I enjoy learning a new skill every day and then sometimes we get a challenge. I enjoy how Coach Shannon puts our lesson into a game and we use our skills in a game.
What game or drill do you enjoy the most and which one do you find to be the most challenging?
Amanda: My favorite drill is Slingshot because we get to run really fast. The most challenging one is Tall Falls because we start to fall but we run as we fall.
What level have you made it to in IGNITE!?
Amanda: I am beyond the top level!
Anything else to add to get others excited about this program?
Amanda: It is a worthwhile program and I have recommended it to my friends.
Sarah: Our observation is that Amanda looks forward to participating in every session. She also seems to enjoy the other participants and has made some new friends. Finally, we are impressed with the organization and oversight of the IGNITE! program and feel that it meets the standards that one expects from a Cooper Program.
Sarah, some thoughts on changes in Amanda?
In the first basic session, Shannon began to teach Amanda how to run. Amanda has enjoyed her time in the program and does not perceive it as an exercise chore. IGNITE! has definitely improved her agility, flexibility and endurance, and has given a proper perspective on competing to win. Every year we look at all her activities soccer, IGNITE!, dance and tennis. When schedules get more difficult, she rates her activities by enjoyment and IGNITE! is always at the top of her list.
Amanda is a wonderful example of how a kid can come into IGNITE! and have a positive experience with physical activity and allow it to change their life for the better. At Cooper Fitness Center, we always encourage the IGNITE! Participants; it’s not how well they perform a movement the first time they try it, it’s the effort put forth and the improvement. Amanda has given the good effort and now she moves skillfully and with an understanding of how to control her body during exercise. Her willingness to work hard and have fun is contagious!
Led by Basketball Pro Coleman Crawford, Fall Basketball Academy will give your kids and teens an extra “edge” the rest of the team won’t have! With 30+ years of coaching experience, Coach Crawford has the proven ability to bring out the best in young players.
Most recently, Coach Crawford returned from Hong Kong to visit friends in the basketball community to sharpen his coaching skills and learn from the large basketball community in China. Each year, he utilizes his time in August to explore international coaching to bring new techniques to the basketball program at Cooper Fitness Center. Aside from China, Coach Crawford has also visited Africa, Belgium, South Korea and several other countries to explore his passion for coaching young athletes.
Through basketball strength training, agility and footwork drills and scrimmage play players learn the mental and strategic aspects used in a game setting at Fall Basketball Academy. If you’re looking for an opportunity for your all-star player to sharpen their skills, sign up at Cooper Fitness Center, Sept. 21-Nov. 16. There is limited space available so register today!
For more information, visit cooperyouth.com/dallas or call 972.233.4832, ext. 4380.