Closing the Season: How to Have a Productive End

By Greg White

March 26, 2016 - Sacramento, California, U.S. - Antelope Valley head coach Deon Price looks toward the scoreboard as Cardinal Newman defeated Antelope Valley 39-37 during a CIF State IV Division girls basketball game at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, March 26, 2016. .(Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News) (Credit Image: © San Gabriel Valley Tribune via ZUMA Wire)

Unless you’re the coach of the champions, your year ended on the losing side. Hard to swallow sometimes, but for whatever crazy reason we chose this life that the odds say will end each season lacking our goal. The finality of sports is a great lesson for us all. No redos. Lose and all your work seems in vain. But that’s not real life. We get a second chance, a lot. 

Some coaches are ready for the season to end. Maybe you had issues that made your year unbearable. Maybe you lost some key players to injuries or grades. Maybe you just weren’t very good. The end of the season means rebirth. You go from worst to tied for first. There is optimism.  

Regardless of how your season ended, we all need to put an end to it. How do you go about closing the book on your season? Here are my 3 points for Closing the Season. 

#1 Improve Yourself

Take time to learn. The defense you couldn’t score on; Learn it. The offense you couldn’t stop, learn it. The game is evolving. 10 years ago we didn’t know what a Euro-Step was. I’m around some coaches that are set in their beliefs. That’s fine. My bag phone was really sweet back in the day too. I’m not saying abandon your program beliefs or philosophies but broaden your basketball IQ. If there wasn’t anything that gave you any trouble then let me congratulate you on your undefeated season. 

#2 Improve Your Players

This is a major key. Don’t expect your players to come back a better player just because they are playing in the spring. You should have an active role in their team selection. There are as many good teams as there are bad ones. Have an opinion. If you’re not active in your players development you’ll be very active in the correction of it. 

Skill work must become a priority. The areas that need work are not just weaknesses but the players strengths must also be improved because that will be a major focal point of your opponents next season. 

#3 Get Away From The Gym

Refresh your mind. Read a couple of books. Do something that you enjoy. Don’t be the hard line guy “250 days until our first game.” Really? Those guys are missing the point of athletics. Athletics teach how to live, not why we live. I’m the first to say I love basketball. It is my free time enjoyment. I love talking about it here, posting plays on FastDraw & watching it. Jon Gordon said it best. “We don’t get burned out because of what we do, we get burned out because we forget why we do it.” 

  • Take some time to rest. 
  • Give your assistants & your players a break. 
  • Let everyone have closure. 
  • Try to avoid starting individual workouts complaining about last season. 

I hope this helps you. Have a productive off-season.

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March 26, 2016 – Sacramento, California, U.S. – Antelope Valley head coach Deon Price looks toward the scoreboard as Cardinal Newman defeated Antelope Valley 39-37 during a CIF State IV Division girls basketball game at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, March 26, 2016. .(Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News) (Credit Image: © San Gabriel Valley Tribune via ZUMA Wire)
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