Wednesday, April 16, 2014
This actually a article we posted back in 2001. This off-season post doesn't have to be just about our student-athletes but us as coaches as well. The off-season is a renewal -- about a new beginning. A great post from John Maxwell on some thoughts for developing during the off-season. How well did you approach your off-season? Did you have a plan of attack? In all actuality, we need to come up with another term instead of "off-season." Because thought we aren't actively involved with our teams per rules and guidelines, we are always (or should be) working to develop ourselves and our organizations. Here is what John has to say about "off-seasons":
Leaders are revealed during the busy seasons, but they are made during the offseason. Work done for months behind-the-scenes determines what happens onstage the night of the show. Here are five ways leaders, and the teams they lead, can make the most of the offseason.
During the offseason, leaders develop stamina through a mixture of rest and training. Recognizing that they’re ineffective when worn out, leaders prioritize rest during the offseason to replenish energy reserves. However, leaders must also condition themselves to be ready for the rigors of the upcoming season. Much as a runner would be foolish to show up for a marathon without having trained, leaders cannot remain idle throughout the offseason and expect to be at their peak when the season arrives.
The offseason is an opportune time for leaders to revisit vision and values, and to make sure their team is focused on what matters most. Once they’ve gained personal clarity, leaders then can help their team generate its goals for the future. Keeping a vision in front of a team, and giving it goals to reach for, brings much-needed purpose and motivation to offseason activities.
Build Team Unity
During the offseason, teams face less stress than at other times of the year, and they do not have as many critical tasks to accomplish. This makes the offseason a prime occasion for investing in relationships. When teammates connect meaningfully during the offseason, they form bonds that can sustain team unity during the pressure-cooker of busy seasons.
Pursue Personal Growth
The frenetic pace of life’s busy seasons crowd out time for personal growth. Conversely, during the offseason leaders find themselves with plenty of room to breathe. Wise leaders make productive use of their extra time by attending training seminars, studying industry experts, and reading up on cutting-edge strategies. Those leaders who develop their skills and enhance their knowledge during the offseason have an advantage over the competition once the season starts.
Much as a music band must rehearse before going on a concert tour, a team must practice together in the offseason to prepare itself for future projects. Championship teams spend the offseason shoring up their strengths and working out the kinks in their systems. They conduct trial runs and pilot programs to test new ideas and fine-tune their processes. The practice that a team puts in over the course of the offseason improves its performance, and instills confidence for the upcoming season.
Be sure to visit: www.JohnMaxwell.com
We always talk about the importance of utilizing your imagination in coaching. Whether you are creating a drill or tweaking one to maximize the workout for your players, the off-season is a great time to take a look at your drill package -- especially ones that you would like for your players to utilize in the summer.
Below is a three-player shooting drill form Rick Pitino utilizing The Gun that has movement and passing involved -- "game like action."
We are firm believers that programs of excellence are that because they strive for excellence each day in all areas at all times. They're aren't just interested in putting forth great effort the day before a conference game in February. Concentrated commitment goes beyond a practice session in November. It's about being the best you can be every day.
There is an old Bob Knight video that was sponsored by Adidas where Coach Knight said that when the ball is tossed up all players want to win. But the one's that will be successful are the one's that want to win the day before, two days before and three days before "because the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to PREPARE to win." Today, I think it can be paraphrased one month before you play and two months and three months.
Coach Don Meyer referred to it often as Arete - a Greek word meaning "the act of living up to one's potential." In the programs that I have worked with the past 10 years, the phrase we've used, borrowed from a John Maxwell book, is "Today Matters." Our thought is that we must have the mindset that each and every day is critically important to the overall goal of being the best we can be.
In fact, "Today Matters" is the name of our summer workbook that we give to our team each year. The book includes a page for each day of the off-season with a quote about the importance of daily commitment. It also has a suggested workout for them on the basketball court as well as in strength training and conditioning. The workout suggestions are geared individually to meet the needs of each player.
Here is the first page of our "Today Matters" off-season book:
Improvement, consistent improvement, is done on a day-by-day basis. To improve anything in your life, you must work at it in some form each day. For our basketball team, we are looking for student-athletes that are committed to improving. We desire to have a team that will leave a legacy of leaving the program better than when they arrived — this is consistent and constant improving. Improving is not a result-oriented program. It is a process–related experience. It is why so many fail to improve at a rate that they are capable. Working in the gym for two hours on a Sunday night by yourself doesn’t give you immediate results. There is no scoreboard to keep count of your made
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
During the season on our "days off," you would arrive in the office in the morning, then we would meet at noon for lunch on The Hill and talk about our team, recruiting, scheduling, academics and in between he would have to take some calls. Before you know it is was 5 o'clock and he would say, "Let's go have dinner and talk ball."
