Coaching a basketball team can be an all-encompassing undertaking. Being a coach takes time and devotion. To do it well, you need both a micro and macro approach. Coaches need to do more than game plan or practice plan, they need to plan the entire season. What’s more, basketball coaches need to maximize their offseason to prepare for the next year.
Here’s a look at five ways a coach can make the most of the basketball offseason.
1. Stretch Yourself
The number one key to a successful basketball offseason is to stretch yourself. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Just like your players have to be when all of a sudden your opponent switches from a match-up zone to a trapping defense. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. For me, as a teacher and a coach, I got outside of my comfort zone and started a business. I did some other things that I thought would help me as a person and broaden my horizons. Make me read more and learn more.
You have to have a growth mindset.
2. Drop the Comparisons
Coaches talk. They share ideas and approaches. Some coaches talk about one another, sometimes behind their backs. What’s this guy doing? Another key to a successful basketball offseason is to drop the comparisons.
Don’t worry about the fact that you know this other coach is running an open gym every night. Don’t worry about the facilities that other teams have. Especially don’t compare what athletes these other coaches are bringing in.
Don’t compare, compete. You want to compete, so figure out how to get your team to the next level using what’s available to you. What skills can be worked on? How can you convince your players to compete and not compare themselves to the others?
3. Find the Golden Nuggets During the Basketball Offseason
Golden nuggets are key to find during your basketball offseason. Imagine how much better the world would be if we all got one percent better every day. Talk with your staff about the ways to improve your basketball program over the next few months.
Your approach probably won’t have huge increments. You’ll probably have small, measurable increments over time to track the overall improvement. The golden nuggets can be the touchstones of this process.
You have to accumulate the little things to make yourself better over time, even if it’s just one percent better.
The fourth way to make the most of your offseason deals specifically with commitment. You have to determine how your commitment to becoming a better basketball coach for your players separates you. What separates most basketball coaches do during the offseason from the special state championship coaches?
Great coaches don’t base state championships and rings on hope, they do it on work. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to commit and stretch yourself. You have to determine your commitment to becoming a better basketball coach, a better teacher, a better mentor.
5. Be the Wild Animal
Bet the wild animal, not the zoo animal? What do I mean by that? You have to have the energy of the hunt. You have to go get the food on your own–be the aggressor. No one wants to be the caged lion.
The zoo animal is dependent upon the zookeeper coming and feeding them every day. I want players and coaches that are willing to go out and find their dinner–find their food, and not have it just given to them.
Related: Coaching Interview with Gene Durden
Basketball Offseason Resources:
Coach Unplugged Podcast