11/07/2016 12:55 PM
There’s no denying the game of basketball is more complex than it’s ever been.
With a vast amount of coaching styles, playing styles, strategies and techniques, it can be easy to get lost in the fray; To become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information available at our fingertips.
For Texas Dynasty, however, it’s all about the “natural state of the game.”
- Program director Zach Rodriguez is all about letting his kids play.
Based in Dallas — Highland Park and University Park — Texas Dynasty is one of the newer grassroots programs that has exploded onto the scene. In only it’s third year of existence, the organization has 20 teams with age groups ranging from kindergarten to high school.
The secret to their rapid expansion?
“The way that we coach, the we interact with the kids is the reason we’ve grown so much,” said program director Zach Rodriguez. “We want to simply let the kids play. My assistant coaches’ and my playing careers are done. We just want to get out the way. It’s basically playground style with a little structure.”
This free-form attitude toward the game is not something you see often in high-level grassroots programs, and it’s a breath of fresh air in a sport that often can see over-coaching.
Texas Dynasty began playing competitively in 2014, and after just one year was ready to raise the level of competition for their athletes. Since then, Texas Dynasty squads have competed in numerous PrimeTime tournaments, including PT’s National Basketball Championship held in Dallas each summer.
Basketball, though, is just a vehicle for Rodriguez and the Texas Dynasty program. Their mission is “to provide our players with the tools and knowledge to be the best athlete possible, on and off the court,” according to their website.
“Ultimately, I want all of my kids to be better off in life when they leave my program,” Rodriguez said. “If I have a kid that goes on to the NBA, that’d be great, but I want my kids to be able to compete for their life. Teaching basketball is easy. I want to relate the game to life — there are ups and downs in basketball, just as life.”
Rodriguez is no stranger to what it takes to succeed on and off the court. A local product (Ennis high school), Rodriguez played collegiate basketball at the University of Dallas, where he broke the schools three-point record. He then went on to play professionally for four years in Mexico, and earned a tryout with the Dallas Mavericks D-League team, The Texas Legends. He also coached at The Cambridge School of Dallas before exclusively going to Texas Dynasty.
There’s no one correct way to teach basketball. The different philosophies about this game is just one of the reasons the sport is so unique. But there’s some beautiful about allowing kids to “just play the game.” Basketball, in it’s purest form, is energetic. It’s fun. Free-flowing. Natural.
Texas Dynasty embraces that concept, and lets their kids just play.