7 Most Common Questions | About Mo’ Motion | Scheduling & Costs | Policies & Standards | Injuries/Illness
7 Most Common Questions
For starters though, we are anti-AAU, anti-travel, anti-directors who pressure FOMO parents who pay a lot of money just to say “my kid plays travel” when we all travel up the block, across town, on the subway or by feet to games. We refer kids to more rigorous travel, which by every measurement of our Top 50 player in high school, several college alum and all of our coaches say is around the END of eighth grade. We are here to help and here’s how we operate.
First, know your child’s schedule. Second, figure out if he or she can do weeknight MON-FRI, after-school (younger kids outside in fall, spring) and/or weekends. You can find most answers to your questions in the SIGN UP link and search by season. If you do have to email the office with a question, please make sure you know a) your calendar b) our offerings.
There’s always room in a listing online unless you see these words: SOLD OUT.
Start at an easier entry point – beginner or a younger age group so that we promote players to older or more experienced workouts as opposed to starting too quickly *but keep flexibility for us to move your child into the more challenging age group. Coaches report on the few players who need to “move up” but note we’ve seen many kids fail after being moved up too soon, and we’ve seen many players succeed based on our eye for when to move up and when to stay put.
Short answer, no, but an important note: WINTER is basketball season. Winter is November – first week of March. Tell the baseball and soccer people who hound our kids. Winter is not their season and they should be deferring to other sports to reduce the risk of injuries and well to just let kids be kids (most pros cross-trained). How much should my child play with Mo’ Motion (and we do refer players to deeper waters if they hit marks)? Many but NOT ALL our players play year-round with us in the- Fall, Winter (**TRUE BASKETBALL season), Spring, Summer.
Some players who are out of NYC on weekends or they have baseball or soccer just do Boost until weekend time opens up. Some NYC players have too much homework Mon-Fri. They just do weekends. We customize what works for your child and family. The schedule may seem complicated. It is only because we are flexible and very effective in helping families balance many commitments.
Winter is early November to the first week of March. Winter team play is the priority during basketball season meaning it is team time, team development, team oriented. Pre-season is true preparation time (games as the core of the program do not help kids prepare for winter), Post-season is SPRING where we do a modified hybrid season of training and games. Summer is for camps, learning, development and recovery time. Both pre-season and post-season training with Mo’ Motion can and should be done around other sports where the other sport is the priority based on the amount of stories about overuse injuries for youth. (Google it.) We know how to build safe, smart, efficient training programs and when to then refer players to other programs that are year-round and require more specialization – at the end of Grade 8.
We do, but we prefer NOT to because we convert on 98 percent of trials. It’s just 2x the workload to re-do all the registration info, but sure, if you insist, email the office. Second,trials don’t guarantee that a player is in the workout meaning if you don’t sign up in full, and the class fills, you could lose your spot. We’ll try to give you the head’s up.
We have mixed feelings on privates for a few reasons. First, we are excellent teachers in small group settings, and basketball is not played in a silo. Second, they’re expensive and not the best use of space, which is scarce in NYC. Third, our coaches are usually fully booked in our totally awesome group and team sessions, which are filled with terrific kids who like to help newcomers and meet new friends. Do we do privates? Sure, if we have space, coaches and the right fit. Does Mo do privates? YES, but she sets a goal to do the least amount as possible with the player and to cover a specific area to catch a player up before totally convincing players to join the small group training. Why? The best teachers know this – we should be effective in a class setting, and only meet 1:1 to help through some rough spots. We also know that we need to see kids compete. We need to see them react and interact. This is how we approach privates – so that we are being honest with parents instead of trying to hit them up for hundreds of dollars in private sessions.
More About Mo’ Motion
We offer programs for boys and girls grades K-12. We offer weeknight only, otherwise known as BOOST Skills, Drills & Play. We also offer Fri-Sat-Sun Weekend workouts during the fall and spring for players within our team program and outside of it to train for the upcoming basketball season. We also offer private, small-group and premium private training as well as sports birthday parties and coaching placement services.
Head over to our Programs page and select the programs that interest you. We now use a simple Google form for registering!
We no longer do trial sessions. The reason? Our retention rate is so high that it didn’t make sense to chase people on payment, return status, coaching attendance sheets. We ask everyone to register and pay in full.
If a child (or parent) is not happy with the program, then we simply ask you to write to the office within 48 hours and explain why it was not the right fit. We may ask you to try it one more time, however, we do try to be fair.
