Over the course of my career I have worked with many high school programs. While I think that you can achieve sustained success a variety of ways, the common theme of successful programs is an active youth program.
I look back on my time as an elementary school punk. My dad was a head coach and I was his manager. If you really want to understand how out-to-lunch I was...the players would dress up for every game day so I did too. Except no one told me that khaki's and my newest NFL jersey wasn't exactly the way to go. Anyway...
I remember being in 3rd grade and watching my dad's team practice and I thought that they were the absolute best! I would do anything to be around them.
When I look back at those times I have to laugh. I think they won just 1 game my dad's first year. 1 game in the smallest division in the state. I would love to get my hands on some of those VHS tapes because I'm sure they were way worse than I remember.
But, that's besides the point.
I thought they were the best. I wanted to do what they did. I wanted to dribble like them. I wanted to shoot from where they shot from. Oddly enough, I remember watching a player dribble behind his back at practice one day and I immediately decided to teach myself.
I don't think I filled up a single water bottle that entire day.
I just ran back and forth across the gym floor like an idiot until I taught myself to do it.
Just because I saw a varsity player do it before practice.
I understand that I am wired a little bit different than most (okay, maybe a lot differently), but if you are a high school coach, your youth program not only needs to be involved, they are more than likely waiting for you to ask them to be involved.
Invite them to a game. Let them play at half-time. Run a weekend clinic and have your players engage with them. At that point, it's less about skill development and more about developing a relationship with these kids that will one day take the place of your current players.