It’s that time of year again. We endure the “daily grind” of practices and games over a span of 5 and a half months to prepare us for our conference tournaments and ultimately, a shot at playing further along in the postseason. For some, it is an exciting time as your postseason hopes live on. A time where you feel that your hard work has paid off. For most, however, we are on the outside looking in.
After you take proper time to decompress and refocus, here are some questions to ask yourself (as coaches/support staff and as players):
- Tom Izzo had once asked that, “If you can’t self-evaluate, to believe that you need to get better even when you are already really good, how can you truly make a difference?” Honest self-evaluation is a constant. Just as we expect our players to work on their craft, we must do the same.
- Don Meyer would talk about a “need assessment.” What does the program need from YOU to get better?
- What was greater, your expectations or your results? Why?
- As a leader, have you placed people within your organization into positions where they can make the greatest contributions? Are shifting of tasks necessary, and if so, what does that look like? You aren’t just developing your players but you are also developing your staff.
- Did you talk about your culture or did you live your culture? What steps do you need to continue to take to enhance the existing culture?
- If the best thing you do well is taken away from you, how would you help your team? Kevin Garnett said that he might not always “get his numbers” but he will always make an impact on the game. How will you help impact your team?
- You don’t always have to like your role, but you must accept your role because it is what your team needs from you in order to be successful. If you did not like your role this past season use that to motivate you in your offseason workouts. What is your plan to develop your game and develop your role? (Make sure to discuss this with your head coach)
- What are you doing to stay one week away from your best shape? Think of the amount of time and effort you put into getting “back into shape” during preseason training. That could (should) be time spent getting into better shape instead of time spent getting back into shape.
- To piggyback off of the last question, if you knew your team would be playing in the Final Four next season, how different would your offseason dedication to training look? Train and act “as if.” Championships aren’t won right now. They are won in the “offseason.”
- Are you putting as much focus into the mental aspect of your game as you are the physical?
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Scarlatelli is the current Director of Basketball Operations for Miami (OH) University. Prior to Miami, she spent two years as an assistant coach at Oakland University and Illinois-at Chicago (UIC). She completed her Master's degree from Michigan State University in 2012 and while at MSU, was part of the team's first-ever outright Big Ten Championship in 2011.
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