As an athlete you will have down time in your sport, the off-season. What you do during this season will have a significant effect on you during your performance season. It is during the off-season when you can hone your existing skills and learn new ones. It’s the perfect time to improve because you can take an inventory of and focus on your weaknesses without the pressures associated with performance during the regular season.
It was my turn. I went to my coach’s office and sat down in front of him.
He said something like, “Well, Geraline. It’s the end of the season.”
I was like “Yeah.” Smiling and everything because I had got to play a lot during the season.
Then he said, “I’m going to be honest with you. I really don’t think that you are going to be a major factor on the team next year. You see, we’ve got some really good players coming in next year and they are playing at the level you are playing at right now.”
I sat there, stunned.
Then he said, “You might play a little, but I doubt you play at all.”
This was a scene with my coach at the end of my first season at UAB. In another article, I’ll share what happened in the rest of that meeting.
This scene revealed that my coach didn’t believe that I would be responsible or disciplined enough to come back the next season a better player.
Because during my first season, he had seen signs from me that had proven that to him.
When I first entered college, I did not have a clue that I would have to improve in order to remain competitive. The notion never entered my mind.
I guess I thought all I had to do was continue to play like I did in high school. I really didn’t know that I needed to be working on my skills all the time to get better. Because in high school, I didn’t do that. I played pickup games with those in my neighborhood, but that was about it.
No ball handling drills. No conditioning. Nothing.
The meeting with my coach was a wake-up call for me.
So, if you are an athlete in your off-season, I encourage you to develop a schedule which would allow you to focus and work on those skills that you are weak in. Add conditioning exercises. Ask for help to create this schedule from your coach. Your coach may also be able to suggest someone that could help you. Update your coach on your progress throughout the off-season.
These actions will show your coach that you are serious about being a major part of your team. It will show him/her that you value his knowledge and expertise. It will also help you to develop a stronger relationship with him/her because of the communication that will occur between you two. This part is really important if you are, or plan to be, a leader on your team.
So, what are you going to do during the off season to improve yourself as an athlete?
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