Campus is buzzing. Student-athletes are back in the hallways. And coaches are putting together final preparations for pre-season. We #Back2School.
Coaches at different levels adhere to different schedules and work/life balances. So, with generalities in consideration this is how we go about our business to get acclimated to #Back2School:
- Connect – Touch base with returners & newcomers checking to see happy, healthy, and ready to go.
- Academic Expectations – The start of the 1st semester can set them up for the trajectory of the rest of the year. Identify standards, classroom expectations, consequences, and resources available to succeed.
- Gym Availability Schedule – Balance open gyms/workouts with Fall Sports.
- Preseason Strength/Conditioning Program
- Open Gyms
At the college level; new year starts whenever everyone steps foot on campus. Following the good-byes to family driving away reality sets in right away with the first team-meeting of early expectations, standards, and initial timelines.
At the high-school level, it can be a little more challenging considering roster spots aren’t guaranteed from year-to-year. And with the number of multi-sport athletes expected to play basketball; it can be difficult to have a collective focus toward winter sports during a fall sports season. That being said, we make do with what we have and when we can have them. Presumably, most states are able to do non-basketball related activities as soon as school starts. First meetings are likely informally put together with non-fall sports athletes to discuss preseason conditioning and open gym schedules.
Setting the Tone
The most important aspect of getting off to the right start is channeled energy in a collective way.
- Healthy competition in every way possible – weight room, open gyms, classrooms, etc.
- Be together – in the dining room, in the hallways, and off-campus
- Keep teammates on track – hold each other accountable to stay on the right path
Coaches invest a lot of time during the off-season identifying program needs to build a mentally and physically prepared program to be successful during the season. This may come in the form of intensive weight room workouts, team chemistry activities, or skill-building player development. From conception to application this is likely the most invigorating part of coaching – establishing or reinforcing culture. Take from Urban Meyer’s Above the Line to building culture:
“Believe It – Sell It – Demand It”
Good luck Coaches!