There aren’t too many people that would’ve predicted how the season finished across the country.
“Control what you can control.”
These words have never seemed to ring more true than in the moment. There is a lot of uncertainty right now beyond the realm of basketball and rightfully so, however a lot of the circumstances are beyond our control.
- Basketball Tournaments Postponed / Cancelled
- Schools Being Shut Down
- Student-Athletes Sent Home
- Business Operations are Closed
Not to induce more panic of the situation, but it is unprecedented times that a lot of us are experiencing – if not all of us. At the end of the day, what is it that we can control? Our next steps. #SeasonPartThree intends to encapsulate an entire season from beginning to end with thoughts of where we are today and the difficult decisions to move forward.
At the end of every season within the first couple of weeks I do a couple of things:
- Take the time to thank everyone that had been involved in our journey
- Reflect on the season with notes of what went right, what could have improved, and how to move forward
- Meet with the returners and speak with the graduating seniors on next moves
#Team20 finished this season emulating everything that our program intends to stand for – dependability, respect, persistence, and being together.
The development from the 1st half of the season to second was evident & it has everything to do with those values demonstrated! pic.twitter.com/jngN8rn57D
— Marlboro Basketball (@MarlboroHoops) February 14, 2020
End of Season Notes
Typically I take a couple of weeks to let the season digest a bit before putting my thoughts down. My objective is to rant on paper – put everything down that comes to mind. Afterward, I will attempt to filter out the information to create Top 3’s:
- What Did We Do Right
- Where Can We Improve
- How Can It be Actionable
Over time what I have witnessed from the four years of coaching here at Marlboro is really an evolution of my coaching preferences and philosophy. For example, following my first year as a head coach my observations were primarily about culture and continuity of concepts. We had a strong run my first year but ultimately underachieved because I don’t think I did a good enough job creating a sense of team identity. I can remember my concern was not with the chemistry because these guys had been playing together for two, some even three years at the varsity level. And with limited time to implement scheme and structure, my focus was on putting together a product that was going to be ready to compete at a high level. Unfortunately, when it came to adversity particularly in the postseason I don’t think we had the trust in each other (staff-to-team) to demonstrate the resolve necessary to overcame pressure situations. So with that, my focus shifted towards:
- Implementing newsletters
- Increased individual conversations
- Captain responsibilities
- Travels for Freshman through Varsity
- Team Traditions & Alumni Involvement
- Increase Camp Participation & Availability
Continuity of Concepts
- Due to MIAA Structure (No Coaching During Offseason) – Graduating Seniors Coach Summer Leagues
- Consistency in terminology & little deviation of system installment
- Open gyms should reinforce season concepts
I wish that those slight adaptations have translated into more wins – but it hasn’t. And that is the frustrating part with coaching, particularly for me, balancing between the consistency and contingency. Correct me if I am wrong, but these are the following elements that I have witnessed leading to a successful (contending) season:
- Collective Selflessness to Achieve One Goal
- Consistency & Competency of System – Rotations – Roles
- Fun Atmosphere & Healthy Locker Room
That being said those elements remain to be my main focus. We had preseason expectations that lead to early in-season turbulence. The group weathered the storm of attrition and injuries with daily competition to compete at a very high level to finish the season. It is important to understand that the process of perfecting our craft comes with many, many failures. I just hope I am smart enough to recognize when adjustments need to be made and poised enough to stay the course when it is simply turbulence.
This may be an offseason like never before, so it may be worth considering how to be proactive and productive from a distance. From conversations that have been had with a few other coaches there are measures being taken to sustain activity without being able to collectively be present.