Coaching in the Off-Season

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Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Mon May 27, 2013 5:39 am

With summer here, many kids have started their off-season training and are preparing for camps and leagues. What is the NDHSAA rule on high school school coaches being involved in off-season training?
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby bequickdonthurry » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:05 am

Bet you were looking for a quicker response...

Your answer might be here, see page 55:

http://www.ndhsaa.com/files/Constitution_and_ByLaws.pdf

Basically, coaches of team sports can coach at camps during June and July. I would guess that most consider summer leagues camps. If the call their off-season conditioning/training programs camps, they would be involved there as well.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby NDplayin » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:21 am

That is incorrect and misleading (I don't mean to imply you were misleading intentionally, but this a touchy subject).

If you read farther down that same page, you will notice that member schools are not allowed to sponsor a team sport summer camp. Therefore, the camps they are referring to are those team camps sponsored by universities or other outside organizations.

By my understanding, the summer leagues and off season conditioning programs would be considered school sponsored; therefore, outside the parameters of the bylaws. Summer leagues and conditioning programs may exist if operated as "open gyms" with open invitations and in the absence of any sport specific coaching.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby B-oldtimer » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:39 pm

I get real tired of this thing open gym at various schools its more like informal practice session with a lot of schools. Also it may not be written down but missing and not participating in open gyms has direct result on kids playing time with coaches. It also makes it a year around involvement for kid if he wants to play and have chance at playing time. I from old school when it was not legal to play on traveling teams, schools didn't have camps, or open gyms organized by school, and basketball camps were few far between. I think this why kids participation is down in all sports across the schools because its become a job. If you look at number of kids that play on from highschool especially from class b is very small and those that play a four years in college becomes real small. Yes performance of kids today are better than it was back in my day but lower number of kids playing ,and learning and experiencing of playing together as team has been lost today for us to be feeder program for the colleges.Now add in kids from small class b schools they also may play multiple sports and now you get multiple open gyms and camps and you get turf wars between coaches on whos camps and open gyms are more important. This also increases when you have coops because coaches may be from different schools and where the open gyms are held and who's the most important.

I wish Activities Association if they wanted to do something they would curb this playing year around by limiting what schools and kids could participate in afterseason activities. For the kids and parents that want to develop their kids for sports in college let them go on their own to traveling team leagues which they already do in the off season traveling all over state as well as gong to different states and large cities to play at. I know I am not alone in this thought their is large silent majority of parents and community members that feel this year around playing of sports has gotten out of hand and we need to get back to basics of sports as extracurricular activity not year around job.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:35 pm

I completely agree that the off-season "optional" programs need to be reviewed, and controlled. It is true that playing all year round can significantly improve a players game, but schools should not be organizing those opportunities. Players are getting asked to be on league teams, and traveling to out of state tournaments and camps on behalf of their schools and booster clubs. Kids who are not asked to go are not going to fully commit to playing during the official school season. I really think that is a major reason that the numbers are really down. Generally, we have been claiming that kids are lazy, but I got told by a young player that they couldn't spend the summer fundraising and practicing a sport where they felt that the teams were already decided on at the open gyms and camps.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby packers21 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:39 pm

So you guys don't want players to practice during the offseason? Or go to team camps? Or participate on AAU or ECI teams? Just bc we might be able to get 3-5 more kids in a school out for a team? Offseason programs are probably the most important tool in a successful program. Do you think that Dickinson Trinity, Shiloh Christian, Buelah, North Star, New Town, Four Winds, Grafton completely shut down programs once the official season is over? No these athletes need to work harder now to improve their games, play against top competition get notice by college scouts. Would we rather have the kids sitting at home playing 15 hrs of COD a day instead of 3? These programs help keep kids out of trouble, help set goals, and help these kids get going down the right path. IMO ND is finally getting caught up with these other states in terms of athletics, we should be reinforcing how proud we are of the kids that put in the time in the offseason stuff rather than saying we need to do away with it. I don't feel sorry for the kid that doesn't go to a 1hr open gym twice a week to play against his friends in a game of 5on5 and then quits a week into the season bc he doesn't feel he got a fair shake. Offseason is the time to improve your game and get stronger not the 2 week preseason before the first game.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:10 pm

