Off-Season Focus, The Key To Being Better Next Year

As season’s across all levels of basketball begin to wind down, it’s time for all coaches and players (and even parents) to begin setting goals and making plans for the off-season.

One thing I will never understand is how a player who claims to want to be good, or a coach who claims to be committed to winning, returns in the fall without any MAJOR improvements in all areas.

NOW is the time – as soon as the seasons ends the great ones see a big opportunity to work on their games, their bodies, and their mental approach. The best NBA players I have ever worked with – KG, Billups, Harrington, and now Cousins, Lowry, and Porzingas all have a very specific plan for us to work on during the off-season. This plan includes things like recovery, gains in strength, gains in speed, and fine-tuning almost every skill area in the game. Work on shooting, ball handling, and gaining more experience in live action.

The off-season is where players are made. I was talking to Al Harrington recently and after a very successful 17-year career Al said, “my off-seasons were harder than my seasons.” It is the truth for the great ones. I encourage every coach to understand that the MOST important each player can do between the last game of this season and the first game of next season, is GET BETTER.

It’s not complicated – if I’m the coach and someone delivered all my players back to me in the Fall better in every way – I would be thrilled and realize that no matter what we are running, we will run better. Simple formula.

Coaches: Take some time as the season ends and stop worrying about your inbounds plays and your offensive sets and set up a structured program for all your players to develop. For 20 years, I have focused on this with the best players in the NBA. And I do it with my 15-year-old son. Make sure you know WHAT to do and WHEN so your players don’t get burned out or injured. Make sure you know exactly how to improve certain areas. If players need to improve their athleticism or strength, make sure they are doing it properly.

Players: Demand a structured program – seek one out or make it yourself. Write down all your weaknesses and determine how you will eliminate them. If you truly want to be great – you will focus on this process. There is no short-cut. It will take months of hard work and dedication and also knowledge and patience. Focus and get it done.

Parents: Understand that for your son or daughter to get more playing time next season or to improve in every area, he or she will need to work! Not just play games all spring and summer, but really work on a focused program to put it all together. What happens next season will be determined by how hard your son or daughter is willing to work this off-season.

For us at Impact – the off-season is the BEST time of the year. We absolutely can’t wait. It’s when we do what we do best and when we see the great ones get GREAT and the others falter. We love seeing the kids sweating at summer camp, the Draft picks battling to get just a little faster or stronger, or when we get emails from the subscribers of our Online Training programs thanking us for the great roadmap.

At Impact, we have created that formula and it is available for coaches, players and parents to guide them through the season of development. If you can’t join us live, be sure to sign up for the Online Training.


– Joe


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