Former UW Women’s Basketball Coach Bobbie Kelsey, now an assistant with the WNBA’s LA Sparks, will be back in town this weekend to do a little more coaching here in Madison and Racine — this time for middle school and high school players.
Through her coaching service GYBITG (Get Your Butt in the Gym), Kelsey will offer two clinics for young players, both girls and boys, prepare for their high school seasons and beyond.
On Saturday, October 20, Kelsey will host a College Ready Skills Academy for players in eighth through 12th grades from 3 to 9 pm at La Follette High School in Madison. The cost is $85, though Kelsey is offering a discount code for the Madison camp. Using the discount code 65FORME at checkout will save you $20.
On Saturday, October 27, she will run two Skills Development Academy sessions — one 9 am to noon for players in fifth through eighth grade and 2 to 7 pm for high school players, at the YMCA Bray Neighborhood Center in Racine. The cost is $50 for the middle school academy and $80 for high school. All sessions are BYOB — Bring Your Own Basketball.
Registration is limited for all camps.
“I keep it below 50 per session,” says Kelsey, who also served for a year as vice president of corporate and wellness programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.. “That’s to give them the individual attention, the attention to detail, the get the reps, they’re not waiting in line behind 30 other kids. I think when you go to the big camps you don’t get that. People might want to give you that but they got 200 kids there, you not going to get the individual attention and correction that you need so I think that’s another benefit to coming.”
Kelsey has been running camps since the WNBA season ended, first in Los Angeles, then San Diego and Denver, before coming back to Wisconsin for the next couple of weekends.
Kelsey is clear about one thing — her camps are basketball camps, not girls basketball camps.
“I think sometimes when it’s a woman running a camp boys, I guess, assume they can’t come. They’re more than welcome to come,” she says. “I’m trying to get away from that stigma of women coach women and men just coach men. Obviously the men coach both, but the women haven’t traditionally been in the role of coaching men, which needs to change. If you could coach you can just coach. If you know the game, you know the game. It shouldn’t matter.”
Both the men’s and women’s games are built on fundamentals, she says, which starts with footwork.
“The focus on the footwork,” she says. “That’s the foundation of everything you do because if you travel, it’s a turnover. So I start from the bottom and work up.”
Kelsey will also share a bit on what college recruiters are looking for and offer an opportunity for parents to ask questions about the college recruiting process, but it’s not all about getting ready for the next level.
“My whole purpose is to help these kids to play better and to enjoy the experience even if they don’t play going on to college,” she says. “Just if they’re playing right now I want them to do it correctly, right, and enjoy it and feel good about what they’re doing.”
Registration is open at https://www.gybitg.com/skills-academy.