It’s been nearly a month since my last log entry, so I figure it’s about time for an update as to what we’ve been up to during the off season.
During this part of the Spring semester we can only work with the players 8 hours a week, two of which may be on the court. Most of the rest is with our strength coach. They are with him three early mornings each week for weight training and conditioning and speed/agility work. We then have them do small group sessions for one hour and a full team session for an hour to get the two courts hours. We also periodically mix in team/culture building activities.
The small group sessions allow us to work with each player on specific developmental needs. Meanwhile, the team session let’s the players apply things in a game setting. We are also using the team sessions to reinforce improvements we want to make in our playing mentality.
After Spring Break, which is in three weeks, we’ll go into full training mode once more. We will be allowed 20 hours per week and we will play three 1-day tournaments over the course of about six weeks.
I’ve been on a couple of recruiting trips over the last month. The main focus was 2018 prospects. A big part of the work this time of year is pruning the list – eliminating the players who just won’t help your program. We get lots of recruit emails to add to our list. Also, at the end of last season I noted some interesting potential prospects playing at the 16s level who also went on our watch list to start the new Juniors season. That made for a long list that needed to be cut down. Getting rid of the clear No’s – sometimes possible via video – allows us to focus on the Yes’ and Maybe’s.
As we’ve identified Yes’s and strong Maybe’s we began inviting them to campus. As I noted above, we are on a limited schedule with the team at the moment. When we bring a prospect to campus we mix them in with the team. That lets us see them play in our context and lets them experience playing with their prospective future teammates. Only having the one day per week of team on-court stuff, though, limits when we can bring recruits to campus. Plus, we want to avoid having players in the same position together. The first of the 2018s will visit this week.
That said, we are not done filling out our squad for the Fall. The head coach is looking to bring in three more players. We want to add a Middle to get us up to four. We also need probably two pin hitters. One of our returning starters at OH may not be able to carry on as an attacker and we don’t have an experienced OPP at this point, so we’re looking closely at the transfer market.
We have started the fund raising process for the trip to Buenos Aires we plan to do with the team. There was some push back on those plans earlier in the semester. Some of it was a bit of fear of the unknown and some of it was misconceptions about certain elements. We showed them some video and talked more about the plan, though. That seemed to ease a lot of concerns.