I think it is a bigger issue in Class A than in Class B. I don't know how many kids actually get cut in Class B. Kids should really train and play all year round to really excel at a sport. AAU or ECI provides opportunities to play with and against top players in the state and around the country, but how are teams picked for team camps? In Class B, a player might be working for a starting spot, all-conference, all-state, etc., but many kids work hard assuming you are on the team. So if a coach ask 10 to 12 players to a team camp, can it be assumed that is the team for the season? It may not be, but many kids think it is.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby B-oldtimer » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:49 pm

I will just say in long run it would be much better that there was no camps, open gyms with coaches, traveling teams, just kids that are playing on their own. Also in class b most of these kids are playing multiple sports so if every sport is requiring this participation where's there time for these kids to have some down time. I think it would be great if these kids participated in multiple sports we need more kids in summer sports like baseball, softball, golf, tennis and swimming instead playing in gyms and traveling all over playing basketball. Multiple sports help kids in all sports and number of kids that are going to play college ball is very slim and amount of support they receive is even less. Look at class b schools the participation numbers are way down a lot of towns are having difficulty putting teams together and i think its getting worse each year. A lot of kids don't feel its worth there time its not fun anymore it become a job not activity. They are concentrating on school and they will do a job instead and still have more free time and more fun. We lost concept that these activities were to be fun not a full time job. The sad part if we could keep sport season down to that season i think we have more participation and kids could get some valuable lessons of playing together and sportsmanship but like it is now its only few that want to play or one parents are really pushing kids to play no matter what. I also think basketball is biggest offender in this to other sports. Football is played in season and when season is over its pretty much over here in ND. The kids that weight lift is something that they do on their own for off season and there are only a few summer camps. Baseball is played in spring and summer here in ND and when season are over pretty much over. The kids that work on baseball usually do their own weight lifting and throwing on their own. There are only couple college camps through the winter. Now look at basketball we have season begin in December and played until March. Soon as the season is over we have traveling team season until end of April. After that begins the summer leagues begin and run usually 6 to 8 weeks understanding that its voluntary but it sure has effect on stature with the team. Not to mention all the summer basketball camps that are suggested you should attend. After that begins open gyms where there is lot of coaches attending working with the kids through fall season until basketball begins full time. Also during summer some AAU teams that play in state and multiple other states which is usually made up elite players. Is it me or don't you see something wrong here we turned activity into full time job and for average kid that just wanted to play basketball against other kids in season see how good they could get there's no place for them. This favors larger schools and few schools where parents are willing to spend that kind of time money for their kids so now we have schools who don't but are ones that are loosing by huge numbers every game until it no fun to compete until they need to coop to get enough numbers and cycle continues. We eventually get down to just a few teams left in state.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby Indy5 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:54 pm

Do you really think that every single kid is available for every team camp in the summer? No. Coaches usually struggle to get 8 varsity caliber kids there. Individual camps aren't "encouraged" like you say. Only kids that are serious go to those. Guarantee that they don't have open gyms more than twice a week, and those are simply fun to show up and play a little pick with your friends for an hour. AAU ball isn't expected for anyone to play. It's for elite kids. It costs a lot of money, but for those good kids who want a fun experience and exposure its good. Certainly no high school coaches are going around saying "you have to play AAU or you'll never see the floor."

Stop acting like there is so much to do. In reality, they have 2-3 team camps to go to for a day and 2 hours of open gym in the summer. I even leaned those numbers to the highest side too.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby Sportsrube » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:03 am

I am going to agree with Packers21 - don't punish or degrade the kids that do put hours and hours into their game during the offseason. These kids have a drive and a desire that usually outweighs a lot of other players just like some people at your job have a drive and a desire that outweighs some of their co-workers. I don't want to see us punish the overachievers just to make a few under achievers happy. If you want a competitive program in this day and age, this is how it gets done. People may not like the year around "season" but that's what we have now. If you don't put the time in, then unfortunately you suffer consequences.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby classB4ever » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:18 am

Indy5 wrote:Do you really think that every single kid is available for every team camp in the summer? No. Coaches usually struggle to get 8 varsity caliber kids there. Individual camps aren't "encouraged" like you say. Only kids that are serious go to those. Guarantee that they don't have open gyms more than twice a week, and those are simply fun to show up and play a little pick with your friends for an hour. AAU ball isn't expected for anyone to play. It's for elite kids. It costs a lot of money, but for those good kids who want a fun experience and exposure its good. Certainly no high school coaches are going around saying "you have to play AAU or you'll never see the floor."

