Home → Competitive → All Sports → Training and Drills All Sports Hudl Training and Drills Coaching 5 Steps to Dominate the Offseason May 30, 2018 2 Min Read Learn how to maximize the summer and prepare your teams’ for future success. For most, the end of the school year and beginning of summer conjures up thoughts of rest and relaxation. But successful programs maximize every month, even when school isn’t in session. Here are five ways to make the most out of this year’s offseason. Rest We know, we know—we just said the work never stops. But to maximize results, sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. It’s hard for coaches to remember that it’s called offseason for a reason. While it’s important to get to work and improve, it’s even more vital to rest, both mentally and physically. Competitors are often trained into thinking hard work is synonymous with more work. But when it comes to the offseason, working smarter should be the goal. So take a week off (or a few) to recuperate from the strains of season. Reflect Time away from the gym or field provides a clear mind to reflect objectively on the previous school year and season. To prepare for the future, it’s imperative to evaluate the past. Identify the major strengths and weaknesses of the team last year. Ask yourself questions like, “How can I innovate different areas of training to take my team to the next level?” Thinking through these things will help you build a stronger game plan for the summer. "This is the best time to reflect on the whole team, your staff and yourself. At the end of every season, you should raise the bar just a little bit more for next season.” Anthony Stone, Boylan High School Football Coach Invest Use this offseason to improve yourself. Look into books without a sports focus that will challenge the way you approach everyday life. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covery may be a good place to start. Discover a more effective form of leadership by listening to the Learning Leader Show, a podcast made up of interviews with the most fascinating leaders across the world. Attend a coaching clinic to find innovative coaching methods in your specific sport. The offseason is the perfect time to educate and challenge yourself. Prepare Through strategic planning, you can maximize the offseason and make major progress towards your biggest future goals. Take advantage of the time to prioritize what areas are most important. Consider the resources you’ll need for success, like gym space, access to video or weight room equipment. Will you need to fundraise to get these things? Mapping these out in advance will help prevent future roadblocks. Progress Set goals and track team progress along the way. Consider your team’s vision and create goals to help the team get there. Start with smaller weekly goals—these can be anything from maximizing player attendance at optional practices to attaining a new level of individual fitness. Achieving short-term goals will build the team’s confidence and culture. “If we only reach two or three goals, we’re going to do some running. If we get four or more, we’re good. If we get four or more a couple times, we’ll get some pizza or something like that. We did some little things to not just be negative. When they did a great job, we tried to do something that they like too, so they’re buying in." Andre Noble, Imhotep High School Basketball Coach Use these tips to propel your team’s progress in the big, long-term goals during your season. Tracking the team’s improvement provides clear evidence to look back on. Once the offseason comes to a close, the team will be eager and energized, ready to move full throttle into the new year.