Yesterday was move-in day on campus. I spent all day yesterday aiding new freshman haul their boxes and belongings into their new homes for the next 9 months. It was a fun day to be a part of such an exciting day in these young people's lives. Tiring, but still an enjoyable time.
The most exciting part was watching our new players arrive. With bright eyes and nervous energy, these young men are very hungry. The most frequent question asked was, "When is the gym going to be open?"
At our level, we don't have the luxury of working with our players in the pre and post season. Open gym is an extremely valuable tool for our players to condition and build team chemistry. We rely on our seniors to be the leaders and organize open gyms.
Some of the open gym suggestions we make to our players in leadership roles:
Half Court Games - Though we play up-tempo, full court style basketball, it is critical that we continue to work on our half-court principles. This aids in the chemistry building, communication, and teammate familiarity. Games to 7 by 1's. Winners of the half-court games stay on to play full-court.
Full Court Games - Full court games go to 11 by 1's. If all five of the offensive players are past half-court, they can score. If one of the five has not crossed half court, the basket doesn't count. We want to emphasize running the floor and conditioning.
One thought that I picked up from Herb Sendek when he was at NC State, is all players show up for open gym. If one person doesn't show, open gym is canceled for that day. This adds accountability, leadership, and communication to the mix in regards to open gym.