Basketball season is upon me once again. As I walked into the Patriot Center last Sunday at 5pm (read that again… SUNDAY at 5PM) for our first team practice, I sighed to myself as I noted this is where I will be spending enormous chunks of my days for the next seven months. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy working with this team and staff… but, it does mean I will often end up working 7 days per week for weeks and weeks at a time. Right about now, it may have dawned on you that I’m not a basketball coach, so what do I do at these practices that result in 7 day workweeks, you may be wondering. My role during practice is to conduct the team warm-up (which I previously wrote about here), monitor practice volume and intensity (this is a topic I will post on next week as it is critically important for strength coaches to write effective and complimentary programs), watch practice to see where our team has room for improvement (speed, strength in certain planes of movement, conditioning, etc.), and simply to show support for the team which results in a tight bond between myself and the players and coaching staff.
That last part is the one I want to focus on for this post: one’s physical presence demonstrates support for both the team and coaching staff that will eventually manifest itself into an excellent working relationship between all parties. Clearly this can be applied well beyond college athletics and is the backbone to why you show up for your child’s recitals and various events. Taking it a step further this is a great example of how you can show support for a spouse of coworker. Simply by being present.
Over the last three seasons I have been able to keep a constant pulse on the team and the long-term result is that this year I have put the strongest, fastest, and most well conditioned team on the court (up to this season, at least). This has come from small, but critical, insights to the game I’ve garnered ONLY from hanging around.
What can you learn today by “zipping your lip” and simply listening and watching?