So your team lost in the first round of the play-offs. Now what are you going to do?
For many players, the end of the season can be really tough to handle. Your whole world has revolved around basketball for the past 4 months and now there is no practice, no treatment in the training room, no horsing around in the locker room with the guys, no road trips, and no Friday nights with the gym lights on to get you going.
I would encourage you to take this time to do 3 simple things:
1. Rest and reflect. Don’t feel like you have to immediately start something new. That is not to say you should let yourself get out of shape, but it is healthy to take a week away from the gym. Go for a run, play some catch with friends, or just walk around the mall. Find ways to take your mind off the disappointment of a season that ended sooner than you wanted. If you truly love the game, this week off will make you more hungry than ever to get better.
2. Set goals for the next year. Look back at the past season and think about what would have made you a better player? Maybe you had trouble defending quicker guys and you need to improve your lateral quickness. Perhaps you got pushed around on the block and need to get stronger. Maybe you just couldn’t finish at the rim and you need to work on your one on one skills and going through contact on your drives. Or maybe your shooting percentage struggled at a new position and you need to get more game shots up on your own. Whatever areas you need to improve on, write them down. Commit to improving those things and then make a plan that will help you accomplish those goals.
3. Get back in the gym. The only way you’ll really get that sour taste out of your mouth from losing is to get back on the court and start competing again with yourself and others. Commit time by yourself or with a friend to work on your individual game. Get a group of teammates together to play 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 regularly to improve your half court play. And join an AAU program where you can both contribute and get coached to test yourself regularly against other good players.
Once you’ve recharged and refreshed, set some goals for yourself for the upcoming year, and got yourself back in the gym, make sure you register for the Jay Bilas Skills Camp, June 10-12 at Queens University of Charlotte. We’ll make sure you get your mid-summer check in on your skills work, get some awesome coaching from college head coaches, and learn new skills and drills that will continue to develop your game so that you return to your high school team this fall a different, and better, player.