Stop acting like there is so much to do. In reality, they have 2-3 team camps to go to for a day and 2 hours of open gym in the summer. I even leaned those numbers to the highest side too.


You come across as a real snot some times, do you know that?
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby classB4ever » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:31 am

Sportsrube wrote:I am going to agree with Packers21 - don't punish or degrade the kids that do put hours and hours into their game during the offseason. These kids have a drive and a desire that usually outweighs a lot of other players just like some people at your job have a drive and a desire that outweighs some of their co-workers. I don't want to see us punish the overachievers just to make a few under achievers happy. If you want a competitive program in this day and age, this is how it gets done. People may not like the year around "season" but that's what we have now. If you don't put the time in, then unfortunately you suffer consequences.

Good post. Have been involved on both sides of this. Kids deciding to play bb year round and also ones which play every sport. Have also witnessed kids getting burned out and opting out of the year round thing. I think it really depends on what the individual wants and what the best fit is. Personally, I enjoy seeing the kids playing all the sports. What is lost by an individual becoming better in one sport, is gained in bonding and building team chemistry for all the sports.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby Sportsrube » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:14 pm

As a coach I would also like to see kids play more than one sport, I think you develop different skill sets and different abilities in each sport, unfortunately we have more and more kids "specializing" now in the hopes of getting a scholarship. Or they really don't love one sport so they focus on the one they love. I don't think any Class B coaches are demanding that their players only focus on one sport, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby Hinsa » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:34 pm

I used to coach high school girls back in the stone ages, when "tweet" was something a bird did, "twitter" was what happened to that special girl's heart when you flirted with her, "social media" was a party line telephone (for you youngins that was when 15-20 families were on the same phone line and you could pick up the phone and listen to everyone's calls), a "PED" was a $65 calculator that did the basic 4 math functions, "rap" was something you did on a door to see if anyone was home, a "cell" was something you looked at under a microscope, "volleyball" was something played at a church picnic.......well, you get the idea.

There were open gyms. Most players attended, some did not. Individual camps were just coming into being. Most players would attend one or two during the summer. The super dedicated ones went to one every week. So even then you had a wide range of participation over the summer. If they wanted to dedicate themselves, they did. If they didn't want to, they didn't.

So even when there was basically two girls' sports - basketball and track - kids who wanted to be good found their way to they gym and the other kids found something else to do.

If I had my choice, I'd stop the coach contact in the off-season again, with the exception of a team camp or two, and let someone else coach 'em up for the rest of the off-season. Let the players pick up skills and learning from another source. But it's too late, the cat's out of the bag on coaching in the off-season.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:53 am

It is great when any kid wants to work hard at anything all year round. Most of them are not training for 8 hours so I agree that there is still time for them to do other things. If you do strength training for basketball, it doesn't mean that you are not getting stronger for track. Also, sports like school, is going to sometimes feel like work. I don't think working on a skill set although it isn't always fun is such a bad lesson to learn. My concern is determining whether or not coaches who are involved with off-season training are actually affecting the number of players who are going out which eventually also hurts the kids who train all year with limited competition.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby balla45 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:48 am

Food for thought, and I know this doesn't mirror the topic perfectly, but I have pondered this as someone who plans on having children, and has a niece right now.

Parents, do you think it is right to make your kids study for tests and do their homework, in hopes that they get good grades and get a scholarship to go to college so you do not have to foot the bill for them or so they can stay out of debt?

