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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Report

Our summer league wrapped up on July 2. We had 60+ Galesburg girls play in our summer league on 8 different teams.

Our number one priority of the summer was to work on the basic fundamentals of defense. Our feeling was our presses and traps the last couple years had become less effective because our players were not familiar with basic movement skills that are learned in man to man defense. While we did not become a great half court mm team this summer, we feel like our players improved in the skills of playing defense. It is our hope we can then become a better pressing team this winter.

The returning varsity players showed a real determination starting in the spring in the weight room, and it carried over into the summer at camp and then in games. The two characteristics which stood out with this group were chemistry and competitiveness. They seem to be a group that genuinely likes playing together. They were all on the same page and supported each other. One of the evidences of the positive chemistry was to watch who the players interacted with and who they did not interact with. Often as a season goes on, you realize you don't see certain kids together. With this group with shooting partners, weight room partners, sitting on the sideline watching a game, sitting together at a restaurant-- it seemed like it was always different players together. A great example of this chemistry was with Haley Kelso after she was injured- she never missed a thing. Even though she could not play, she was at every practice, every game, and every weight session.

In terms of competitiveness, this group really does not seem to like losing. It is not that any team probably likes losing, but some groups take it harder than others- this group takes it hard. As a coach this translates into a group which is anxious to take instruction.

On the younger levels- junior high and frosh-soph, it is obvious we have some very talented players. Our Purple Team made up of an "all-star" team of 7th and 8th grade players competed successfully vs. frosh-soph team this summer. Our Silver Team made up of freshmen and sophomore players lost very few games while playing in our league, at Salem, and at Purdue. In the Galesburg Summer League, the Silver competed successfully vs. many small school varsity teams. What makes this even more impressive is that we had one freshmen and three sophs playing with the varsity the entire summer. The key with all of these young players is whether they are willing to work over the next several years to improve their skills.

On the varsity level, we started the summer with 18 players at our varsity level camp. This number included one freshmen, three sophomores, twelve juniors, and two seniors. While it is exciting to have that many players interested in playing varsity, it is also tough knowing there will have to be cuts if all continue to play. We had the 18 players divided to play on two different teams during our summer league, at Purdue, and at Salem.

Our varsity level had ups and downs during the summer. We had some real ups where we showed in our first weekend tourney we could play with some of the better teams in the area, at Salem where we beat some very good teams, at Purdue where we defeated some good teams. We showed some real potential. But then we had some downs. When we lost Haley Kelso at Purdue, we played the top team in the camp and really struggled. When we returned to Galesburg and played without her the last weekend, we lost 3 of 4 games.

But sometimes adversity produces positive results. We decided to rotate into the varsity group some of our FS age players who had been so successful this summer. In our last two games we used Kailyn Boydstun and Kaylah Townsell with the varsity group. Both of them gave the varsity group a real boost with their quickness and aggressiveness.

So we started the summer with 18 players working out on the varsity level, and we finish the summer with 21 girls. We are excited about the possibilities for the varsity level. With 21 girls competing for positions and playing time on the varsity level, we think it will make us competitive!!

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