The more motivated players did not really have access to a supportive environment to work hard towards their aims. They were dependent on themselves to create it. So one of the first things we did back then was to “introduce” the off-season and reshape it from “summer is a time to do nothing” to the exact period in the year where you can completely transform your game, your mindset and your athleticism.
Here’s a clip from our youtube vault that shows us working some off-season ago with young upcoming kids of which many now play in the first division and even some moments with WNBA Ann Wauters who came over to get a session in.
We realize now how important the off-season is for both players and coaches develop.
Players can use off-season to develop the foundations in their body, add new moves to their skill-set and build a memory that gives self-confidence throughout the season. They earn their in-season success by making off-season “our season”.
Coaches can use the time to experiment with new ideas, build rapport with the players and understand what will be the working points for the season.
To return to this year’s off-season, this is still what we do. We create an agenda of training moments with different topics that players can join throughout the summer. Now we have kids from our Academy teams U14 to U21 join, pro sessions in mornings and multiple mini-basket sessions.
We try to create both a supportive environment for both our coaches and players development during the summer:
- players to decide how much time and energy they put in their training process
- coaches decide how many ‘contacts’ they have with players to teach and experiment with new things
This time is a perfect one to nourish a deeper player-coach connection and get to know each others character and attitudes a bit better on and off the court.
Whether you are a player or a coach at EA, you decide your investment in the process . What you get out of of the off-season will depend on the intention, energy and attention you invest in the process.
We will build the facilities, set up the environment, plan the sessions and try to bring the best resources into our training. All you have to do is show up and prepare to do the work. The effort and drive has to be coming from the kids themselves. Not from us, not from parents.
We believe in the kind of motivation that has an internal location. For everyone it’s different. If you want it, we’re going to give all the tools we have so you can cultivate yourself. But we won’t force it on you.
Here’s a quick look into last week’s off-season energy at our Facility.
Joerik Michiels is co-founder of Elite Athletes and is the Skill Director and soul of the Elite Academy.
Follow Joerik through instagram @joerik or connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.