Testimonies from Parents, Athletes and Coaches

The PLAY SMARTT Basketball Clinic was started a few years ago when a parent asked Coach Smartt to work one-on-one with his child. After friends and teammates realized how well the player had improved in such a short period of time, they too decided to join the clinic. Coach Smartt soon had an overwhelming request from many parents about enrolling their child in his clinic.

Coach Smartt observed that most basketball players were not fundamentally sound nor familiar with the various aspects of the game. His love for the game and concern for players’ ability to compete on the high school and potentially collegiate level inspires him. He is dedicated to assuring that the participants who attend his clinic acquire the skills to improve their game and continuously have a successful basketball season.

Over the years, the number of participants has increased exponentially. Even now, Coach Smartt continues to receive numerous requests from parents, coaches and players for his year round basketball clinic. His dream is to help all basketball players who attend his clinic PLAY WELL, PLAY HARD, and PLAY SMARTT!

But don’t just take our word for it, here is what parents, athletes and coaches had to say about the PLAY SMARTT clinic:

Testimonies from Parents

J.Riggs

“… A year ago my son had just completed his 6th year of playing recreational league basketball, and decided that he wanted to play AAU basketball. This was our first experience with basketball on the AAU level in the north Alabama area. We tried out for a team in Huntsville, but it was evident after the first practice that my son lacked the fundamental skills and knowledge to play on this level. We bounced around between a few AAU teams but the result continued to be the same, we could keep traveling with the team, attending practice but still not skilled enough to be a contributor to the team much less get equitable playing time. We probably could have given up here but were fortunate enough to find Coach Smartt. Coach Smartt’s system of fundamental drills and college level techniques combined with real court applications in controlled scrimmages bring it all together for the kids. It’s not enough to just come to the practices, your kids have to have the drive to take home what Coach Smartt teaches them and practice, practice, practice. Your child needs to have the basic desire to get better! After three months my son was 3 times better than when we started; At 5 months he won the free throw shooting, three point shooting, and one on one competitions at his local high school summer basketball camp; At the end of 6 months he made the school 7 and 8th grade team as a 6th grader. … 3 weeks ago my son tried out for a top flight AAU team, it was evident after 15 minutes of practice that the fundamental skills and knowledge acquired over the last year with Coach Smartt was immediately noticed by the AAU coach. Now my son is one the coaches want in the game at clutch time. If this sounds like a letter from a proud parent well it is! My son is in no way the most gifted athlete on the court, but he is fundamentally sound, knows how to get open, when to shoot, when to pass, play defense, and above all learned how to play smart. It doesn’t matter what skill level you are at, beginner or advanced, Coach Smartt has something to teach you that will make you a better basketball player.

P.S.- On March 14, 2005, we returned from Cookeville, TN as 12 and under AAU Tournament Champions.

Jim

Coach Smartt has been a wonderful, positive influence in our sons’ lives. He has helped them develop as basketball players and as young men. Not only has he taught them the fundamentals of basketball, he has been a great role model for life. The boys and girls who participate in Coach Smartt’s program will listen to him when frequently they would not listen to their parents. It is an inspiration to be a part of the Play Smartt program.

Greg Guffey, Huntsville

My son has been going to Coach Smartt’s clinic for about 3 months. During those 3 months he has gained confidence in his ability and has become a leader on the basketball floor. Coach has also helped his attitude toward playing the game and practice. The clinic is a lot of hard work, but my son looks forward each week to attending. Coach Smartt has a unique ability that allows him to discipline his students, that encourages them to do better. He not only teaches basketball, but values, sportsmanship and scholastic achievement. My son has taken the things he has learned from Coach Smartt back to his basketball team and improved his overall game. I would recommend Coach Smartt’s clinic to all basketball players regardless of their skill level. Thank you Coach Smartt for making my son a better player and person.”

L.S.

While my son’s basketball coaches to date have been well-intentioned, they are not able to teach him the things that you do…

Kirk and Allyson Kirkpatrick

“Coach Smartt not only drills kids so they instinctively understand basketball’s fundamentals- he also teaches them sportsmanship and the importance of self discipline in all aspects of life. Coach Smartt has been one of the most positive influences in our son’s life.”

G. Dukeman

“Coach Smartt’s basketball clinic has helped my son and daughter immensely in just 2 months. Coach Smartt uses positive reinforcement and emphasizes a good attitude in all the players. The fundamentals are stressed more than on typical school teams giving the players a strong foundation on which to build and improve their game. The clinic is conducted in a positive environment…The players develop ever-increasing confidence in their abilities both as basketball players and as citizens. The year-round clinic gives the kids a chance to improve their skills and knowledge of the game in the off-season so that they’ll be well-prepared to make a contribution to their school team when the season comes around. I highly recommend Coach Smartt’s basketball clinic for any student athlete who wishes to increase their skills as well as their team’s prospects.