If you answer yes to that question, would you have an issue with a parent who has an athletic child who strongly suggests that they put in the extra time, whether it be lifting, running, shooting, hitting, etc., in hopes that they get a scholarship to go to college so you do not have to foot the bill for them or so they can stay out of debt?

This has been something I have wanted to ask people for a very long time here.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:56 pm

There should absolutely be no problem with parents who support their kids in working hard all year round on a skill. Kids take summer school so they can take advanced classes in high school, so I don't see a problem with kids working on their athletic skills. My question is whether or not high school coaches should be involved in off-season training like traveling tournaments and team camps in the summer. Using the academic example, what if there was a math class (which is known to prepare kids to get scholarships) that was exclusive only to kids who get a certain grade, and the teacher selected a few kids to tutor over the summer so they got in, but didn't open the tutoring to everyone.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby balla45 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:09 pm

That is an interesting dilemma. In my personal opinion, teachers/coaches, should be able to do whatever they want with their summer, much like I feel students/athletes should be able to.

It may not seem fair, but if a teacher is offering a service to prepare students for college, and that service can only be offered to ten students, then I think that is fine.

I think it is the same with traveling teams. Speaking from my own perspective, I would love to give every single player who wanted to play traveling basketball an opportunity to do so, but it is not feasible. It also can be counterproductive to the athletes who actually are dedicated, as compared to the athletes who just want to go on summer trips.

With high school team camps, I believe that all members of teams are invited to it. When I played, everyone who signed up got to play, but it may have changed since then.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:02 pm

balla45 wrote:That is an interesting dilemma. In my personal opinion, teachers/coaches, should be able to do whatever they want with their summer, much like I feel students/athletes should be able to.

It may not seem fair, but if a teacher is offering a service to prepare students for college, and that service can only be offered to ten students, then I think that is fine.

I think it is the same with traveling teams. Speaking from my own perspective, I would love to give every single player who wanted to play traveling basketball an opportunity to do so, but it is not feasible. It also can be counterproductive to the athletes who actually are dedicated, as compared to the athletes who just want to go on summer trips.

With high school team camps, I believe that all members of teams are invited to it. When I played, everyone who signed up got to play, but it may have changed since then.

I am not saying that the answer is simple. We definitely don't want to discourage any coach or teacher who wants to put in more hours to help kids, but the numbers are really down in some of the Class A sports including basketball, and the schools need to look into this since budgeting for these programs is a big deal. I have watched freshman, sophomore, and jv games over a couple weeks and saw the same kids playing on each of the games.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby balla45 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:39 am

Aah, I can see where you are coming from there. What I think is beginning to happen is that as new opportunities to improve become available at younger and younger ages, those who choose to take advantage of those opportunities will often become very talented. Then we have those who choose not to take advantage of those opportunities and do not put the work in, and then they get in a situation where a significant amount of younger players are better at that particular sport. Then I think we get in a situation where kids start to see the writing on the wall, and realize they may never have a chance to get significant playing time, so they choose to just quit the sport instead of working to be the 5th starter, the 6th man, the 7th man, etc.

As an example, say you attended Century High School last season as a sophomore boy. When you see 5 freshmen playing on the sophomore, jv, and varsity teams, and you are only on the sophomore team, you may choose to say, wow, the coaches already think all of these freshmen are better than me, so I am going to quit because I will never get to play. Or if you were 1 of the other freshmen who did not get moved up, you may think, wow, the coaches think all 5 of those guys are better than any of us, so I won't have a chance to start, and the same thing happens.

I think that is the underlying issue with a lot of the Class A numbers.

I could be wrong though.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby classB4ever » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:23 pm

scoobyx2 wrote:There should absolutely be no problem with parents who support their kids in working hard all year round on a skill. Kids take summer school so they can take advanced classes in high school, so I don't see a problem with kids working on their athletic skills. My question is whether or not high school coaches should be involved in off-season training like traveling tournaments and team camps in the summer. Using the academic example, what if there was a math class (which is known to prepare kids to get scholarships) that was exclusive only to kids who get a certain grade, and the teacher selected a few kids to tutor over the summer so they got in, but didn't open the tutoring to everyone.