We are mindful of how important it is to create a positive and rewarding experience for kids when it comes to sports and fitness. That said, it’s important for parents to know that struggle, hard work, being uncomfortable are all part of the personal growth process. We do our best to be reasonable and position the child in a place to grow and succeed.
We do not have formal try-outs where kids come into the gym and try-out for a specific team. But what we do have is a popular Fall Train & Play Fri-Sat-Sun Program and our Boost Skills, Drills and Play programs where we suggest that a player/parent tries out our program for one of those two programs and within 2-4 weeks reports back as to how it’s going and if the player is interested in team play.
We usually check with the coach to make sure that the player is doing the following:
– showing up
– giving best effort
– being a positive spirit in the gym
Our staff of former high school, college and pro players doesn’t believe in cuts or creating tiers for kids until junior high when kids are more in control of their commitment levels and interests. We do, however, expect attendance, effort, attitude to be reflective of a player who believes in self-improvement and commitment to a team during team season.
In some cases in grades 3-6, we may group together some kids who are more serious, skilled and showing up more often. But we’ve found that there aren’t always substantial gains by grouping the kids this way for two reasons: all the studies show that they want to be with their friends, to have fun, to learn (at this age). We also often put the kids we pick up a level in league play, and some of the parents have a tough time with losing (kids are okay with it). We have created X teams in the past (our A teams) with a great deal of success in that the kids improve a great deal, however, the parents don’t always see the benefit, and other kids who are not on the “X” team make the same gains, which leads some of them to surpass the skill levels of the X players and be considered for future X teams.
Yes. We cannot promise that your child will be with every friend on his/her list. Note that other players are also listing friend and scheduling requests/conflicts. The registration system handles these requests with a questions section for you to enter your requests. Please note that if your child and group of friends all end up on the same team, and the team ends up being weaker than other teams, remember your children picked their team/friends and they did it to have fun. The coach should not be blamed.
Mandatory team time is announced at the beginning of November. We know several players are finishing up soccer or fall baseball. We also know how many conflicts parents and families and kids have on Saturday-Sundays. However, in fairness to the true definition of what a team stands for and what we want to teach our players, we believe that you want to shoot for 80 percent attendance rate or as close as possible.
Playing time is given to the players who are showing up regularly. Ask Mo – the director – even in big games, if stronger players have not been at practice – in fairness to the kids, and as proof she is honest about setting the bar of development and ethics over winning. Mo along with her coaching staff are told to play the players who have been showing up to practice.
Maybe the end of the game situation changes – but honestly, sometimes it does not – where the coach should be rewarding those who are coming to practice instead of letting players think that they are being punished for missing practice due to grandma’s 80th birthday party. We are consistent, we are fair, we are tough, too, but only because we want the kids to all feel like they are valued. Keep in mind that playing time is allocated with practice effort and attitude in mind. Players must be putting in a full effort in practice and on same page as the coach and team in order to see fair minutes.
We do our best to form smaller teams so that players can be on the floor as much as possible. We also like having 2-3 substitutes so that legs are fresh and there are repercussions for chronic mistakes. For a player who is showing up around that 80 percent marker, you can expect them to be in half the game or more. For players who aren’t meeting our standards, we do our best to get kids in the game, and out of 40-minute total game time, the coaches are told that at least 10 minutes per player – at least – but ideally the rotation works with smaller teams where players are getting around 20 minutes. If coaches slip one game or all the kids show up, please give it a few games for a coach to even up the minutes with cumulative (and earned) minutes helping the player build confidence over time.
Boost Skills, Drills and Play is a high-energy weeknight workout training class available for girls and boys mostly in the grades 3-4 and grades 5-6 age range. The classes are offered upper east and upper west.
Sometimes they include grades 7-8 and high school players who drop in to shoot on side hoop only if space permits. Players love the reps, attention to details, mechanics that are done on the six hoops in these gyms for an hour. The final 40 minutes is split between a team teaching point or two, then free play for the last 20 minutes, which is a great way to end a long school day.
Uniforms and practice shirts are distributed at the start of the winter team season (November). Late registrants must reach out to the office if they missed uniform distribution day or mailing.
Team practice t-shirts are required for the first day of mandatory practices (Saturdays) and dark, solid black shorts (that the player can purchase or the player can wear game shorts).
We also expect knee pads and mouthguards (purchased separately) for all team players. Sundays are days where we encourage wearing the full team uniform to practice and/or games.
