The Wolf Pack Basketball Club finished their summer training sessions and did not have time to rest on their laurels as they picked up where they left off.
Of course, practice times have been different this year, COVID-19 has caused problems for many sport groups. Wolf Pack head coach Tim Brady said the club, who has been training out of the Canada Games Centre, is taking things week-by-week.
“It has been a challenge,” said Brady. “We have a wide number of age groups. The young age groups, U11, have never travelled to tournaments so it is a question of technique and skills and games within games.”
For the older athletes, who have experienced Outside tournaments, Brady said it has been his mission to keep them motivated during training with no immediate competitive games or tournaments on the horizon.
“Most kids in the program are familiar with going Outside and competing,” said Brady. “We have our routine where we practice technique and skill.
“Then we do small-sided games, two-on-two, three-on-three, and we try to make those competitive and fun. We also try and make it challenging and just beyond the reach of some of the athletes so they continue to advance, develop, and learn.”
Brady is running four sessions a week out of the Canada Games Centre.
The times are shorter than pre-pandemic training. Still, he believes people are appreciative to have an activity.
“I think the kids and parents really appreciate some opportunity to have physical activity,” he said. “Everyone is cooperating and doing their best.”
Training sessions have been planned in two-week blocks so the club can accommodate any changes to COVID-19 measures.
“Everyone has been understanding of that,” said Brady.
The focus of the training has been on what is going on right now, and what they can control, but there has been some talk about the future. Brady said it is important to keep the athletes engaged and challenged while having fun so when it does come time to play they will be ready.
“There really is no better teacher than the game itself,” said Brady. “When we are able to go out again we will do our best.”
Currently, Brady said there is a waiting list for the training sessions.
Because they are held at the CGC, there are only two baskets at the club’s disposal. He is hopeful by November they can get back into school gyms.
“The time-frame for school gyms has been pushed back two or three times,” said Brady. “I’m hoping that changes.”
When or if the school gyms can be used for outside user groups, Brady said he can hold training sessions for younger age groups and just open up more to those on the waiting list.
Until that change, Brady said they will continue to be adaptable.
“We will continue to adapt, everyone has had too,” said Brady. “We just have to continue creating that fun feeling in the programs.
“At the CGC, we will share the court with other groups. Sometimes it will be Zumba and they have their music going and we will warm up with them.”