The season is over and spring workouts are starting to commence. It’s now time to start thinking about your Summer Basketball plans. As your players ease into their time off from school, summer stands out as the perfect opportunity to improve their game. It’s never too early to prep for next season!

As you prepare for the next season, it’s important to remember every other team will be doing the same. Communicate to your players that teams are planning and working towards defeating them on the floor. It’s up to them to be ready for the next challenge. Urge them not to wait until the next school year. Definitely tell them not to wait until September to physically prepare. Impress upon them the value of being the person that’s going to work harder than everyone else to improve. Your journey starts with summer basketball prep, so ignore the noise, embrace the grind, and love the challenge!

Consider these elements to help streamline the summer basketball prep work and to help have a great off-season.

Returning Opponent Data

Our staff loves to go through our upcoming opponents for next season and start gathering data on them. Summer is a great time to start this basketball scouting work. We look at their previous season record, returning players and starters. We also look at offensive average and defensive average.

By doing this, we consider what the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents are. This helps us think about the main question of our program: What do we have to do to be better than our opponents?

The answer to that question will help dictate what we focus on starting in our summer basketball practices.

Promote Basketball Summer Camp

The youth/feeder program is the lifeline of any successful high school program. It is important to have these upcoming athletes coming into your gym.

There are a variety of ways to run a summer basketball camp, but the most important thing is to find one that best fits you and your players schedules. With this ever-changing world, it is important to have all hands on deck. If your school requires service hours for their students, using your players as counselors for the youth summer basketball camp might fill that graduation requirement for them. It also keeps them busy and in the gym!

After locking in a date for your camp, promote it! Get into the schools to talk to your future campers, create a YouTube video, promote on social media, do whatever it takes to get as many people in the gym as possible.

Schedule Summer Basketball Games & Practices

This is something that needs to be done with your high school athletes, but you may want to even consider doing practices and games with your middle school athletes, too. Communication is key at either level, especially with parents. Make your expectations clear for the involvement with summer basketball work in your program.

Chat with your returning players about their schedules, get a feel on where they’d like to play games, and find ways to make these as fun but as cost effective as possible. Find local games against your local high school opponents but also consider an out-of-town trip to bring about some extra bonding with your team.

In addition to practicing with your high school players, find time to get into the gym with your middle school players, too. They can start to hear your voice, hear your philosophies, and start prepping them to be part of the high school program.

Overnight Summer Basketball Camp Trip

If possible, find a team summer basketball camp that is out of town. Get a hotel and find some activities to enjoy as a team. Take your players to cities they have never been to. Partake in activities they’ve never done (escape rooms, billiards, bowling, etc.). Eat at restaurants they haven’t been to, and play games against opponents they otherwise may never see.

These activities provide valuable team building opportunities that will strengthen the bonds between players and coaches. Summer basketball trips often create life-long friendships and memories that your players will cherish.

If you have some players with aspirations of attending college to play basketball, find schools they may be interested in attending after high school.

10K Shot Club

Motivate your players to get shots up on their own. As all high school coaches know, you can never have enough shooting. Encourage your players to log their shot attempts and track this. Reward them in the fall with prizes, recognition, food, whatever it may be. Do a shooting program not only for your high school athletes but your feeder athletes, too.

Summer basketball work is important for any high school program. It is essential that you are maximizing your time and make sure your program is in a great position to have success in the upcoming season!

Related: Basketball Conditioning


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep: 1069 How to Evaluate Yourself and Players in the Summer

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