As we start a new basketball season (and hopefully a full and normal one for the first time since 2019!), it’s a great time of year for us as coaches to think about how to make the most out of the season. As we think about what are we striving to get out of it, we should first and foremost consider how the young people and athletes we coach can make the most out of it.
I asked this question to my U16 Girls team at practice this weekend. It was a great discussion. They were really engaged in it and motivated by how they could get the most out of the season. Here’s what we discussed:
- Training hard: Being ready physically and mentally for practices, and what additional individual training they may need to do to get the most out of the season.
- Being consistent in your efforts: “A” players are able to dig deep and strive to be consistent even when their bodies or minds might not be optimal on that day.
- The importance of recovery: Rest, stretching, sleep, nutrition, and additional medical help such as physiotherapy when needed are all just as important for young athletes as training.
- Stretching yourself. Don’t be too cool, too shy, or too good to be open to learning and trying new things.
- Don’t be afraid of failure—it’s how we grow. Having a growth mindset opens us up to learning and growth, viewing mistakes and failures as an important and welcome part of the process.
- Taking responsibility for your own growth as a young athlete: This comes in the form of proper nutrition, sleep, and learning about the game on your own (watching games or clips online, reading about the game and being a great teammate). Great players watch a lot of basketball. It’s an important part of learning the game.
- Be a sponge: Be open to learning. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Ask for extra help (coaches love it).
Some starter thoughts from my athletes on how to get the most out of the season. It’s a great question to ask your team. Wishing you a great start to the season!