Sammy D. Linderman, D.V.M

Coach Smartt provides and teaches not only the fundamentals of the game but has a unique positive approach applying those fundamentals to the game of life. My son, Skylar has gained so much from his experience with coach Smartt, realizing that it all was from the heart, everyone has different skill levels and that applications of the skills taught at the PLAY SMARTT program results in an overall player and person prepared to face the challenges of life. I particularly like the enthusiasm projected with each session. I have seen young people with very low self-confidence because leaders on the court and classroom. Teaching by example best describes what each attendee receives. I can’t say enough about coach Smartt’s basketball program.

“Coach Smartt’s unique gift for teaching all aspects of the game of basketball with application to life’s circumstances has resulted into a very noticeable, positive experience for my son, Skylar. Strong emphasis being placed on work ethic, attitude and improvement of the skills not taught with some programs. I who heartily recommend Coach Smartt’s Basketball Camp to anyone desiring to elevate their game level.”

J.R.

“Just wanted you to know my son is really having fun at your camp, and thanks for taking the time with him.

Dr. Cobb Alexander

“It has been my privilege to have three sons work with Coach Smartt in his basketball clinic. He has done a tremendous job teaching basketball fundamentals and, more importantly, instilling confidence in his players, both on and off the court. I heartily recommend Coach Smartt’s basketball clinic for all young players who wish to improve their game.”

Craig, Huntsville, AL

“My daughter enjoys the clinic. My guess is she learned more in three hours than she has all season at her school. Her game was obviously improved the next game she played. One of the reasons was that you let them all be ball handlers, even the big people. Her school coach doesn’t want her to touch the ball unless it’s down low or she’s getting a rebound. I like the fact that you expect them all to be able to handle the basics.”

Dr. and Mrs. Robert Akenhead

“Our children, ages 12 and 10, have been with Coach Smartt for three years. We have watched them gain confidence and learn the technical skills of basketball under his coaching. They look forward to their lessons. Coach Smartt keeps it interesting by varying the format of the clinics. Each class provides warm up, drills, and scrimmages. We highly recommend these clinics for everyone.”

Kathryn, Huntsville, AL

“I am seeing a huge improvement in my daughter’s skills. She had an awesome game Saturday even though she was up against an equivalent counterpart for the first time. She shut the other girl down, made lots of good passes which resulted in scores or close scores for her teammates, and made some pretty moves to the basket herself. The biggest improvement has been in the area of looking for an open player to pass to or setting up her teammates without picking up her dribble. She is much more aware of where everyone is on the court. She is also becoming very good at using pivot skills to make tough passes after she has picked up her dribble.

Curtis Collier

“I like PLAY SMARTT because of how it helps boys and girls play the game of basketball. At PLAY SMARTT, kids learn the whole game and fundamentals. This is something they don’t get while playing school basketball. Coaches don’t have time to really teach fundamentals and the whole game of basketball. At PLAY SMARTT, you work on your game and you work hard. PLAY SMARTT also develops good skills on and off the basketball court, it motivates your mind to do whatever you set out to do.”

Testimonies from Athletes

Katie

WHEN I FIRST CAME TO COACH SMARTT’S CAMP I WAS AN OK PLAYER. I WAS ALWAYS A SUB. NOW THAT I HAVE BEEN GOING TO THIS CAMP FOR ABOUT 9 MONTHS I, AM, STARTER. I HAVE IMPROVED A LOT THANKS TO COACH SMARTT. HE HAS HELPED ME A LOT ON MY BALL HANDLING, READING THE DEFENSE, HOW TO USE MY TRIPLE TREAT, AND COMMUNICATION. WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG HE HELPS YOU AND TELLS YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. I AM GLAD I CAME TO HIS CAMP I HAVE IMPROVED A LOT AND I KNOW YOU WILL TOO IF YOU COME TO HIS CAMP!

Meagan

My name is Megan and I’ve been going to the Play Smartt camp for about nine months now. At the beginning of the camp I was what you would call an average player. Throughout the camp Coach Smartt teaches us the fundamentals of basketball and how to use it in the game. He is teaching us how to cut to the open space on the court, how to play help defense, and how to get open on offense. Coach Smart also teaches us the correct form of shooting. Before I came here I had trouble making my shots but now I make most of my shots. At his camp we scrimmage against High School people. That I think helps us in the game situations. Coach Smartt himself actually gets out there and plays with us. He also tells us what we did wrong. That’s what I like about this camp. It is a really good camp and I am glad I’m in it.

Ke’Ara

When I first started with Coach Smartt, I was not fundamentally sound. I needed lots of help on my shot and ball handling skills. I have been with Coach Smartt for a year. In that period of time, everything that I mentioned before has improved tremendously.

It is easy to work with Coach Smartt because he is patient and understanding. When you do something wrong Coach Smartt will correct you the first time. He will make sure that you understand certain things like running the floor. No matter how long we have done the drill, he still goes over it and makes sure we do it right. Many people can see the difference in the way I played before and the way that I play now. I still attend Play Smartt on Sundays and I am going to continue to go to Coach Smartt because there is always room to work hard and get better. I thank Coach Smartt for all his help and assistance. I also thank my parents for supporting me.

