Here is a message from Jeff…

This winter I’m coaching a 7th grade boys Iowa Prep club team. My son Evan is on the team.

I’d like to share what we’re doing — and what I consider to be important aspects of both winning and player development…

Why You NEED a “Team Identity” and Important Club Guidelines for Developing Players


Joe again here…

A few weeks ago, myself and a bunch of friends went to Andretti Indoor Go-Karting.

And I tried to heed the words of the great Ricky Bobby, “If you ain't first, you're last.”

Well, I was literally last in the first race among my eight other friends. However, I think I figured out how to beat the system...

Since they take your best lap time, I figured out that my “rubbing is racing” approach in the first two races wasn’t working the best. We were just slowing each other down by battling each other throughout the race.

The Andretti workers can actually re-calibrate your cart during the race to slow you down or speed you up. I figured that out when everybody kept flying by me in the first race.

I probably didn’t help my own cause because the workers were yelling at me and slapping the side of the track with their “No Bumping” signs.

So this is what I did in the final race…

I went real slow the first lap and I didn’t bump anybody. I let the next person get way ahead of me. Then I hammered on it the next few laps.

One, I figured they would re-calibrate my cart to let me go faster if I was falling behind at the beginning.

Two, I would have faster laps because I wasn’t battling people around corners as I would have a clear track.

It must’ve worked because I certainly wasn’t the most-skilled driver and I got first place in the final race.

While we were definitely sore the next day, everybody had a great time.

This also reminded me of the importance of team-building activities.

Budgets may or may not restrict you from outings like Andretti, Dave & Buster’s, Top Golf, escape rooms, and other activities.

But with a little creativity, you can create some great moments with your team to strengthen bonds among players, coaches, and even parents.

Nate Sanderson does a wiffle ball tournament every year to raise funds for a charity.

When I assisted for Ed Fritz in Kansas City, he had a Special Olympics day where everybody played basketball.

You might volunteer and feed the poor.

You can even do fun activities with your parents and athletes at preseason meetings.

Well, we hope these ideas help you build a better team bond and teach life lessons along the way.

Do you have any favorite team activities that you like to do? What are they? We’d like to share more of your great ideas in these emails.

All the best,

- Joe and Jeff Haefner
Breakthrough Basketball


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