Watching the championship game this past week I began to think of how much the game has evolved even since I laced up my shoes. That sounds like I am old, however, it hasn't been that long.
Just begin with the training of our athletes and you see how players are picking one sport earlier on in their careers than ever. I was a three sport athlete throughout my high school career. That trend has since changed. Now, there seems to be no off season.
I won't say I am in favor of this change as part of me feels our athletes are prone to more injuries and or burnout then ever before. The reverse, however, is getting behind your competitors.
That's where we head into our basketball team's spring training. As soon as our team finished our season at the Big Sky Tournament I reflexed on the year and immediately started brainstorming our next steps for the 2009-2010 season. No, I didn't do the Pat Summit and bring my team in the next day as I knew they needed a mental break from me.
After two recovery weeks we have since hit the court hard in prepartion for next season. The spring, however, is considered our triathlon. We hit the pool, stadiums, weight room, and court. I will say we are better in some areas than others.
In order from worst to best, 1 being the worst:
1) THE POOL
Sarah Strand is our fastest and Erica Perry, being conservative I will say sinks a bit more. Even so, we completed our first workout in a little under an hour covering a half mile that Michael Phelps could do in 10 minutes. My philosophy is the worse the swimming technique the better workout they are getting. We need to improve just a bit for survival skills though.
2) THE GYM
Since we completed the year top in our conference offensively and last defensively our bright academic students figured we'd be concentrating on defense, right they were. Only two weeks in, though I am instantly seeing improvement in our footwork, anticipation, and commitment to this end of the floor. Our defense will be the reason we finish in conference in the top in the most important category, wins & losses.
3) THE WEIGHT ROOM
Our strength coaches and entire staff have been at every weight workout to set the precendent that the weight room will bring tremendous change to our game. The team has responded with focus and intensity. They are on a mission. They have challenged themselves on every lift, jump, plyo, and sit up.
Only two weeks left before our spring training wraps up, but what a jumpstart to the summer program. When you are reaching new heights you have to make every day, every workout, every drill count.
When you are a CHAMPION, there is no offseason.