HOOPS with MWEEMBE KAONA
AS THE basketball season winds up with a new year on the horizon, it goes without saying the festive season should not only be a time for merrymaking or giving and receiving but also a time to reflect on the past calendar year.
In an e-mail of the seasonâ€™s greetings to friends and family in basketball, chairperson of the Zambia Basketball Association for Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces Lawrence Mwenya, aptly summed it up as a time to take stock.
What is there to reflect on and who should do the reflecting? It is a time to reflect on the season ending and ponder on what lies ahead.
Mwenya stated that there was need to look at what had been achieved measured against what had been planned with notes taken on lessons learnt. He is right.
Adding to Mwenyaâ€™s call was ZBA vice-president for the northern region Andrew Nyirenda, who called on all stakeholders to join hands in taking the game to another level by bringing about the desired change.
This time of the year, basketball coaches should map the road to success in the upcoming season.
The coach should meet individually with each player to review his or her evaluation. At the same time, that player should be given his or her own personal off-season workout.
It is important that players maximise their off-season period to improve on their weak points as well as sharpen their strong points.
Having completed the season with an expected finishing spot, it is time for coaches to refocus on what the team can be; it is time to take inventory on what they have accomplished.
The off-season is a time for basketball players to take care of themselves and work on skill development, incorporating strength training, individual skill work and rest.
These points should all be considered along the fact that the period between the two seasons will be relatively short considering that the 2014 season will only be concluded with the national championships sometime in January.
Club officials should also reflect on how their management style affected their team and, as discussed previously, they should have development plans where goals and objectives are outlined.
Fans and sponsors were affected positively or negatively depending on the overall finish of the team, hence the need to go back to the drawing board.
One would like to see clubs do more for youth development in addition to chasing the league championships as this will serve as an investment for the future.
Added to development, the sponsorship issues need to be looked into, especially with the ever-increasing demands for a team to play in a league. It is lack of sponsorship that saw off three teams from the B division of the ZBA southern zone league.
2015 promises to be a much more busy and taxing year but I will give a deeper insight in a forthright time. Meanwhile, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Have a blessed week!
HOOPS with MWEEMBE KAONA