Good analogy. I was approached by a parent who could not understand why all athletes didn't get equal playing time in varsity sports. I explained, well, some just put in more time in the off season or quite frankly are just better. They didn't agree. I asked them, if a student has a 2.0 gpa, they should be on the A honor roll, correct? Their answer was, "Absolutely not." I asked why. So what if they don't turn in all their homework, don't show up for classes, flunk a few tests, they are taking the same class as the kids that do all of the above, therefore should get the same grade and be on the honor roll. Think they understood.

1. I think team camps are good. Are all players going to attend? No. Are some coaches going to hold it against those that don't attend? Some will because coaches are human. In this instance, it's an opportunity to get a feel of what they have to work with in the upcoming season and IMHO the good outweighs the bad.
2. Open gyms. Should be just that. Open gyms. If coaches use them for anything else or hold it against a player for not attending, that is wrong. However, parents use this excuse a bit too often as well. "Coach isn't playing my son/daughter just because they didn't go to the open gyms." Maybe, just maybe, they attend the open gyms, get better and get more playing time?
3. AAU/ECI. If an athlete is good enough to be selected to play this type of ball, and the family decides to do it, CONGRATULATIONS. That's quite an honor. They are putting in the effort, time and money. Don't see why this should be a problem, ever. I could see it maybe creating some jealousy issues on the local level, but guess what, that happens in life.

balla45 wrote:As an example, say you attended Century High School last season as a sophomore boy. When you see 5 freshmen playing on the sophomore, jv, and varsity teams, and you are only on the sophomore team, you may choose to say, wow, the coaches already think all of these freshmen are better than me, so I am going to quit because I will never get to play. Or if you were 1 of the other freshmen who did not get moved up, you may think, wow, the coaches think all 5 of those guys are better than any of us, so I won't have a chance to start, and the same thing happens.

I think that is the underlying issue with a lot of the Class A numbers.

I could be wrong though.


Or they can take it as a personal challenge, put in more time and try to beat them out. :D Think you are spot on balla and am sure it happens more often then we know.
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Re: Coaching in the Off-Season

Postby scoobyx2 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:47 pm

balla45 wrote:Aah, I can see where you are coming from there. What I think is beginning to happen is that as new opportunities to improve become available at younger and younger ages, those who choose to take advantage of those opportunities will often become very talented. Then we have those who choose not to take advantage of those opportunities and do not put the work in, and then they get in a situation where a significant amount of younger players are better at that particular sport. Then I think we get in a situation where kids start to see the writing on the wall, and realize they may never have a chance to get significant playing time, so they choose to just quit the sport instead of working to be the 5th starter, the 6th man, the 7th man, etc.

As an example, say you attended Century High School last season as a sophomore boy. When you see 5 freshmen playing on the sophomore, jv, and varsity teams, and you are only on the sophomore team, you may choose to say, wow, the coaches already think all of these freshmen are better than me, so I am going to quit because I will never get to play. Or if you were 1 of the other freshmen who did not get moved up, you may think, wow, the coaches think all 5 of those guys are better than any of us, so I won't have a chance to start, and the same thing happens.

I think that is the underlying issue with a lot of the Class A numbers.

I could be wrong though.

I don't think you are wrong at all. If there is a young player who can honestly contribute to the JV/Varsity squad, then of course that player should be moved up after he/she has proven themselves. But what does it serve to move a freshman up to sophomores just to play other freshmen who got moved up to sophomores? Or watch a freshman get moved up to JV, and don't play. Then when they don't dominate at that level, they get moved down to play freshmen or sophomore, and take play time from the kids who are trying to improve at the younger level. I honestly went to a series of Class A freshmen, sophomores, and JV games and basically watched the same kids play, but there were different kids on the bench. I believe these decisions had to be made before the season starts.

Also, I think AAU ball is a great option for kids who really want to take their game to a higher level, and work to get recognized to play college ball. The kids and their families are making a huge commitment on their own part, and are not using school programs that are funded by tax payers for the development of only a select few. It takes a lot of money to run these programs, and schools with 1300+ enrollment should be able to put together several teams.
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