FHS Basketball Families,
Hello, we hope your family is staying healthy & safe, mentally & physically. Please take the time to read this communication all the way through to understand where we are and to get a better understanding of what the next few months might entail.
1. Unwavering commitment to off-season improvement opportunities. Anyone who has been a participant in the fhs boys basketball program can attest to the unwavering commitment we make annually to the improvement of our individual players and team. The opportunities that we provide (Workouts, team lifting, team camps, college camps, open gyms, relationship building, team trips, etc.) annually to our boys basketball student-athletes from April through October to improve rival any program in the state. We have been and still are committed to go the extra mile because that is what it takes to continuously improve the program as a whole and our players as individuals.
2. Liability, risk, obligation. In this unprecedented time we want to remind our players and families that off-season workouts are always optional and participation does not play a role when teams are chosen in November. We feel it is especially important to share this in the current climate of our sport. As we discuss below what we know at this point as well as the many things that are still up in the air it is very important to remember there is no obligation to participate in any of these activities. Should we be given permission from our school district to resume limited activities if you feel at all that the risk for you or your family is too large please know that will not be held against you in any way.
3. Nine minute rule/change is inevitable. Speaking with an intelligent friend and mentor who happens to be an athletic director and coach in another district gave some much needed perspective regarding communication during this time. He said many folks he knows are calling the constant information shift the “nine minute rule” because whatever we think we know, approximately 9 minutes later we will be told something else. This statement is obviously not an exact science and the context was regarding our world as a whole, not just high school sports. The point is to please understand that this post is to communicate what we know today and it is inevitable that things will change. Please take the information with a grain of salt and be flexible in your thinking.
4. Information gathering. As you all know information has been fluid throughout this unprecedented situation with Covid19. As a school community, overall athletic program, and specifically the fhs boys basketball program quality/informed communication is what we are all seeking as we look toward the future. In order to share meaningful facts with you we have been gathering information from the St. Vrain School District and the administration at FHS. At this time it is our belief that we have enough talking points to make some decisions and communicate our thoughts on Spring/Summer basketball.
5. What we know. Throughout the month of April universities have been emailing high school programs regarding changes to Summer activities. One by one each summer team camp we had planned to attend was either cancelled or postponed. However, we had still been holding out hope that something might work out on this front. Unfortunately, that is not the case due to state and local restrictions regarding social distancing. It is with great sadness and disappointment we share that we will not be attending any high school team camps this summer. We are still holding out hope that the Midwest Elite camp scheduled for our players at FHS in late May as well as our annual summer league can be rescheduled for later in the Summer. Based on the information we have received to the point this seems unlikely but we are not closing the door on those opportunities.
6. Possibilities? We are holding out hope that our gym will be available at some point during the summer for workouts, but because of the nature of our game players cannot share a ball and strict social distancing rules would still apply. In this scenario we would only be allowed to have 10 total people (including coaches) per gym and players would only be able to use their own basketball throughout the workout. There would likely be temperature taking measures as well as disinfecting in order to make this work. Also, we must remember that the nature of our game constitutes close proximity of participants, physicality, heavy breathing, sweating, etc. so playing even small sided games are not an option. To give more perspective of where we are as a northern region right now – Boulder County has a 27ft rule in place where only 4 people would be allowed in a given area to “exercise”. This just goes to show that things are changing rapidly and we must be flexible. We will continue to listen to the St. Vrain school district as well as our FHS admin to explore possibilities of getting together over the next few months.
7. What can you do individually as a player? Remain optimistic! Collectively, we all feel restricted and for good reason. However, there are definitely things that you as a player or parent can do to continue your son’s improvement in the game of basketball. First, please understand that the restrictions and guidelines we as a high school program must adhere to as part of the St. Vrain school district are many. Moving forward, we as coaches understand that there may be more individual opportunities and less restrictions when working one on one with a trainer, working out at a private gym, or even with a separate club type team. We encourage each individual player to work on their game in a safe, respectable way, that follows state and local guidelines even if it can’t be done with the high school team. However, if that option is not available at all or that is not enough of an option for your child please review the below ways to improve individually. A. Ball Handling – This is something that is invaluable in the game of basketball. Drills to improve your handle can be done virtually anywhere. All players that have been a part of our program have an inventory of drills/activities they can do in this area. B. Shooting – If you are able to find a hoop that is open and legal for use during this time working on your shot is a great way to improve your game. Even without a hoop players can work on their form at home. Again, we use countless shooting drills throughout our in-season practices & off-season workouts. Please use these workouts to improve your game. C. Reach out to a teammate – You never know when a fellow teammate might be struggling. This is a difficult time for all of us so reaching out to teammates can help them, and you, to feel better. Sometimes hearing from someone in similar circumstances as far as missing the game can help ease the tension. D. Watch and study the game – If you are unaware there is an incredible documentary currently airing featuring the fiercest competitor and overall best player to ever play the game.
8. What will we do as a program? We are committed to continue building relationships with our players throughout this process. Generally our off-season activities begin to heat up in May, continue through the end up June, and finally, pick back up in the Fall. Please know that we will definitely be doing team WebEx meetings once or twice a week once school comes to a conclusion if we are not able to meet in person. The WebEx meetings could be in combination with in-person athletic activities, in-person teambuilding activities, or our sole source of team communication, we do not know yet. We have discussed doing virtual workouts, team book studies, basketball specific training opportunities, and possibly some team bonding such as 2K tournaments and things of that nature. We don’t want to begin any of this until our student-athletes get through the academic year as it has been communicated with teachers that many students are overwhelmed with the amount of online work they are receiving and we don’t want to add one more thing right now. Please look out for more information on this front around the conclusion of school.
9. Financial impact. If you had already turned in a check for summer basketball activities please know that it will not be cashed. We have shred most of the checks received while a few are still locked up in the building. As soon as there is access those checks will be shred as well. If there ends up being a situation where we must collect money for a team activity we will recollect funds at that time.
10. INCOMING FRESHMAN FAMILIES. Welcome to high school sports! lol. Obviously, this is not usually how things are done, but we appreciate your flexibility and patience. In a normal situation we are allowed to begin having contact with incoming 9th graders on May 1st. However, due to the current circumstances we will simply be collecting communication data for now. Please CLICK HERE to add your personal information to our google form. Also, we do most of our communication via the website so it is VERY IMPORTANT to sign up for text and email alerts via our fhs-warriors.com website used for all athletics at FHS. Simply go to the website, click “sign up for alerts” on the top right of the home page. Search Frederick High School, enter your personal information (we suggest parents and players both register individually), add all fhs basketball boys teams, and check both the email and text alert options. Doing this will ensure that you don’t miss valuable information. Anytime an update is made to website an alert is sent out so you know to check it when you have the time. We are also considering doing a separate weekly WebEx meeting for freshman after the academic year concludes. Again, look for more information on this towards the end of this month.
11. Physical/Mental health. If there are ANY of our players or family members that are in need of help due to struggle during this time please don’t hesitate to reach out. Each and every one of our coaches are committed and will make time for any of our kids that need help regardless of mental or physical pain. As a coaching staff we understand the extremely difficult toll that this can take on a student-athlete and their respective family. Please do not hesitate to reach out for help. WE WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING!
12. THANK YOU! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we figure out how to proceed. This is a difficult time for all of us but as they say, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do”. Please keep “toughing” it out and believing that positive change is coming. This will pass and we will be better for it.
Stay Safe & Healthy,
FHS Boys Basketball Coaching Staff