Thursday, September 4, 2008

The "Dead Zone" Time of the Year

I consider this time, September-October to be kind of a "dead zone" for basketball, especially in this part of the state. Yes, there are some fall leagues going on in the metro, or will be starting soon, but that sure isn't happening up here!! This is a period where you can do two things as a coach: recharge your batteries and study the game.
You can't work with your kids right now on basketball (outside of watching them at open gyms and summer league), although I am sure many of you are running a weightroom program for the players not involved in football. Watching guys lift doesn't nearly fill the void in my opinion however! Because you are basically banned from on court basketball, September-October is a perfect time to recharge as a coach.
For me personally, I love to get out and fish when I can in the early fall - not a lot of fishermen to compete with, lakes around here start to quiet down. Yesterday I got out on the lake and did some bass fishing, just me, the lake, my buddy, and the fish (more for him than me!)....very relaxing. It doesn't matter what you are into, this is the time to step back and do some things outside of basketball. I would encourage all the high school coaches to go out and attend other school sporting events. Go support your football and volleyball teams. They will appreciate it and hopefully they will return the favor. Try to get your basketball players to go too if you can.
On the home front, this time of the year is a GREAT time to earn some extra brownie points with the significant other as well. Being with the girlfriend/wife before the season lets you bank some good old "quality time" because we all know come November 17th there isn't going to be much of that to go around! When the season starts, "quality time" with my signficant other consists of eating a hotdog in the stands while scouting an opponent. Also, I'm getting married in June, so this is a good time to plan a little bit - seeing as NOTHING is going to be planned November-March!

I definately don't forget about basketball during these months however. Right before the season is a great time to try to learn - there are lots of opportunities. For example, one of my good friends is coming down from I-Falls this weekend and we are going to spend the next few days talking basketball, watching videos, trading ideas, and have a mini coaching retreat. Good time to take in some new information before the season starts. I think coming into this time of the year you have to have a plan for your studies - what do you WANT/NEED to get down before the season? It's different for everyone. Going to college practices is another opportunity that is readily available during this period. Practice starts for college basketball sometime in mid October, and most (if not all) college coaches would be more than accomodating to let you observe. The nice thing here is, going to see their practices doesn't conflict with yours during October and early November. Fall is a time when many great high school coaches may not be as busy (unless they coach another sport) and may have more time to talk then during the season. I try to meet with as many as I can. Many coaching clinics are run in the fall here. This year there seems to be an abnormally high number of quality clinics that have been popping up - too bad I am too poor to affoard them now!

Even if this is a "dead zone" in terms of on the court basketball, I think for coaches it can be a very rewarding time. You can get a lot accomplished during these months outside of your team or program.

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