ABOUT VISTA TALONS AAU BASKETBALL
QUESTION: What are principle goals and objectives of the Vista Talons program?
ANSWER: Vista Talons is a competitive, AAU basketball program intended for boys (ages 9 – 14 or grades 3rd – 8th) who plan to attend Vista del Lago High School in Folsom, CA. Our goal is for each player to develop with a high-level of proficiency – the fundamentals of basketball (passing, shooting, dribbling, rebounding, defense, etc.) while learning the core principles of the high school's offensive and defensive schemes.
Our objectives are to provide a competitive, developmental, AAU program that includes quality instruction in all aspects of basketball with an emphasis on fundamentals and skill development. The Vista Talons basketball program will provide our athletes the necessary skills to perform successfully in basketball and life with an emphasis on sportsmanship, respect, responsibility, leadership and teamwork.
QUESTION: Does the program have tryouts and when?
ANSWER: Yes! Tryouts are facilitated by the Vista del Lago High School varsity coaching staff and their players while Vista Talons coaches evaluate the prospective players. Two tryout days will be scheduled in late August and players are strongly encouraged to attend both tryout days. Note: Tryout registration fees include both tryout days.
QUESTION: When does the season start and what if my son is playing in another sport?
ANSWER: Most teams begin pre-season practices in September, however the regular season typically begins in November. Players are welcome to participate in other sports but are encouraged to make as many practices and/or skills sessions as they can during these times (September & October). During the season (November through the end of March), basketball is expected to be the athletic priority for the player and he should be at all practices, skills sessions and games.
QUESTION: How are teams selected and are there multiple teams per grade level?
ANSWER: Players are strongly encouraged to participate in both days of tryouts where their skills & abilities will be evaluated by the Vista Talons coaching staff. The number of teams per grade level is determined by the amount of quality players with high-level work ethic, skills & potential. Team sizes and the number of teams can also be limited by the number of coaches we have. Typically, most grade levels have two teams with 8-10 players per team.
QUESTION: How much does it cost for my son to participate if he makes the team?
ANSWER: Each player must be a registered AAU participant ($18 AAU Membership). The Vista Talons program cost is dependent on the number of players per age group, the number of practices, professional training sessions and the number of tournaments they compete in. A team typically averages 2-3 tournaments a month, practices twice per week and takes advantage of approximately 7 professional skills sessions throughout the season. Using those examples, the costs per player for the season is approximately $375.
Uniform costs are separate from program costs which are approximately $125 and include Vista Talons home/away game shorts & jerseys, long sleeve shooting shirt for game days, reversible practice tank-top and socks. Other apparel options include but are not required are: sweatshirts, polo shirts, gym bags, etc – all with the Vista Talons logo. All apparel can be re-used for future seasons and/or siblings. All levels wear the same apparel.
Team fees, not including uniform costs, are typically broken up into 2 installments; one payable in October and another in January.
QUESTION: Can you describe your programs playing time philosophy?
ANSWER: We teach players at our entry level (9u or 3rd grade) on up that players must earn their playing time. To earn playing time – players must attend and be on time for all practices, skills sessions and games. Our coaching staff continuously encourages players to play with a high level of energy, effort and positive attitude.
At our younger grade levels (3rd – 5th) players that demonstrate those player traits – will earn ample playing time in games. Our key priority at all levels, but especially our younger levels, is player development. Of course we want to “win” but development is core to what we are trying to achieve.
For our older grade levels (6th – 8th) players will have to demonstrate those same player traits mentioned above but also demonstrate high-level skills & abilities to earn their playing time. It’s a pretty simple formula! Players that work hard, provide maximum effort in practice, have great attitudes, play with a team first mentality and work on their game outside of practice – these players are always the ones that play the most! Development is still very important at these levels but competition for playing time also needs to be understood as players progress through the program.
QUESTION: How do coaches determine which position is right for a player?
ANSWER: This one is simple! Our program believes in developing all-around, versatile players – meaning, players that can play any position on the floor. Because skill development is core to our program mission – players will work on all the necessary skills & abilities needed to play any position. We are a feeder program to Vista del Lago High School and we align our schemes with theirs. Offensively, our attacking style of offense has a lot of motion and ball movement. All five players on the court will play in or move in and out of perimeter and interior positions. Each player will develop the ability to attack off the dribble and penetrate, create opportunities for teammates and shoot from various positions on the court.
QUESTION: How often are the practices and how long are they?
ANSWER: Practices for most levels are 2 times per week and practice durations are typically 1.5 – 2hrs. We also offer 7 to 10 professional skills sessions per season for each team which are usually 1 - 1.5hrs in duration.
QUESTION: Where are practices held and which days of the week?
ANSWER: Practice schedules usually aren’t released until late September or early October. Finding gym times for each team in each division is a big challenge. Typically, practices are held at Folsom Middle School, Vista High School or other schools in the Folsom & Rancho Cordova area. Practice schedules should be communciated by the head coach in September.
QUESTION: When are the games and where are they held?
ANSWER: Most teams compete in tournaments on the weekends and the majority of these tournaments are hosted at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. Tournament formats can change week to week but typically there are three guaranteed games spanning the weekend. Sac Area Sports (SAS) tournaments are Saturday only tournaments with 3-games that some teams will enter. Some teams have participated in leagues that have single weekday games hosted around the Folsom area. Typically, most teams participate in 2-3 tournaments per month from December through March. Lastly, some teams organize one travel tournament each season to locations such as Lake Tahoe, Reno or the Bay Area.
After the regular season ends in March, some coaches offer an extended season for interested players on the team. The extended season typically runs March-May. Fees for an extended season are separate from the regular season.
If you have any questions for us, please send them through the "Contact Us" link.
For more information on the Lady Talons, please click here.