We put this FAQ together because it’s often asked this way by parents who don’t fully understand that anyone and everyone can play AAU (and most do). Our level of play is reflective of a program that is inclusive, and only starts to separate players into groups around grades 7-8 because of our staff’s background and knowledge on what works and what does not. Telling a grade 3-6 boy or girl that he or she is special or different or above friends is a risky move to make whether it’s directly telling them this or by wearing a special or elite shirt saying they are a cut above.
Our staff of former college and pro players will tell you two things:
– The best players in grades 3-6 are not always the best players when it counts – in grades 10-12 and beyond).
– Our coaching staff played with friends up until junior high when they started to realize they were putting in more time and effort and wanted to be around those who were doing the same.
Our coaches will tell you that the games-first culture is the equivalent of giving sugar to kids. Once they get it, they don’t want to go back to their vegetables, which is proper training.
Now, getting back to the AAU question, the answer is we play against teams that are AAU in our Gotham Basketball Association league and in our spring league. But that title doesn’t mean anything (you can sign up online to be AAU). What matters most is that we train kids to love training and self-regulation.
And lastly, we have proof that when we felt our travel team and advanced play was not enough for our highest performers, we helped them find an AAU team where they could game up and get exposure to college coaches, which ONLY happens in grades 9 and higher. So we’re not quite sure what all the rage is about AAU in grades 2-8. Elite, AAU and NCAA-sanctioned events and labels should be for exposure only for high performers. We are happy to help our players find the next level if it is warranted. Everything below the next level, which is college play, is for the 97 percent of high school players who want to celebrate hard work, good times and personal growth that is experienced in high school basketball.
Scheduling & Costs
We are observant friendly with Saturday afternoon upper east side gym space available for grades 5-6 and grades 7-8, and upper west Saturday afternoon space available for grades 7 and up.
Read your team play descriptions carefully to see the practice slots. Boost weeknight workouts DO NOT take the place of Saturday practices. We have had several families who observe participate in full on Saturday afternoons and Sundays with success.
Boost is only a supplement because we cannot convert a Boost into a team practice, which would require removing outside players (unless a group is willing to pay for the entire gym space). We also ask that observant families realize that they’re taking away half of the weekend from us schedule wise. This means that:
– The schedule won’t be absolutely perfect and customized for your family – we do our best on Saturday afternoons.
– Your child will be placed on a team that has players with similar requests/restrictions.
If this means you are unhappy with the team or grouping of players/friends and strength of team, we ask that you remember we did our best to accommodate you with only half the weekend available to us.
In the registration process, you will be prompted to fill in all of your friend requests, conflicts (list that you observe), side of town request, etc. Again, we do our very best to make this work with our 30 teams being booked upper east/upper west. We have 2-4 teams per year that have observant restrictions.
It’s not easy, but we make it work. Note that fall training is optional. We do have to set standards for winter team play or else the kids end up picking practice last on the list, and that makes for a rough year as far as team flow and chemistry.
Mo’ Motion has a no-refund policy meaning we are not obligated to give anyone a refund. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, we appreciate an email with the details of the refund request in writing. We do our best to work with parents and players to find the best solution.
Typically we do not. It is too time-consuming for us to chase people on payments. That is why our registration is set up to only allow users to register for a program if they pay in full.
If you absolutely need a payment plan and cannot put the full amount on a credit card, email the firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to set up a back-end payment plan system with the help of our registration system.
Yes. We prorate for late registrants to a program and not retroactively or if a player is going to miss a class in a few weeks. What we do is provide a discount code (one-time use) for a late registrant in a Boost program, weekend program or after-school program. If players anticipate missing a workout in the future after registering, we encourage the parent/child to find another workout to jump into as a make-up session. Email the email@example.com if you have questions about other make-up options.
We raise money primarily for the shortage of overhead needed to cover the overhead required for the local and convenient Gotham Basketball Association league. We also extend scholarships to players who cannot afford our training fees without revealing the names of the recipients except in our board reporting.
In addition, we sponsor public girls’ school teams in need of support. In the past, we have renovated gyms, replaced or repaired backboards, rims and scoreboards. We also donate holiday gym time to the local police department and donate to several school auctions.
Policies & Standards
Players in the Mo’ Motion team programs are held to a higher standard than those who are participating only in Boost or in the weekend programs when it comes to attendance, effort and attitude.
We expect Mo’ Motion players to show up, give best effort and be a coachable spirit at all times.
