As humans, we have an inherent right – but also a responsibility – to become lifelong learners, to continuously evolve our experience, skills and knowledge so that we can share them with others as part of our service on this Earth.
Yet, it is easy for us to think as if we have already known everything we need to know in our respective fields of endeavor; this kind of thinking can cause us to stop learning and growing. Which is unfortunate, considering the richness and vastness that we can always discover through a lifetime of constant learning.
This idea that you can always learn something new at any point of your life and career also applies in the field of basketball coaching: even teachers can always learn new skills or two to enrich their teaching skills and inspire their students all the more.
Look at these local physical education teachers from Indonesian schools to gain inspiration. Mulyati Ningsih and Syahrul Anwar, who teach physical education at state junior high school SMPN 97 and the Perwira junior high school, respectively, both in Jakarta, recently participated in a Jr. NBA Coaches Academy workshop.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA conducted its Jr. NBA Coaches Academy virtually on Sept. 10 and 11. The online session, facilitated by Jr. NBA coaches, was joined by about 1,300 teachers from schools ranging from elementary right up to senior high across Jakarta.
Learning continues: Jr. NBA Asia Head Coach Carlos Barroca holds an online workshop for Jakarta basketball coaches. After the coronavirus outbreak was announced in Indonesia in March 2020, the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy chose to carry on its 2020 program virtually, peppering the sessions with advice on teaching sports and basketball remotely using virtual platforms to stay abreast of online learning systems amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy of Jr. NBA/.)
“We remain committed to bettering the lives of Indonesian youth through sport,” said NBA Asia Associate Vice President of Marketing Partnerships Jim Wong. “The shift to a virtual setting for our Jr. NBA Coaches Academy workshops will allow us to deliver an uncompromised experience to teachers while preserving the health and safety of the Jr. NBA community.”
In Indonesia, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been working together with the local government in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles among Indonesian youths.
Even the difficult circumstances brought by the current COVID-19 has not eroded the desire of teachers like Mulyati and Syahrul to acquire new knowledge, expand their horizons, innovate with their teaching materials, as well as peppering their teaching methods with more exciting ways to engage their students by joining the academy.
A seasoned teacher who has taught physical education in her school for 18 years, Mulyati said she was amazed by how much she had to learn from the NBA.
“Thanks to my participation in the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy, I’ve been able to appreciate deeper nuances of basketball, both in practice and in theory. I’ve also been able to pass these new techniques and knowledge on to my students,” Mulyati said.
During the corona virus outbreak, like any other teacher in Indonesia, Mulyati has encountered the challenges posed by online learning. Considering that physical education is her subject, her challenge is even greater: how to conduct such a socially interactive subject requiring lots of mobility outdoors? Yet her idealism as a teacher keeps her going, against all odds.
“For me, the most important thing for students while they stay at home is to keep on moving through physical exercise, so they will maintain their physical strength and fitness. Furthermore, I hope that amid all the limitations of having to stay at home, the students can still stick to their exercise regimen, such as by playing basketball at home,” Mulyati said.
“Fortunately, by taking part in the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy workshop, I gained insights from the program so as how to practice basketball at home using several techniques at home, under the constraints of limited equipment and not much space,” she continued.
Syahrul is also driven by the same spirit as Mulyati as he tirelessly innovates in his teaching materials, particularly pertaining to basketball, both in the classroom and in the practicing field, even amid the limitations brought by pandemic-related virtual learning activities.
According to Syahrul, the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy has helped him greatly to deliver his online teaching materials in a way that students can easily understand and derive pleasure from.
Echoing Mulyati’s statement, he explained that not all students had a basketball ground and a large field to practice in at home. “Yet, the Jr. NBA coaches have taught us new techniques to train students to play basketball at home, including ball handling training using water bottles as well as shooting technique practices without the ball,” he explained.
Through the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy, the NBA has been using its global training standards to enhance the teaching material delivery of physical education teachers and sports trainers in various elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools in several provinces across Indonesia.
The program module covers: strength training and body conditioning, as well as basketball skills and techniques. All is packaged in creative ways that make the experience of learning fun, easy, and enjoyable for students.
The NBA also recontextualized its training materials to address some issues related to online learning which, as Mulyati and Syahrul have attested, have helped teachers greatly in conducting sports classes virtually.
The Jr. NBA Coaches Academy has also been made possible in Indonesia thanks to the NBA’s collaborations with various local administrations, such as with the Jakarta city administration as well as the provincial governments of Yogyakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java and South Sumatra, among others.
United: Jr. NBA Asia Coach Natalia Andre (third right) poses for a photograph with her fellow basketball coaches alongside East Java Youth and Sports Agency head Supratomo (fourth right) at the opening of the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy in the CLS Kertajaya sports hall in Surabaya, East Java, on Feb. 10. The program seeks to help sports educators in Indonesia enrich their basketball teaching skills. (Courtesy of Jr. NBA/.)
The Jr. NBA Coaches Academy has left a remarkable legacy in Indonesia. To date, NBA has trained more than 52,000 teachers from 41,000 schools across 25 cities throughout Indonesia. The NBA applies its global training standard and curriculum in training these teachers, without charging them any fees. This program is also open to any teachers and basketball trainers eager to expand on their educational practices.
All in all, the program seeks to bring the joy of basketball to members of the young generation through their teachers.
Sharing: Jr. NBA Asia Head Coach Carlos Barroca talks with local sports teachers in the 2020 cohort of the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy in Bandung, West Java. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy held a road show in several provinces to train teachers about the latest developments in basketball pedagogy. (Courtesy of Jr. NBA/.)
Furthermore, the NBA and Tahir Foundation, a private charity organization that aims to help individuals and communities in need in education and healthcare, recently awarded 13 coaches and teachers with a Jr. NBA Tahir Foundation scholarship as part of the 2020 Jr. NBA Coaches Academy Loyalty Contest to support further coaching and educational needs.
So, in conclusion, just as the pandemic does not erode the spirit of teachers like Mulyati and Syahrul to go on learning, it has also not lessened the NBA’s commitment to supporting basketball education in Indonesia one bit.
This has been demonstrated by the fact that the NBA neither postponed or cancelled the program due to the constraints brought by the coronavirus outbreak; instead it has tailored its virtual program to address the challenges of teaching sports in these difficult times.
Teachers can access the NBA’s learning materials for free from the Jr. NBA Asia website jrnbaasia.com, or download the Jr. NBA Coach app from the Google Play Store and Apps Store. Also, be sure to follow Jr. NBA Asia on Facebook (@JrNBAIndonesia) and Instagram (@jrnbaasia) accounts.