The off-season can bring many challenges for coaches and this is especially true for teams with younger players. For coaches with experienced players and quality leadership, the off-season can be less stressful and more exciting. Unfortunately many coaches lack player leadership for many different reasons, but most of the time it's due to lack of experience and age.
Dr. Dish Basketball prides itself in player development in every aspect of the game. We continue to stress the importance of skill development and efficient training. We'll quickly go over 3 ways to help your players lead by example in the off-season and ultimately help lead your team to success during the regular season!
1. LEAD OFF-SEASON WORKOUTS
Every team has (or should have) some sort of off-season program or expectations. The tough part is implementing it and making sure players are taking it as serious as they should. Some states have rules against coach participation, interaction and contact which make it harder to know exactly what your players are doing. Players can lead by example in a variety of ways and one of the best times to do it is when the off-season comes around. Make sure that guys see the value in being leaders and also want to take charge in the off-season!
It's unbelievably valuable to have leaders on the court at all times because this helps drive the rest of the players in the right direction. If you can get your best players and leaders to play hard, come in early and continue to motivate, then you will create a standard in which players will automatically understand. This leads to continual success and high expectations within an athletic program.
A great way to establish both excitement and accountability is through the Dr. Dish Training Management System. Each player will have their own account and be able to automatically sync their shooting workouts and statistics into their profile for coaches and teammates to see. This is a great way to promote competition and for leaders to lead by example.
2. BE AN EXTENSION OF THE COACH
Most of the time when you hear about players being an extension of their coach its in correlation mostly with on-court play calling - many times with the point guard. This is extremely important but being an extension of the coach can go beyond the court in many ways.
One of the main reasons players never get a chance on the court is due to grades and lack of focus during the off-season. While coaches can help push players to be better off the court, teammates can also be a great motivational tactic to get players to remain focused in the classroom.
If your top players are making sure they are handling business in the classroom and sharing that message and expectation to the other players then you can expect the issue of grades to be limited. Continue to allow your players the chance to drive home the principles and expectations you desire for your program and push players to give everything. A great way to do this is by encouraging your leaders/captains to stay on their teammates and encourage them to be the best they can be in the classroom.
3. STAY OUT OF TROUBLE
One of the most important things players can do throughout their basketball careers and beyond is stay out of trouble. Some players never get the opportunity to play at the high school or college level because of one bad mistake or a series of mistakes they make.
Players that find themselves constantly in trouble at school or in their communities will have their opportunities taken away and also hurt the reputation of the team. Players can be leaders by holding players accountable in their actions and by making sure that the reputation and environment of the team comes first before selfish ambition.
Sacrifices have to be made beyond what regular students have to deal with and tough decisions will have to be made as well. Literally saying "no" to things that will get you into trouble sounds so simple but this is truly one of the hardest things players have to do. Popularity, fads, and environment play a big role in this but if your captains and leaders can make the right decisions, it'll make it much easier for others in the program to do as well!
If you're looking to take your game to the next level be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page for skills, basketball drills and videos, and complete workouts. Also subscribe to our blog for more motivational pieces as well.
Most importantly always remember to train hard, train smart, and train with a purpose!