Newsletter #157

March 27, 2019


Today's Quotes:  "It comes a time when WINTER asks you what you did in the SUMMER."

Today's Theme... Off-Season Coaching

We expect our players to work in the off-season, but what about us coaches? What are we doing in the off-season to improve ourselves as coaches?

First, take some time off... maintain balance in your personal life. Step back and forget basketball for a couple weeks. Take time for your family and friends, relax, enjoy life and your time away from the gym. As Al McGuire once said, "Don't let basketball be your mistress." Our families often take a back-seat once the season starts, so put your family first in the off-season.

Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses... make an honest, private assessment of yourself as a coach, leader, mentor, etc. Do you need to improve your communication, teaching, organizational, and leadership skills? Do you need to be more open and willing to learn new things? Do you allow for enough interaction with your assistants? Are you representing your school and community in a positive way? Do you relate well to the school's administration and staff? Do you need to relate better to your players? How do you relate to parents and fans? Set some personal goals for yourself. 

Evaluate the past season... review your last-season's goals and how well you measured up. What worked and what didn't? Review stats to find areas that need improvement. Review game film and take notes on your players and your team as a whole... what has to get better? 

Review your system... review your offenses, defenses, presses and press-breakers, special plays and out-of-bounds plays, drills, etc. What needs adjusting. Can next season's players run your system, or do you need to adjust the system. Factors to consider are team-speed, bench depth, your post players, outside shooters, your point guard, etc.

Off-Season Camps... attend a coaching clinic or two. Take notes and interact with other coaches. Or work in a camp in your area... perhaps even help in camps that local colleges run (contact the school's athletic department or coach who is running it). These are great ways to meet and discuss things with other coaches and players. 

Most high school teams attend a few team camps in the off-season. Schedule good competition that is neither too easy nor too hard. 

Run a summer camp for young kids. This will help build your program for the future. Enlist the help of your assistants and players. 

Use available resources... learn something new each off-season. Learn about a new offense or defense. Buy a DVD or a book and make notes. 

Do you have a coaching mentor... another experienced (maybe even retired) coach who can act as your advisor? Young coaches will especially find such a person helpful... someone who has already made the mistakes, had the successes, and has been down the same road. 

Meet with each player individually during the off-season. Discuss team goals, your expectations, etc. 

Conditioning and Strength Training... organize a strength and conditioning program.

Fix problems and fundamentals... state athletic associations have rules as to how much time you can spend with your players in the off-season, so make sure you understand the rules first. The off-season is a good time to try to correct individual shooting technique and other fundamentals. 

Experiment... this is a good time to experiment with your players. If you have a few team camps and scrimmages, now is the time to try a player in a new role or a new position. The off-season is also a good time to try out a new offense or defense.

Finally... enjoy the off-season!  Play a little golf, go fishing, take a family trip, etc.  


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