Young basketball players ‘get comfortable’ with hard work

Jul 18, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Basketball coach Brian Rudolph instructed Tri-Town basketball players to “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” during the Mattapoisett Recreation summer basketball clinic on Tuesday, July 18. 

As players lined up to practice dribbling drills, Rudolph told them to use their non-dominant hand to control the ball.

“The only way to get comfortable with something  is to keep doing it,” he said, as the players moved down the court. 

As a former basketball coach at New Bedford High School and UMass Dartmouth, Rudolph has been giving pointers to players at the clinic at Old Rochester Regional High School for nine years. 

“We try to keep it as fun as possible while teaching them different things that they could go home and work on by themselves,” said Rudolph. “It's one thing to work with us for three hours, but then we don't see [the players] for a year, so at least we know we gave [them] a few tools that [they] can work on to better [themselves].”

It was nine-year-old Isabella Doubrava’s second week at the clinic and she said that she has already seen improvement in her playing. 

“The funnest part is definitely getting better,” she said. “I wanted to learn how to dribble through my legs and I am getting better.”

Fourteen-year-old Joshua Oliveira, has been participating in the basketball clinics for five years.

“I’ve learned how to get a better handle on the ball,” he said. “We always have a good time.”

Rudolph said that he tries to implement communication and team work skills into the program. He said that one of the biggest values he tries to instill is the appreciation for hard work.

“We live by saying you can't cheat the grind,” he said. “If you work hard at something, and you apply yourself to certain goals, you're gonna develop good behaviors.”