Every summer the same big question arises from coaches and parents: How should players develop their game in the offseason? Depending on who you’re talking to you’ll get a variety of responses. Let's look at 3 different ways players can develop from summer basketball play.
1. AAU Basketball
For players in high school, summer AAU play is huge for recruiting and also playing against the best players in the state/region. Older players see a ton of growth from continuing to play in an organized setting and also against players that are faster, stronger and more skilled than they are. Even young players can benefit from organized team play in the summer.
AAU basketball can be great for growth but it can also hurt players that aren’t ready or are playing for a team that doesn’t promote growth. Some AAU programs sit players entire games and at times this can lead to low confidence and a lack of interest in hoops. If your player isn’t playing, then consider alternatives to AAU
2. Summer Basketball Camps
For players of all ages, but mostly younger kids, basketball camps are a great way to have fun and learn new skills. Camps are often designed to help players build confidence in themselves and spark additional interest in hoops.
If a player on your roster is struggling with AAU, camps are a great resource. Success is more focused individually and based on how hard you work versus what skill level you currently are at.
Source local camps and send them to your players and parents to help encourage them.
3. Individual Training
Individual training is one of the absolute best ways for player growth. Unfortunately, this can be the most expensive options. A good coaching staff will supplement and provide training resources for players' parents so that they know what to work on and they have a guided plan.
If you know of a good trainer in the area, pass them along to your parent's players. Individual or small group training is a great option. Individual training will help players identify weaknesses and the trainer will help provide feedback and drills to correct those weaknesses. Really good trainers will also help players learn how to become successful within their high school coaches' basketball program. Oftentimes players have the skills or desire to be great but they lack the insight and resources to do so.
No matter what off-season training you do, it is crucial that a program encourage it! Individual training, AAU basketball and summer camps are just a few ways to get players working hard and building towards their goals. All three won’t be for every player so be sure to help parents navigate as soon as the regular season ends. By doing this you’ll build better relationships and also help your program’s success with time!