As we prepared for that first season, he had us come to Milwaukee, near where he grew up, for staff meetings. We went to the playground he grew up on and walked through all of our offensive and defensive drills and concepts outside on the cement, with cracks and weeds popping out of the ground. It was so pure. It was so Rick.
As a coach, he was an extraordinary teacher of the game and a master of detail. He would always cite people he learned from or coached with, such as the great Al McGuire, Don Nelson, George Karl, Del Harris, Don Donoher and Doc Rivers, whom he coached at Marquette. He had a philosophy and a plan for skill development and every phase of the game. His preparation for opponents was overwhelmed with detail.
The first time I ever scouted a game for him, I thought I had just taken a final exam. He was one of the best at preparing his teams for a game. Like all great coaches, his favorite place to be was practice or watching film. In the film room, he could pick out multiple breakdowns or good plays in just one possession.
His teams and players always improved under his tutelage. His practices were special because there was never any slippage from him. Whether it was the first practice of the year or the last, he was always well-prepared and detailed. He beat teams that were more talented because his teams were better prepared -- and when he had equal or better talent, he rarely if ever beat himself.
There are many reasons he will go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time in my book. His knowledge of the game, his thirst to learn more and his ability to translate that knowledge to his teams was remarkable. Games are won and lost in practice and coach Majerus conducted an incredibly detailed practice with purpose.
But as detailed and demanding as he was on the court with his players, he was equally concerned about their academic effort and progress. He would spend hours lecturing them about the importance and value of their education and how hard all of their parents sacrificed for them over the years. Rick would get off on life-lesson discussions that were deep and personal. One of his main points and phrases to all of his players was, "I don't expect an A, but I do expect an A effort in the classroom, and in your conduct and character toward others."
Friday, April 11, 2014
-Training that does not provide adequate time for recovery can also bring on staleness and a decreased level of performance. Furthermore, this type of training can lead to a sense of apathy, irritability, and an altered appetite in your players.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Alabama coach Nick Saban said before his team's loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl in January that he detected a slip in its mindset and focus late in the 2013 season.
Saban believes a team's identity is forged during off-season conditioning and strength work, and he never felt like the 2013 team fully embraced it the way past teams had.
How do you meet those challenges? Saban said success is founded on three things: vision, commitment, and discipline.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Further evidence of this is that in May she is headed on a service trip with a group of 25 student-athletes and staff. They'll be travelling to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, off the coast of Venezuela. One of their goals there will be to rebuild a library and encourage education as well as teaching children on the islands that sport can make a difference in opportunities for education.
She quickly reached out to me because she knows of my love for reading. You can easily donate money through this link:
If you would like a tax deduction, you can write a check out to the Golden Knights Club and put "Knights Without Borders -- Jenna Marina" in the memo line. They can send the check to me to:
Wayne Densch Bldg 39
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
I love it when athletes go the extra mile to give back to communities -- and the gift of reading is certainly a great investment towards education. I sent my check in the mail today -- hope you will consider helping as well.
Good luck Jenna & Knights!
Our stance is this: if we're going to boast, let's boast about someone else. We want expressive, passionate emotion flowing around the office. But we want it pointed out, not pointed in. Getting totally jazzed about the good work someone else is doing accomplished four key performance enhancements that, in return, give you more success yourself:
1. It keep your head up. In order to notice others' success you have to be watching for them, which means you can't be looking down. Physiology research teaches us that body posture (as simply as raised shoulders versus lowered, eyes up versus drooped) has a massive influence over our mood, energy level, attitude. So we tell our teammates and clients all the time, "Go searching for examples of other people doing great."
2. It keeps you from getting caught up in your own little world. When you think about your job duties, your deadlines, and your production scores, it's easy to get blinders on or lose perspective; it's easy for your challenges and hurdles to magnify into larger issues than they really are. Flip the script.
3. It infuses more energy into your game. Taking pride and pleasure when other people excel allows you to experience success more often. Success breeds success; you are more apt to thrive personally when you're in the practice of having success-packed emotions.
4. It strengthens relationships...immeasurably! When you outwardly, viscerally communicate happiness to someone else regarding their success, you communicate to them that you've got their back, that you're there in the trenches for them. That extends confidence. They perform better. They are thankful. They do the same for you in thanks and appreciation. You perform better. The whole system improves. Mudtia becomes ingrained as part of the culture.
Monday, April 7, 2014
As we talk about the shell, one of the things I told the convention was that I thought the best drills created the following:
1. Made players think -- this leads to anticipation which is critically important to good defensive play.
2. Made players see -- you have to have good vision to be a good defender and good drills stretch a defenders vision.
3. Made players communicate -- it goes beyond talking -- it's about communicating. Not talking for talking's sake. And of course, it's about listening.
PRACTICE CONCEPTS FOR SHELL DEFENSE
There are three basic thoughts in understanding the importance of shell defense and what it can do for your system.