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Thursday, April 17, 2014


OFF-SEASON THOUGHTS -- DAY #2: During this 10-day period, we are going to load up our blog on thoughts that are relevant to developing or improving your off-season program.  We will delve on off-season topics from player development and drill work to motivation and team building.  It will be our sincere wish that over the next 10 days we can provide you with at least one item or thought that will help you and your program.

One of the things I enjoy most about the off-season is the individual workout time you have with a player.  Not only can your work directly with a player but it is the perfect time and environment to grow and improve a relationship.  Players never feel more special than when a coach gives them individual attention.  With that comes trust and more open communication.  It's a major reason I was thrilled that the NCAA created some guidelines that allow us to work individually with players in the summer.  Certainly skill development is improved but so do more important things like learning and understanding each other at a higher level.

Along those lines, I'd like to share some guidelines form Bill Walsh (from "Finding The Winning Edge") on working with players that speaks to teaching as well as relationships:

·         Have answers

·         Be an expert in your specialized area

·         Isolate the skills and the techniques that are essential to each position

·         Develop a plan on how best to teach these skills and techniques

·         Treat each player as a unique person

·         Demonstrate sincere interest in each player

·         Gain the players’ confidence by working with each athlete to help him reach his full potential by enhancing his level of abilities

·         Determine how each player best responds to instruction

·         Be sensitive to and flexible with the players’ moods and demeanors while teaching and coaching

·         Search for and implement new ways to teach and impart information and to get and maintain the attention level of the players

·         Move on quickly to a different method of handling the situation if your current approach to dealing with and teaching your players is not eliciting the intended level of results

·         Exhibit strength and persistence in your dealings with your players. Hold your players to the highest expectations

·         Be personal with your players, but not too familiar. Excessive familiarity, in a misguided attempt to be socially accepted by your players, will prevent you from fully developing their performance potential

·         Avoid attempting to communicate with your players in their vernacular or their 1990s dialect. Be natural in all of your dealings. Anything else will be perceived as phony