The Two C's of Hi5 Curriculum and Coaches!By: Radhakrishnan Sundar
The Hope Thru Hoops program is a four year, multi-level, and high-quality program. It creates an opportunity for the kids to learn basketball through professional coaching that follows our in-house curriculum. And this curriculum is quite integral to how Hi5 runs because through this program, we hope to produce India’s next generation of elite basketball players!
We wanted to build a program that we could scale and the curriculum allows us to expand. If we were running the program only for one center, then just getting a coach to teach with any standard methodology would have worked. Now, we have about 14 centres and every coach follows the curriculum so that the measurement of each centre and coach is done systematically and the accuracy level is higher. Of course, one cannot deny that each coach teaches and approaches the game differently and that affects how the students perform, but we’re still at a better position with a curriculum in place to determine the success or failure of our program as well as the progress of our students. Because this curriculum also makes us accountable as an NGO. We get to work with the children for four years and see their progress first-hand. Regular tests with the coaches are conducted and tournaments for the students are held, to measure the success rate after a certain period of time.
Initially, the coaches we hired were baffled that we were orienting them to a methodology— something sports coaches don’t follow. They usually depend on their experience of the game and teach accordingly. But, once they started following it, they also realised the importance of it and how well it worked. In fact, after we started our centres we got approached by the BMC in Mumbai to coach 12-13 schools at a time and having this curriculum was one of the primary reasons why we even thought we could pull it off.
The curriculum also allows us to keep innovating and teaching our coaches. Even if someone tomorrow is a coach of some other sport, this curriculum will help them learn the nitty-gritty of basketball and train themselves to coach young children how to play basketball. Is it the best syllabus that’s there about basketball in India? No, we don’t claim that. But we have a syllabus and that’s good enough to begin with.
Our coaches come from different parts of India, with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and years of training in basketball. We believe that building this curriculum has allowed us to provide for these talented coaches with steady employment to do the job that they love doing. The sports industry in India still is chaotic and haphazard, and our approach to coaching is an attempt to iron out the creases that exist in the system and give these coaches the livelihood that they deserve!