For many High School programs across the country, summer basketball stands filled usually with team camps, summer games and individual workouts. Many view summer as the ideal time to work on your basketball weaknesses and turn them into strengths. As such, most coaches and trainers put individual development as a top priority. This might involve strengthening their athletes’ off hands, increasing their shooting range or improving their physical strength and athletic ability. The goal evolves quickly to make as many improvements as possible before school starts.
With so much emphasis and concentration on developing top notch athletes, some coaches often neglect the importance of strengthening the overall team chemistry. The summer can often make or break a high school team and while I agree that individual development is extremely important, I’m convinced that coaches should also give equal attention to the meshing and bonding of their team.
Summer Basketball: The Perfect Time for Team Bonding
One common myth is that team chemistry is best built during the spring because it allows the kids to interact everyday with each other at school. However, there are many others that argue this is not true. Here are two reasons why the summer may be the best time of the year to develop team chemistry:
- Because school is out, many of the everyday distractions such as homework, teenage social drama and “non teammate” friends will be out of sight and out of mind.
- Summer is also a time when it is easier for your athletes to view you and your staff as being coaches and friends who have their best interest at heart rather than teachers and authority figures. In other words, kids seem to bond better and quicker in more relaxed atmospheres.
10 Options for Team Bonding
Because of the current economy, many coaches are hesitant to promote team bonding with the use of expensive activities may prevent some athletes from participation. Here are several inexpensive yet fun and effective activities that you and your team can do this summer.
- Overnight camping trip
- Team hike
- Day on the river or lake
- Pizza Party and watch the big game (NBA playoffs, Major League baseball, World Cup soccer, WNBA)
- Video game competition
- Conduct a clinic or summer camp for younger kids
- Play city league softball or soccer
- Frisbee Golf
- Service project for boosters (yard work, painting, hauling debris)
The possibilities here are endless. The important thing is to spend some time together and to have fun. Guaranteed it will pay off next winter!
Related: Are You Sabotaging Your Players’ Success?
Coach Unplugged Podcast:
Ep 1436 4 Ways to Get the MOST out of the Summer as a Basketball Coach
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