Most high school associations restrict their coaches form spending time with players in the off season. I don’t think coaches should be allowed to have full-blown practices with their teams as young players have commitments to other sports, clubs, and other things. But, for players who are committed to getting better and wanting to work there should be a way to work with their coaches all year round. State associations should sanction and allow for their coaches to be able to workout their own players year round as long as its not mandatory and will affect a player’s status on the team. I think kids do lose out so much without having the opportunity to train with their coaches outside of their 4-5 month season with their team. What benefit is there for associations to have this rule restricting this? The only one it benefits are lazy coaches that don’t want to put the work in and the only one it hurts is the player. I think the foundation development for a player is made from the ages of 13-17. Obviously a player can develop probably all the way up to the age of 27 or so, but the foundation of their basketball IQ, shooting , and ball handling are all made from the middle school through high school years. Taking the opportunity away from players to get the extra instruction that they need really puts a damper on their development. Sure there are other options as far as working on their own, playing AAU, hiring trainers, or going to camp. All of these are great options, but its silly to know that there are great coaches out there wanting to get their players better, but only having a few months to do so. Not every coach has the desire to work all year round and that’s fine. I understand that some coaches aren’t as committed to the sport as others , but that shouldn’t be taken away from the others that want to get their players better.
What I would do is first off have all 50 state high school associations have the same rules when it comes to off season workouts. The rules should state that coaches can work with their players up to 4 days per week in the off season totaling no more than 3 hours per day. Coaches can split that time into basketball on skill work as well as strength and conditioning. There should only be no more than four players in a workout to stop from putting in plays and running a small practice session. The workouts should be monitored by the athletic director to log the times and participants with the coach to keep track of the activities. If players participate in sports outside of the basketball season they should be allowed to miss player development sessions without jeopardizing their spot on their team. Workouts should not be mandatory as previously stated. Players need to get better and sometimes don’t have the luxury of attending camp or playing with an AAU club. Some coaches really want the best for their programs and are willing to work I don’t think a state association should stop them form doing this and give the advantage to coaches that don’t share that same attitude towards excellence in basketball.
NCAA rules that prohibit coaches from working with players baffle me. Division 1 schools are limited to four coaches that can be on the floor with players during the season. Other coaches such as administrative assistants, volunteer coaches, and graduate assistants are prohibited in taking part in any basketball activity with players. Those coaches can only do administrative things such as travel, video, and other administrative duties for the program. There are so many individuals that can help players get better that can’t get utilized because of NCAA rules and regulations. In the summer time when the pressure of winning as well as their academic obligations decrease is when players can benefit greatly from being on the court with their coaches. The NCAA prohibits coaches form working with their players even when they are enrolled in school during summer classes. Student athletes sign scholarships with schools for an education and to play that specific sport. Keep in mind schools make in the neighborhood of a $150,000 investment over a four year period with the athlete why are they not allowed to develop them the best they can. The off season is the perfect time for a player to get better with their coaches, but are forced to play pick up and workout on their own. This basically sends the message to college coaches to hire assistants that can get them players instead of hiring coaches that can get players better. Basketball is about talent. In most cases the team with the most talent wins. You can get talent two ways as you can recruit it or you can develop it. Since schools are limited in the time they can spend with their kids they need to continually stockpile talent in recruiting and build their teams that way.
The NCAA should allow schools to hire an additional coach that is there for player development purposes only. This coach should be allowed to work with their players all year round. This coach can’t make any phone calls to recruits or leave campus to do anything related to their basketball program. They can be responsible for improving the players on the court and serves as an instructor for them. This coach should be allowed on the floor in practice working like any other coach would. This will send the message that coaches can hire more assistants that have player development backgrounds instead of hiring coaches that can bring in players, but are limited in their basketball backgrounds. There is a tough economy out there and not every school can hire an additional staff member, so maybe allow an existing assistant have that role. Since this assistant cant have any access to high school players, the head coach would be almost forced to hire a basketball guy that can make their players better. This way during the summer they’ll always have someone to work with and get them better. At the division 1 level players have more than a small interest in the game. It is their livelihood that gave them the ability to go college free of charge. You should allow them to work on their craft as long as they are enrolled in school. Prohibit coaches from conducting practices working on team concepts, but allow groups of 3-4 players to workout. Limit the time they have in the gym to about 12 hours a week this includes strength and conditioning work.
In the last 10-12 years the game of basketball in this country has suffered a great deal. Other nations are catching up to us because they are maximizing the athletic and skill potential of their young players. Instead of making more avenues to get our players better there seems to be more restrictions limiting their development. I understand that more players won’t make money playing basketball than will but it’s not only about them. The product of basketball in this country is pretty bad right now. Our amateur basketball including high school, AAU, and college have taken big hits because of this. There are only handfuls of high school and college teams that are fun to watch anymore. Gone are the skilled players that can make shots and plays for others. Our game is filled with pressing, layups, and three point shots. Most of our players can’t make an open shot, pass, or dribble. There aren’t easy solutions to fix the problem, but we can start by lifting some of the restrictions on coaches to spend more time developing talent. Athletic directors at all levels can also hold their coaches accountable if there is a lack of player development as that is one of the most important on the court duty a coach has is to make their players better. Again, it’s not all the kids and administration’s fault either that players aren’t developed. Coaches also fall in the blame a tad bit as they are in charge of this. Taking advantage of all the time that is given to continue to develop players on and off the court.