Skylar, Huntsville, AL

“I have been going to the PLAY SMARTT Basketball program for about two years and I was not a fundamental player until I met Coach Smartt. He has shown me all the aspects of the game. He has improved my shot, ball handling, how to run the floor the correct way, defense, my foot speed, jumping, and the most important thing that he has improved is my confidence.”

Michelle, Hunstville, AL

“Out of all the basketball camps I have been to, this clinic is the BEST!! Coach Smartt is an excellent teacher. He not only teaches the fundamentals of basketball, but also the importance of life. And that’s what makes him so great because you don’t see many coaches that would take just a few minutes to talk about the importance of life. He is one of my role models and I hope someday I can make him happy by achieving my dreams and goals.”

Alex

“Coach Smartt’s clinic is making me a more well-rounded player. He has been teaching me to see the court and read the defense. My ball handling and shot improves with every session. With Coach Smartt focusing on the little things, he improved my game. I would recommend this clinic to anyone willing to work hard to improve their game.”

Katie, age 14

“… I have been going to Coach Smartt’s clinic for about eight months. In that eight months, I have gotten alot better at basketball. I use to just be a spot shooter for my basketball team but now I can do alot more for my team. It’s a really good atmosphere because everyone knows who each other is and enjoys being around each other. Coach Smartt is a really good teacher. I really like playing at the basketball camp. I think more people should come and learn too.”

Kenneth, age 10

Coach Smartt has pretty much taught me the game of basketball… I use to be the biggest ball hog before I came to his clinic. He has taught me that there is more to the game than shooting the “big shot” or winning the “big game”. Coach Smartt taught me to care for my teammates and that there is no “I” in the word Team. I have attended the clinic for over 5 years and have learned:

1. discipline;
2. concentration;
3. dedication;
4. how to listen to my teammates and to cheer them up when they are down;
5. respect for my teammates; and
6. to listen to what your coach says
7. to pay attention
8. don’t talk back to your coach.

Tiffany Chanel Patton, Freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC)
“I have known and been going to Coach Smartt’s clinics for about eight or nine years now. He has always been there for me, giving me support and encouragement. And he continues to this day whether it’s a phone call, to me or my parents, or coming to see me play here in Chattanooga.

When I first started going to Coach Smartt’s clinics, I hated it. He was always getting on to me and making me work harder. No matter what I did, it seemed like he always had something to say about it. Even though it might have seemed to him that what he said went in one ear and right out the other, I always heard him and tried to do it. What he said didn’t always make sense, but you could be certain that it would get explained.

I didn’t start to realize what going to these clinics meant until I was playing high school basketball. Working with Coach Smartt throughout my high school career enabled me to accomplish many goals that I had set for myself. The most rewarding goal was getting a full basketball scholarship to a Division I school, UTC.

Coach Smartt may work you hard, but that is because he can see your full potential and wants you to reach that potential. He wants the best for you. I have had a lot of coaches throughout my basketball career, but none have prepared me for the hard work and challenges I face playing Division I college basketball, like Coach Smartt. Thanks for everything you did, do, and continue to do.

Jenna, Huntsville, AL

“Coach Smartt’s clinic is a wonderful fundamental clinic that boys and girls can attend and accomplish more and more about the game of basketball. I’ve been going for a couple of months now and I already see an improvement in my game. Coach Smartt stays on me to get whatever it is that he wants out of me. He pushes you but you also have to push yourself to be the best player you can be. I would like to thank Coach Smartt for taking his time out to help young boy and girls all ages to be their best….Remember always PLAY SMARTT!”

Phillip, Huntsville, AL

“Coach Smartt is a dedicated teacher who loves the game of basketball. He teaches it like it is a subject in school (like English). He emphasizes knowing the fundamentals. Since I have been going to his clinic, I have definitely improved in my fundamentals. I now have a better technique in my jump shot, and I feel more confident when I am dribbling with my head up. Coach Smartt’s clinic will improve your game if you have the desire inside of you.

Testimonies from Coaches

Dan Stallings, Covenant Christian Academy

“I just wanted to tell you thanks for all the insight that you gave me this past year. As the new Junior Varsity coach of the areas largest Home schooling association, I was concerned about making the boys JV team competitive. Since both of my boys were students of your clinic, I choose to use the time spent at the gym to my advantage. You took the time to teach me some concepts of the game that I was able to translate into a working offensive and defensive strategy, that allowed us to finish with a winning season. I am impressed with your knowledge of the game and your strong desire to teach young men and women the true fundamentals of the game of basketball and the life lessons that come with athletics. I have shared with several of the parents from the school the value of “Play Smartt” Basketball clinic, and many have responded by enrolling their child. I look forward to working with you more in the future.