In today’s sports climate there is no real offseason. You’re either working to get better or you’re not. How you approach the spring and summer months are critical to your in-season success. This week we’ll discuss five keys to help your players during these months.
One of the most important things a coach can do is to give players time off. Players need a mental and physical break. Some may want to get right back in the gym, and that’s great, but it’s best to give them a couple of weeks off. Their bodies need time to recover from the grind of the regular season.
Players also must be given space. If you put too much on them too soon after season you risk burnout.. You should have an end of season meeting and then give them space to participate and enjoy other activities. It’s extremely important to avoid player burnout in the spring and summer months. I am a proponent of the multiple sport athlete. If your players play a spring sport, give them space to enjoy that sport. It’s fine to work on basketball on the side, but you also want them to miss it. If it’s constant all year round, it can become a burden. By giving your players space, you will allow them to rejuvenate the hunger and desire needed. When it’s time to really get back at it, your players will be energized and excited, not tired and burnt out.
The successful coach also looks for and provides opportunities for player growth and development. It’s important to find a camp, skills trainer, and other opportunities outside your program to make your players better which share similar philosophies with you. It will benefit you and your program when other coaches are reinforcing what you’re teaching to your players. I highly recommend finding a local elite Pure Sweat Basketball skills coach to send your kids to. If you’re in the St. Louis area checkout, Alex Bazzell.
When you do get back in the gym and start to work with players again, keep it short and sweet. Currently we are holding after school skill training sessions which last about 40 minutes. There is no need to be in the gym for two hours. The key is to design a workout plan that is purposeful, fun, and fits the needs of the players and the program. This helps foster the desire to become a better player without pushing them too hard. It should be a gradual buildup from the spring and summer to the fall preseason.
The final key has nothing to do with on-court improvement but it’s just as important. Coaches should provide players with reading material. Improvement should not be limited to on-the-court skills. Coaches and players must continually work on sharpening their mental game as well. Coaches can assist players with this by giving them articles, video clips, and books that will help their mental game. In this day in age, your team should have their own Facebook and Twitter account. These social media sites are great tools to share information via article and video. If used properly, they only help develop your players’ mental game.
Coaching is a 24/7/365 commitment. It never really stops, and there never really is an off-season. Coaching is about making a positive impact in the lives of your athletes, and doing your best to take them to the next level. By implementing these five strategies you will be helping, not hindering, your players’ growth during the offseason.
What do you think are coaching musts during the spring and summer months? Please share your insight.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak with your team, group, or organization. Please message him for details.