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BasketSoul’s Tools for Transformation are a Game Changer

If you’re a basketball fan, odds are good that you’ve heard of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and LeBron James. But have you heard of Jefferson Mason? If you saw the 6’6” Minnesota native walking down the street, you’d probably wonder if he plays the game, and you would be right. He did.

Basketball wasn’t just a game for Jefferson, though. It gave him focus and fueled his determination, making it possible for him to overcome the biggest challenges life could throw at him. It became a safe and comforting space he would turn to over and over to relieve stress and focus on something other than the hardships he faced.

When he was 11, Jefferson’s dad died. A few months later, he had a life-threatening infection in his hip that required two surgeries. The first time he was told he could lose his leg, and the second time he was told he would never run, jump, or play sports again.

He didn’t walk for five months after the second surgery but decided to prove the doctors wrong, and he did. He said, “Ball, at the time, was seriously life for me.”

Jefferson led his high school team to state, earned a Division 1 basketball scholarship to Northern Colorado, and played his senior year at the University of Minnesota—Mankato. He was challenged again while in college when diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, but just as he had years before, he used the game as his goal while he learned how to adjust his lifestyle.

Jefferson went undrafted in the NBA but was able to continue his career by playing professionally in seven European countries and the NBA D-league. His story shows that transformation can come at any age, through any circumstance, and the game of basketball can play a key role in healing from trauma.

BasketSoul’s Tools of Transformation

The BasketSoul system consists of five components that are used not only in basketball but in many other sports. More importantly, they are used in the game of life.

We know that teaching our youth through the parallels to basketball makes learning the lesson fun and helps them internalize the life lessons they are learning so they can pull them out and use them whenever they need to. There is no need to hunt down a book or worksheet.

When the youth complete our program, they will have all the tools they need to transform their lives and overcome any obstacle life tosses their way. Let’s take a quick look at each of the five tools.

Timeouts: In basketball, timeouts are used by the coach to stop the play of the game so they can talk to the team, either to boost morale or to change strategy.

In BasketSoul, youth learn to use timeouts to take a break from what they are dealing with and use drills that we teach to achieve a mental reset. These drills have been scientifically tested for effectiveness.

Offense: During the game, the offense keeps moving the ball forward with the goal of scoring baskets. It’s done with continuous motion and plays that have been practiced.

Within the BasketSoul program, we help the youth in our program to build goals on and off the court.

Defense: This skill is taught to prevent the other team from scoring and is often considered more important than offense.

As a part of the BasketSoul system, defense–protecting your court, home base, or goal–is just as important as protecting your mind. We help those in our program to get through the tough times by looking at negativity the right way and setting up boundaries that allow them to thrive.

Substitutions: This move replaces tired or injured players or may be done strategically.

In BasketSoul, we use guided exercises to give our youth the skills to affirm who they truly are vs. what the world says they should be—helping them input the good vs. the bad, the positive vs. the negative. We build them up one drill at a time to believe in themselves and demonstrate self-worth and self-confidence in appropriate ways.

Practice: Through in-person and away-from-camp activities, mentor calls, and check-ins, we facilitate a culture of deeper learning through practice and repetition. Ongoing support and practice solidify learning, helps our youth succeed at a higher rate, and allows them to be accountable for their growth.

We have structured our program to be relatable and fun while delivering truths, strategies, and exercises that we believe will transform the lives of our youth, setting them on a personally rewarding, solid path.

Transformation is powerful. Are you interested in helping to influence today’s youth and see the transformative power of BasketSoul firsthand? Join us as a volunteer.