The Offseason Begins

By March 21, 2014 No Comments

By now the vast majority of high school teams have completed their seasons. For coaches, the season is very taxing, both mentally and physically. By the time the season ends coaches are exhausted, but must start planning the offseason quickly to ensure next season’s success. This week, we’re going to discuss five ways to effectively begin your offseason.

One of the first things coaches should do once the season ends is hold meetings with players. These should be 1-on-1 meetings with only the player and head coach. It’s especially important to hold these in the week after the season has ended because many high school students will be moving on to a spring sport. In this meeting the coach must provide honest feedback on the player’s strengths and weaknesses. Show them where they are most likely to be successful on offense and defense. Provide a chart that evaluates all of the major skills needed to be a good player and rank each skill 1-5, with 3 being average, 1 below average, and 5 above average. Lastly, provide each player with three to five areas for improvement to concentrate on.

Secondly, as a coach you must evaluate yourself. Go back and look at each game. Did you handle late game situations well? What about end of quarter situations, free-throw situations, and foul situations? Look and see if there are any areas you can improve upon. Coaches must also evaluate the offensive and defensive schemes that were used during the season. Which ones will you carry over to next season and which ones will you scrap? Look at how you played conference opponents. What would you do differently? Form an initial game plan against each opponent for next season. Lastly, make a list of the lessons you learned during the season that will be of benefit in future seasons.

Thirdly, evaluate and begin planning your style for next year. As a high school coach, my philosophy is to have core offensive and defensive philosophies. However, I also believe that coaches must tailor what they do each season to fit the abilities of the athletes on that season’s team. Right now, I have a plan of what we’re going to do both offensively and defensively next season. I am going to watch both men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament games and study what teams with a similar style as ours do. I am not going to try to reinvent the wheel, but rather steal ideas and concepts from others who are successful. Ideally, coaches should have their offensive and defensive systems in place for summer league and team camps in order to work the kinks out before the season begins.

Most importantly, coaches must take time off to rest and recharge. Once the games end, the season doesn’t really end for the head coach. Some after season duties for head coaches include end of season reports, player evaluations, all-conference meetings, and end of season awards ceremonies. Once the end of season ceremony is over, coaches must take at least a week off to recharge the batteries. Go home after school and get away. Enjoy some time outdoors. Take time to enjoy the extended time with your family. Once you get back after it, everyone will be 0-0, so make sure you’re recharged to have a championship offseason.

Finally, get started! Once you take the week off, get your spring and summer schedule set. Start having your open gyms and focus on player development. Begin having weight room and skill development sessions after school. I believe coaches should come up with both universal and individualized workouts for their players. This way the core fundamentals are worked on by all players, but each player will get specific instruction on how to become the best player they can become. Coaches should have a kickoff meeting and send out an informational letter to players and parents. The main thing is to build excitement and momentum for your program early in the offseason that will carry through the summer and into the fall preseason. Excitement and energy is contagious, and as coaches we must exhibit that for our program all the time.

What are some things you think are necessary for a great offseason?

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be and RGP today!