We are at that time of the summer where players should be evaluating what they have done to improve this off-season. about 5 & 1/2 months removed from last season...3 & 1/2 months until next season. What did your coach tell you that you needed to improve on? How did you plan to go about improving on those things? Have you done any of those things yet?
This topic always leads me to the question for any person trying to accomplish anything...Do you want to work for it? or Do you just say you want it? It is easy to say you want something. For example, I want a billion dollars. I can't truly say that I am willing to work as hard as I would need to at something to earn a billion dollars. Therefore I will most likely never have a billion dollars. When it comes to sports...and basketball in my world...us coaches have conversations with players at the end of each season about where they want to be the next season and what they would need to do to get there. In those conversations it is very rare that a player doesn't say exactly what a coach wants to hear. "Yes I want to become a better shooter, a varsity level shooter", "Yes I want to get in better physical shape to be a varsity level athlete", "Yes I want to work on my ball handling to be able to handle the ball in varsity games"...and those are generally followed by "Yes I will definitely do the work in the off-season to accomplish these goals".
At the time those conversations take place...there is nothing wrong with them. It is good to say that you want something and to acknowledge that you have things to work on. Unfortunately saying something in mid-march only holds meaning if you do the work to follow through on it. I saw a quote from Geno the other day "don't tell me how good you want to be, show me how good you want to be". The same holds true at any level! If your coach has told you that you have specific things to work on and you have not worked on them...it is going to show up! Not in the way that you want it to. For some players that might mean they were a starter and a 5 PPG scorer on the team...and maybe they still will hold that same role but get no more shots. For other players that might mean you lose your chance at playing time or maybe even making the team.
This coming season will be my 6th as a varsity head coach and I struggle with this topic each year. I want to believe that all of the momentum we gain during each season will inspire kids to work their hardest in the off-season. I have had a few players that really reached this goal...for example one of my rising seniors showed me at a team camp last weekend that she has improved every facet of her game that she needed to work on. She didn't tell me how much she worked on it...she just showed me...and I am positive that is going to result in her having the type of season her and I talked about at the end of last season. Unfortunately all too often it goes in the other direction where there are players who haven't done the things they said they would do.
I write this today to hopefully inspire one player to rethink what they haven't done so far this off-season. YOU STILL HAVE TIME!!! Think about your tryout in November or December as a huge test. Would you study for a huge test? Would you know what the test was going to be on and think about those topics? If the test was a Math test would you study History? You know what the test is on during tryouts...your coach told you at the end of last season! Don't let the next 3 months pass you by. Before school starts, create a plan, write it down, execute it. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. It doesn't matter if you play a fall sport. You can still find a way to get in 10 minutes of ball handling and 30 minutes of shooting. DECIDE RIGHT NOW if you really want to work for it...don't decide a week before tryouts. Don't decide the day of tryouts. That is not good enough. Decide now and start to take those steps...or don't.
If you don't - be willing to accept whatever result comes out of your tryout!
Goodluck to all! If anyone wants to know how to work on certain skills feel free to reach out!