I started Stages last fall with my HS JV girls team when it was first introduced. We tried using it for warm ups, as Rick Torbett suggested, but website access in our gym was spotty and we decided to wait until the app was released. Fast forward to shelter-in-place and this seemed like the solution to our off-season development.
We have had the same issues that Nelson Handel mentioned. It has been compounded by the fact this is my first season as the head coach and all off-season player development has been strategy and team-based in the past. Focusing on individual skill development is new to them. Our coaching staff believes Stages can be a huge developmental tool. Keeping that in mind we have implemented a new approach.
1. While we were still practicing outside we spent the first half of practice making sure everyone had a phone and could access the site. Then we had them partner up and work on a component and submit test videos to get comfortable with the process.
2. Every practice we remind our players know this l is a large part of how we will build our foundation and that because we believe in it so strongly we will be using open gym time to complete the Stages as group drills, if needed. Our time together is limited so that does mean cutting into actual live-play time – their favorite part.
3. This week we are assigning a Stages component as homework to be completed between our Thursday and Tuesday practice. Players who have attempted and sent in video for that component before the Tuesday practice will get to go to the other end of the gym and work with our younger coaches on live-game play. Players who have not attempted it on their own will get to stay with our other coaches and work on that component as a group.
We are hopeful this will provide the necessary incentive to work on it at home and are trying to find the right balance as we grow and learn with our players.
Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.