The regulations for Kansas State High School Activities Association offseason workouts for basketball have changed, perhaps loosening a grip on what coaches and players can and can’t do during the summer.
From June 3 until July 19, prep basketball coaches and prospective players can work hand-in-hand.
Chris Battin, the head boys’ basketball coach at Great Bend, used this past week to conduct the Great Bend High School basketball team camp.
“With the new summer rules, we’re able to do a lot of individual development,” Battin said, “and this camp allowed us to do a lot of team stuff, where we don’t have to focus as much on the individuals.
“It’s been good for us.”
High school athletes descended upon the Panther Athletic Center from 9 until noon, Monday through Friday, for individual and team instruction. Besides scrimmaging, drills and more drills, campers also rained countless perimeter shots in an effort to improve their game.
“We’re putting some new things in,” Battin said. “We’re really trying to adjust our offense, making sure that it fits our personnel.
“We’re really trying to take advantage of some of our strengths, learning some new things, and this is a group that really competes hard.”
Transition basketball is something that Battin says he wants to incorporate after the Panthers endured some deliberate ways last winter in finishing 5-15 overall.
“We’d like to push the ball,” Battin said. “We’ve just kind of decided that we’re tired of walking it up the floor. We’re trying to change the speed of the game and hopefully, that will help our offense out a little bit.
“We’re going to try to tweak some things defensively, so we can maybe score a little bit more in transition. If they don’t practice that way, they never get used to it, so we try to emphasize that.”
The 1½-month window for offseason work gives a coaching staff an opportunity to work on things with players that might be effective or might have to be scrapped.
“The thing that I like about it is that we get to put in some new things and see if they work,” Battin said. “We’ll play some MAYB tournaments, so we’ll get to see the rest of the summer if things that we’re working on are going to be good for us or not.
“It allows us to make some adjustments before the actual season starts in November. We can meet with them every day from the Monday after Memorial Weekend until July 19. After July 19, the kids are on their own. Hopefully, you’ve developed the work ethic and put some skills out there to allow them to do their thing.”
It isn’t like the Panthers are going to have daily hoops practices between now and the middle of July.
“We don’t want to do that because we’ll burn them out,” Battin said. “We bring them in for skill work every day, but we don’t have full-fledged practices. The new rules allow for a little more freedom.
“It used to be that you could only work with three kids at a time and in a gym like this, where you have three courts, it was bad for us because we could work with only three kids. Now we can break up with various coaches, go do individual skill work and get some good one-on-one instruction. It really makes us more efficient.”