“We talk about what our teams run, what we do right and what they do right and how we can improve. I want to better myself, and the more knowledge I can get, the more of an edge I will have.”
— Matt Ray, Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball head coach, on talking with fellow coaches in the offseason to improve his team and program
The Moffat County High School football season ended in November, but it only marked the beginning of the next season for head coach Kip Hafey.
With four months until practice officially begins for the football team, Hafey said he has met with his assistant coaches every week since the season ended
“We want to give as many opportunities to our players to develop as we can, but I also want to do that for my coaches,” Hafey said. “This is the offseason, but we are still developing ideas and schemes for offense, defense and special teams so we can implement them and improve.”
Hafey, like most high school coaches, doesn’t stop his coaching duties when the last game is played.
Instead, Hafey said, coaching is a yearlong job.
The football players are in the midst of weight and cardio training, but before camps come around at the end of May and June, Hafey said he and the other coaches need to be prepared to bring new ideas to the table.
“We have gone to a high school in California and Grand Junction High School to talk to coaches about what we run because they are at the same level and know where we stand,” he said. “We also went to a coaching clinic with college and NFL coaches, like Oregon’s Chip Kelly, and learned from coaches at the next level.
“Clinics are a great way to learn new things about motivation, weight training, as well as sets, and we can take that stuff back to our kids.”
For Matt Ray, who led the girls varsity basketball team to the Sweet 16 and a share of the Western Slope League title this year, new and fresh ideas are a must in the offseason.
“The offseason is the most important time to get better at the game,” Ray said. “If we just showed up in November, not a lot would happen. The time the girls spend in the offseason makes them who they are in the (regular) season.
“The reason we are good and compete in the league and go to the state playoffs is because of the work we put in during the offseason.”
Like Hafey, Ray said much of his time is spent talking with other coaches.
“I chat with other coaches online and I get three or four newsletters from coaches in the state,” he said. “We talk about what our teams run, what we do right and what they do right and how we can improve.
“I want to better myself, and the more knowledge I can get, the more of an edge I will have.”
The volleyball team doesn’t have as extensive postseason workouts as the football and basketball squads, but head coach Sandy Camilletti said being a coach means always thinking about the game.
After going 5-13 overall last season, Camilletti said a lot of her time is spent looking to see what areas her girls need to improve in.
“We obviously look back at last year and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and see, as a coaching staff, where we can improve,” she said. “As a coach, your team is always in the back of your mind. How do we get in better shape, work on jumping and get stronger in the weight room?
“It is a mind-consuming job.”
Of all the MCHS coaches, boys basketball head coach Eric Hamilton may benefit the most from this offseason.
Hamilton was hired in August to take over the program, and with fall sports, he didn’t have much time to get familiarized with his players.
“Anymore, high school basketball has become so competitive and so many teams play year-round, so the work we can do now is huge,” Hamilton said. “I am all about guys doing their own individual thing, but the time I can spend with the team is time we can build chemistry, which is always important.”
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