We ask players to shoot for an 80 percent or higher attendance rate at mandatory team events in winter only. It is up to team players to participate in any/all optional workouts.
We know by one’s performance how much time and effort they are putting into their games with us and on their own. As for all other participants in our Boost, Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer training, we have the reputation for always asking for best effort regardless of talent level, natural skills or athleticism.
We as a staff rate ourselves by the total improvement of the class, workout, team instead of by the scoreboard, record or progress of the starting line-up. Our slogan is EARN IT. It’s not negotiate it or whine about it or complain about it. It’s to go out there regardless of the circumstances and make no excuses. A player’s job is to nod his or her head, give best effort and do what it takes to show everyone what it means to be a champion.
Mo’ Motion was founded by Maureen Holohan when she came across a group of reasonable parents of well-behaved and respectful kids who wanted to improve their hoops game and stay local. The group of parents consisted of a mix of those who did not play at a high level, and a few who did play college sports or fully understood how hard it was to achieve that level of play. They knew the reality – that they wanted their sons to be the best players they could be even if that meant the end of the formal hoops road would be high school sports – yet they wanted to provide them with the best, detailed and most honest coaching they could find. As a group of highly successful and well-educated parents, they wanted their children to know what it means to EARN IT.
Parents are role models for their child. If the parent crosses the boundaries of our practices, coaching space and culture, then the player will as well and we will have a problem. Parents in New York City know that Mo’ Motion is a no-nonsense program where the focus is on the kids and players and the reasons why they play. We do our best to always focus on what is best for the young athlete even if that means creating a firm, tough tone for the child along with a healthy mix of fun, sweat and rewards. We have had a tremendous amount of success working with apprehensive, new players because of the support, faith and trust in our working with reasonable parents who understand we are doing everything to build and empower their child.
Please note that practices are closed except for the last 15 minutes (and there is a grandparent/out of town guest exception rule.) Parents can look through the door or window to see what they’re paying for. Note that after weeks of closed practices, Mo felt badly for the parents, so she asked a group of grade 5/6 kids on her team: “Should we let them in?” All of them shook their heads. The kid who never talked said a firm, “No.” It’s fair to say that you are going to practice and watching their every move is like taking your kid to the gym and having them watch you on the treadmill. We all need our space. Enjoy your coffee or newspaper or go for a run. They’re in the best of hands with co-coaches, security guards and other parents nearby.
At the end of day, coaches and parents are expected to give our best effort as adults to teach kids that success comes through hard work and sacrifice. We want our players to where Mo was in her first meeting with that first group of parents who wanted their kids to know what it means to EARN IT. Click here for more info on Motion Parents.
There is no way of saying any program in NYC has “the best coaches,” although several parents say they always lead with this line when people ask about our program. The coaches are held to a standard that is regularly reiterated to them through all forms of communication.
We’ve placed dozens of coaches in coaching positions in New York City due to our standard of excellence not only in teaching Xs and Os, but in how we motivate, understand and communicate with young adults. Motion coaches know that who we are as people is always more important that who we were as basketball players.
Coaches know that if they get a little too intense (Mo has this problem herself at times), that they are expected to dial back, admit they made a mistake, and try not to repeat the mistake just like any player or parent. We are all a work in progress. An outstanding system of accountability, communication, and true teamwork makes the player-coach-parent experience at Mo’ Motion mutually beneficial.
Mo expects all coaches, parents and players representing Mo’ Motion to do their best to keep their cool even in the face of unacceptable behavior. This isn’t to say that individuals should lie down or not stand up for one’s self, but it should be made clear that in most situations with unreasonable parents or fans on our side or those representing our opponent, the worst thing one can do is say something or act inappropriately. This will only incite an unreasonable person and give them room to blame others.
If a fan, player or coach is acting out of line, please rely on gym management, referees and/or coaches to handle the situation as they are trained to do so. If parents are called upon to assist, then we appreciate anything you can do to return the gym to a calm, stress-free, and safe environment for children.
This is often beyond our control in the moment of the games themselves. Motion coaches know that if they or any Motion player gets a technical foul, they must report it immediately to Mo. We do not believe that any adult should be receiving technical fouls in youth basketball games. Period.
We have had situations where referees outstep their bounds, say too much, miss to many calls, don’t know the rules and in some cases, baby the girls or young kids by calling everything and slowing the game down to a crawl. The coaches know how to handle this.
