Elite Player Development Programme – Basketball

Our elite basketball programme allows young basketball players to refine their skills, benefiting from professional level coaching, while continuing with their academic studies. It offers promising basketball students the chance to improve technically, tactically, physically and mentally.

Our programme is designed to provide extra support and opportunities to young basketball players who show promise and commitment to the sport. We ensure the students receive the very best coaching from our highly experienced coaching and teaching staff. It allows the students to develop their skills and techniques during and outside of school hours, while making sure they continue to progress academically.

The coaches and teachers will have very high expectations for the students involved, pushing them to achieve their potential. This will be highly demanding mentally and physically but gives the students a great start on the road to becoming a dedicated and focused athlete.

The programme will focus on key skills, strength & conditioning and nutritional advice. There will be two morning sessions a week including skills sessions, fitness sessions and game play.


Coach: James Gardner

James has been in charge of the EPD Basketball programme since it started in 2015. He is a Level 2 qualified coach and has ample experience and knowledge of the game. James represented Essex and Eastern Region in his youth and went on to represent the Loughborough University basketball team during his three years of study there. After completing his degree, he decided to take up a full time coaching job with Brentwood Fire where he led his U14 team to the National Quarter Finals in 2015. James also coached the U13 Essex team in 2015 where they went unbeaten in the Eastern Region tournament. He is not currently coaching National League basketball as his focus is on the development of Woodlands pupils and achieving success in county and national school tournaments.

Criteria for EPD Basketball programme:

  • Attend team training sessions and represent the school team
  • Represent the school in County or National Competitions
  • Play for a basketball club outside of school

Pupils must meet at least two of the above criteria.


For More Information Please Contact Mr Gardner – jga@woodlandsschool.essex.sch.uk


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