It has truly been a while! A while since I wrote, a while since I got to relax AND a while since the season ended earlier than expected.
The early offseason took me by surprise but I have already been able to find a tonne of relaxation mentally and physically within that time. As the offseasons can be just as gruelling as seasons for players and coaches, I had taken time to reflect on the things that I love about the offseason and things that I will miss the most.
Firstly a congratulations and shout out goes to VIU Mariners graduating guard Bryson Cox. Bryson finished an amazing career at VIU and is the first athlete I have spent 5 full offseason with.
Pictured above: Bryson, Myself and Jason Fortin during a summer workout.
What makes me feel like an old coach is the realization that I won’t be able to coach Bryson anymore and that is a feeling I will miss a great deal.
As we gear up for the grind of the offseason, I am truly excited about the process. Every week day 10AM on the court is where you’ll find us. If you can’t make it then, come back at 630 and you’ll see us there again. I wanted to sit back and detail some of the most important things of the offseason:
It is so important to decompress physically as well as emotionally to understand what just happened to your mind and body. To take time to reflect and forget about the game even for a week to focus on yourself and your health. The season is hard on the body, even for coaches, so it is so important to relax and recover. Taking time to let go of expectations and entitlements before you start goal planning for your following season. I was so fortunate that during these past 2 weeks I have been able to spend a tonne of time to myself and just getting back to who I want to be as a person off the court.
My friend Ruth Hamblin wrote an amazing blog post touching on this and you guys should all check it out!
A truly amazing piece that takes reflection, understanding, growth and courage!
What is it going to take for you to improve and how are you going to get there? For every element of the plan, I suggest addressing a few possible set backs and planning to work around those as well.
For example: I want to make 200 jump shots every day! Setback: You work a 9-5 Job. Possible Solution: Get up early and work on your game!!
This feeling happens to lots of athletes and I have seen it first hand. An athlete gets out muscled for a rebound and has a look of despair or hopelessness. Well there is a solution for that, work your butt off and get stronger!
The offseason for high school and university athletes is so long with almost a 6 month gap between playoffs of one season until conference games the following season. There is so much time to get in the gym and get stronger physically. Get in the gym, expect something of yourself and try your butt off.
This one goes without saying but there is one thing I think that should be addressed. Have an honest conversation with your coaching staff in regards to what they want you to improve on and spend time working on those things. If they want you to become a better passer and you only do skill work without competition or pass the ball to your trainer during ball handling drills, I am not convinced that it will translate to games as much as playing in the summer would.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
The years fly by! I can attest to this as I find myself entering my 7th season of coaching university basketball. The daily grind can get the best of you if you do not take time to reflect daily on how far you have came. Don’t overlook finding enjoyment in the little chats you may have with your teammates or coaches before or after you train, enjoyment in your improvement or enjoying the time you have pushing yourself to your limits.
Have an identity of yourself outside of the game as a player or coach. This is something I struggled with immensely and I feel I have improved a lot. It is so hard to get away from being in coach mode 24/7!! However, if you can find even a few hours a day, your brain and body could be better for it! You could try going for a walk, reading a book, getting a workout in or whatever else may take your mind off the game for even a few hours!
Please do have an honest understanding that you could work your butt off and things during season may still not go your way. However, you will find comfort and gratitude in knowing you did everything you could!
INVESTMENT > ENTITLEMENT