Mo, as commissioner of the GBA, knows how to handle with the Head of Officials, who is a wonderful person to work with. We as coaches, parents, players and directors are not perfect by any stretch. We do believe there is much to be said about early communication on professionalism and acceptable behavior. If you have any problems with officials, coaches or unacceptable behavior, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and just note that we’re probably one big step ahead of you with our system of reporting by the gym managers, coaches and opposing coaches.
We prefer practices to be closed except for the last 15-20 minutes, but we understand if parents want to watch to see how the program runs. We ask that you do not watch the entire time – bring a book, step out, go for a jog, run an errand – to take the pressure off all of the kids.
Make sure that your child brings a water bottle and wears appropriate basketball gear. Mo’ Motion strongly encourages mouth guards and knee pads for all players, but mandates them for team players.
Team players/parents are responsible for notifying coaches (once assigned) if absent for games well in advance.
If you have not registered for your BOOST weeknight choice, please do so ASAP by going here: Team Player BOOST Selection
We know there are a lot of things that must happen in order for our Coaches and Managers to successfully lead our kids, and we are dedicated to making sure you have the tools, resources, and support you need. A Crisis Management Plan is an essential part of these resources.
We can’t do this without you, so if there is ever anything you need or question you have, please make sure to contact us.
Responsibilities and Resources
Mo’ Motion Crisis Management Plan – There are several key steps to managing a crisis while serving as a coach or manager. The general steps include:
Know your role and responsibilities.
Know your facility.
Know your equipment.
Know your communication plan.
Know your post-emergency analysis responsibilities.
All Coaches and Managers MUST read the detailed Crisis Management Plan, which describes each of these important steps and what you can do to best prepare for an emergency.
All Coaches and Managers MUST review the Mo’ Motion Gym Locations and Emergency Equipment list, and identify safe zones and locations of emergency equipment such as emergency exits and AED locations.
All Coaches and Managers MUST read the Active Shooter Response, which follows the guidelines established by the New York Department of Education.
Injuries / Illness
Parents have to use good judgment and decide if it’s a minor injury that needs modification at a practice (we are happy to do so) or if it’s a major injury meaning they should not show up to team events.
Keep in mind that attendance for team play is kept all year. We do encourage injured players to continue to attend during the winter season if they plan on returning to game minutes like everyone else. In the fall and spring or in Boost, it’s up to the participant and parent to decide if they can make the workout. Email the office if it’s a short or long-term injury so we can work out make-up training or an extension into another program after the player has recovered.
Minor injuries include jammed or mildly broken fingers, sore knees, lightly sprained ankles. Protocol for minor injuries is that the parent and player must assess the gains from going to practice and training as much as possible around the injury. Modifying the workout with no contact (while injury is in the acute state) is a ton better than sitting at home and doing nothing. The body wants to move. Protect the injury. Work around it. Stay out of contact. This attitude shows commitment to the team. It shows a player who is willing to make the most of adversity. It shows a player who will then be ready to jump back into team play after the doctor clears the athlete. Broken fingers are the most common injury. Second are sore knees (growing pains). Both injuries can be worked around on the condition that the injury is 1) reported to the office 2) directly communicated to the coach.
What is a major injury? Major injuries include bad sprains or breaks to lower limbs in acute state; mild to severe concussions; anything that involves surgery; flu-like symptoms – vomiting, bad fever, a player sweating profusely. We coax kids to practice when we feel there is something to be gained with minimal risk. We tell parents to keep kids home when there is too much risk. Sitting home is not always the answer, and sitting around often sets up another injury. Remember doctors often say “no sports” for liability reasons. Your kid needs to move, sweat, and feel good. Keep it in mind when you determine the difference between a minor/major injury and the commitment to a team.
Our concussion policy is as follows:
Helmets (football) or headbands (soccer) are not required for basketball. Mo’ Motion does believe that mouth guards can help mitigate damage in cases of body-head collisions and hits to the floor. Mo’ Motion also mandates knee pads as a preventive measure.
Coaches are told to immediately remove from practice or a game a player who appears to have suffered a head injury or a concussion.
Mo’ Motion coaches, parents and staff are expected to review this Concussion Prevention website. This site provides fact sheets for coaches, parents and athletes as well as a clipboard with concussion facts.
Mo’ Motion enforces a return-to-play policy. This policy requires any player who has sustained a head injury or who is suspected of having sustained a head injury to:
1. Visit a licensed health care professional for evaluation and clearance, AND
2. Sign (for youth players, have parent/legal guardian sign) a head injury information/awareness sheet before returning to practice or game play.