How MOJO helps a mission-driven competitive basketball organization spread the good word
| 5 min read
ProSkills Basketball coach during a game.
As the head of basketball operations for ProSkills Basketball (PSB), Ross Schraeder sees the big picture — a network of competitive youth basketball leagues that crisscrosses the nation. But he’s also the city director for Denver, Colorado, the second-largest city in PSB, serving some 250 families. And he coaches two 8th grade basketball teams himself.
Three different audiences, each with different needs. But one platform — MOJO — has helped Schraeder manage them all.
PSB spans 23 cities across the US, with nearly 1500 families who call the network home, as far as youth basketball goes. In 2017, the Jr. NBA recognized the fast-growing network as a top 15 youth basketball organization in the US. Three years ago, PSB partnered with Golden State Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry to launch Team Curry.
But the true strength of the organization isn’t in its achievements or accolades—it’s in its mission.
“We want to change the culture of youth basketball,” says Schraeder. PSB strives to give young players a more professional basketball experience—but one that is rooted less in Xs and Os, more on organized communication, fun, mutual respect, and personal growth—on and off the court.
While PSB has more than 250 alumni playing in college and beyond, that is, says Schraeder, a mere byproduct. “Our main goal is to learn lessons through development — learning your role, working together, how to be coached.”
It’s a lesson Schraeder learned in his own career.
“I played in college and professionally,” says Schraeder. “People who have coached at that level agree, let’s not start talking about scholarships in 6th grade. Let’s enjoy the game first.”
As PSB, the mission drives the work. And MOJO helps PSB — and Schraeder, in particular— on multiple levels.
For the national organization
In many ways, PSB and MOJO share a similar ethos — let kids learn to love the game, first and foremost. But some of the gamified curriculum that MOJO developed with the Jr. NBA was less competitively oriented than what PSB coaches use for weekly training.
“We still gamify it,” explains Schraeder, “but it’s different.”
The solution? PSB made the MOJO platform work for them.
“The platform is fantastic,” says Schraeder. “I love the layout, the look, the ease of use. The question was: How do we make the content streamlined for us?”
In June 2021, Schraeder began submitting PSB’s own videos to be published on the custom home page in the MOJO app shared by the entire network of city leagues. By that fall, the library had grown from a small handful to more than two dozen.
“What we’re able to do with MOJO is to say to our coaches, Give me a 10-second video of the drill happening. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. I just need to see three or four kids do the drill two or three times and we can use the written description to describe it.”
These custom videos serve as a network-wide inspiration for practice planning, alongside the one-touch practice planning tools that are built into the MOJO app.
For city directors
“We’ve been in such heavy growth mode,” says Schraeder, with more than 20 new cities poised to launch, from Long Island to Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Each new city needs a city director, who typically has a significant basketball background. Then, each city director needs to hire and educate coaches for a high quality, consistent experience.
“There’s that pressure when you’re growing your city,” says Schraeder. “It’s easier to do with four or five coaches, and much harder with 20.”
“That’s when you end up with MOJO,” he says.
With the MOJO app, every PSB coach has access to hundreds of activities either from their own network or, built right into the one-touch practice planner, age-appropriate drills developed in partnership with the Jr. NBA. The app raises the baseline level of coaching, and gives PSB city directors confidence when they hire.
“If we can take someone who is passionate about working with kids, we can teach them basketball,” says Schraeder.
Simplified team management tools
For Schraeder’s two youth basketball teams, the MOJO app was a primary team communication tool — in large part because it was easier to use than other platforms.
The added bonus? Transparency.
“A lot of times, parents aren’t sure what’s being taught,” Schraeder explains. “Basketball is so tough, there are so many different aspects to it. It’s so free-flowing and fickle. I like the idea of showing parents what we’re working on.”
In the MOJO app, parents can follow along with practice — watching videos on their own, or with their player(s), to see what games and skills are being worked on. It helps parents stay engaged, on the one hand, and to be more patient with the player development process, on the other, he says.
“I love the platform,” says Schraeder. “The possibilities are real.”
© 2022 MOJO, Inc. All Rights Reserved