For Parents

The grit movement started a few years ago when psychologist Angela Duckworth studied people in challenging situations, including National Spelling Bee participants, rookie teachers in tough neighborhoods, and West Point cadets. Her research suggested that grit was a more accurate predictor of success than social intelligence, good looks, physical health, or IQ. Duckworth explains the premise in this short Ted Talk.

Through the Hoop Shoot program, the Elks been developing and reinforcing grit for more than 46 years—long before researchers and experts concluded that grit is so important for our children. Just listen to the parents and contestants in these videos. They’re talking about grit.

Deja Finn

Blake and Bailey Finn are no strangers to the Hoop Shoot. Blake was a 2010 National Champion and Getty Powell winner, and Bailey is a 2014 National Champion who will compete in her fourth Hoop Shoot this season. Shooting 100 to 200 free throws a day, five days a week shows the Finns know about grit.

Bigger Scheme Called Life

Through dedication and commitment, 2013 Elks Hoop Shoot National Champion Grant Barnhart returned to the Finals in 2017. Along the way, he learned lessons that not only apply to the Hoop Shoot, but as his father, Mark, said, "a bigger scheme called life."

I'll Be Back

2017 Hoop Shoot National Finalist DeShun Coleman pushed himself to return to Chicago after falling short at the previous year's National Finals. He shares what he learned from practicing free throws with his dad and how he made his comeback.

Don't Count Yourself Out

Macy Richardson talks about what it was like to win the 2016 Hoop Shoot National Finals and her brother, Andrew, talks about the lessons he learned from Hoop Shoot as he prepared for the 2017 Hoop Shoot National Finals.

Fifth Time's the Charm

After falling short at the Region 12 Contest four years in a row, Ellie DiGiacomo finally broke through last year. She and her dad, Joe, reflect on her quest to reach the Hoop Shoot National Finals.

Bit by the Hoop Shoot Bug

Jennifer's best memories of basketball were with the Hoop Shoot. Now, she's reliving those experiences with her daughter, Alexis.

Practice Makes Perfect

The third time may be the charm, but it was lots of hard work that made the difference for Mitchell Leas on his third trip down the road to the Hoop Shoot National Finals.

For my Sisters

Samantha Griebel's older sisters taught her how to play basketball. One of them was a state Hoop Shoot finalist once. Another reached the National Finals in 2015. In 2016, Samantha put them all on her back for a Finals run of her own.

Fatten the Hog

The father of a three-time national finalist reflects on the lessons learned--and his son's growth--through the Hoop Shoot program.

Hangin' Out

Time spent with your kids is never wasted. Parent Matt Parkhouse reminds us that developing grit isn't the only benefit of the Hoop Shoot program.

Gettin' After It

Playing basketball when they were growing up taught Marcus Parker and his siblings to set goals and go after them. Now, he sees his daughter Naomi learning similar lessons through the Hoop Shoot.

Anything You Can Do

Hoop Shoot legend C.J. Cowgill won four national titles in the '80s and '90s. His nephew Camden? Not impressed. Nancy Cowgill, their mother and grandmother, talks about what the program has meant to her family.

Sibling Rivalry

Meet brother and sister Jackson and Justice Midyett, who pushed each other all the way to the 2016 Hoop Shoot National Finals.

Welcome to the Family

The Richardsons of Nebraska were expecting a fun competition when they started down the Road to Chicago in 2016. They got so much more.

Under Pressure

A good deed, honestly and promptly performed, is its own reward, but every now and then...

Ice Cream and the Rocky Road Back

Setting goals and working hard to achieve them are keys to developing grit. As adults, we can be facilitators, but as we see in "Ice Cream and the Rocky Road Back", we need to be careful about the incentives we use…

Check out this blog post for the nitty-gritty on the film.

Father of the Man

In "Father of the Man", we're reminded of William Wordsworth's poem "The Rainbow." The experiences we have as children--the lessons we learn and the habits we form--shape the adults we become.

Check out this blog post for the nitty-gritty on the film.

Preparation Meets Opportunity

Developing grit would be easy if we could simply explain to kids the benefits of hard work and practice. It doesn’t work that way. But when they work hard at something they love, they’ll see the payoff and learn the lesson for themselves.

Check out this blog post for the nitty-gritty on the film.

A Real Cool Hand

Cool Hand Luke said it best: "Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand." When it comes to developing grit, losing is part of the process.

Check out this blog post for the nitty-gritty on the film.

All in the Elks Family

Perseverance can't be forced. But what we can do as volunteers is provide encouragement and support so that the #HoopShoot competitors have a chance to figure it out for themselves.

Check out this blog post for the nitty-gritty on the film.

My Sister's Footsteps

In "My Sister’s Footsteps," we catch up with #HoopShoot royalty and hear firsthand what our program teaches.

Check out this blog post for the nitty-gritty on the film.

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