To be honest I had something completely different in mind for this week’s post. However, while reading the other morning this topic seemed to be more fitting.
And something coaches need to talk about more.
In our fast-paced microwave society we want instant results. We want decisions to be made immediately. We want answers now. Once a season is over, the social media world can’t wait to talk about next season. We rarely take the time to sit back, relax, and reflect.
Coaches and athletes can easily fall into this trap. Being a huge basketball fan, I’ve been consumed with the NBA Playoffs. I was refreshed and encouraged Wednesday morning reading about the Heat and Spurs after their playoff elimination.
Dwayne Wade is a three-time champion who just completed his 15th NBA season. There is widespread speculation regarding whether or not he will return for his 16th season. In his post game interview following the Heat’s elimination Wade was asked about his plans. He said, “That’s not my focus.” Wade went on to say he wanted to reflect on this past season and then devote himself to his family. He said after giving it time, he will then consider his future playing options.
Manu Ginobli is a former all-star, four-time NBA champion, and future Hall of Famer who just completed his 16th season with the San Antonio Spurs. The past few years there have been questions whether or not he would retire. After being eliminated from the playoffs the other night and asked about his future, Manu said, “I need time to sit back and relax. After two or three months, I’ll see if I feel retired or not.”
As a high school coach our basketball season ended in late February, but as any coach will tell you the season’s not really over until your banquet’s over. For me, our season didn’t end until early March.
When I read the articles about and comments made by Wade and Ginobli it hit home. It was refreshing to hear these accomplished athletes being honest and confident about sharing their mindset. They hit home because I think more coaches need to take their approach, but sadly many do not and it ultimately leads to burnout.
It never fails, every year I read about another coach who is calling quits because they’re more or less burned out. It doesn’t have to be this way. If more people followed the logic of Wade and Ginobli, I don’t think we’d see as many coaches needing to step away.
For me personally, I have to shut it down once our banquet is over. I don’t stick around after school. I don’t workout at school. I literally have to get away and recharge for almost two months. I don’t have open gyms, I don’t do skill workouts, listen to sports podcasts, or do much with basketball for about six to eight weeks.
Now, some may say they can’t do that and that they’d be doing more much sooner. And that’s fine, but I know myself and I know I’d be one of the coaches stepping down if I didn’t withdraw.
I’m just now re-engaging. I have skill development workouts for 45 minutes two days a week while my assistant holds weight room workouts two days a week. We are gradually building to our full offseason program. I’m aware if I don’t take the time to withdraw after our season, I will not have a full tank once it’s time to get after it.
For us coaches I think there are five takeaways we can gather from Wade and Ginobli.
Don’t make decisions on the fly
Never make decisions when emotional
Let it breathe–give important decisions time and space
Be honest with yourself and what you want to do
Withdraw to recharge and re-engage
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
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