Winning Happens In the Off Season
We probably all agree that winning is fun, winning feels good and everyone likes to win. But the truth is that winning is HARD! Winning requires a concerted effort by a team of players who all have the same objective in mind. A lot of factors and preparations have to come together in order for a team to win consistently. Players must be selfless and value the team’s goals above any individual goals in order to achieve wins especially against stiff competition.
Athletes who play team sports will all say they want to win; that’s easy. But, do all players actually do what it takes that is necessary in order to win? Winning in the regular season is in part a product of individual effort and training done during the off season to improve one’s skills.
The regular season is so short in comparison to the off season, that players can’t improve nearly as much (or at all) in season as they can out of season. Think about it. How many reps at any skill is a player getting at team practice? Take for example, a player who has trouble catching with his offhand. At team practice during the season he may get 20 catches with his off hand during stick drills, and then maybe a dozen other offhand catches throughout practice. That’s a total of 30-40 offhand catches on the day. If that same player were to go throw against the wall with his offhand, he could easily get in hundreds of catches in a short amount of time. So, if that player were to spend time in the off season working against a wall catching with his off hand, he would improve exponentially compared to if he relied on his “at practice” reps to improve. (Check out our previous post about the importance of practice away from practice here).
The bottom line here is that winning in the regular season is very reliant on the hard work and improvement by individuals during the off season. If all of the individual players have put in the effort and work in the off season, then they truly have a chance at being a good team and winning during the regular season! Winning is not easy and does not happen by chance, so put in the work NOW so that when the season rolls around you and your teammates have a realistic chance at winning together.
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“The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Bobby Knight