'Projects' keep Heat fired up, says Spoelstra
CHARLOTTE, USA – For Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra, staying connected has been one of the most important things for the Heat as the NBA remains shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Since practice facilities have been shuttered, NBA teams have had to improvise, sometimes sending the players some of the equipment they may need.
“We’re working. Much of this is just to give everybody a routine and something to build their day around,” said Spoelstra.
“These are not 12-hour days. There is plenty of time and to prepare. We know how to grind. We know how to work.”
Spoelstra said Heat players do “projects” to make sure everyone stays physically and mentally healthy.
“It’s about connecting. There’s a couple of projects to do each day. Keep your mind engaged and active,” he said in a team conference call with media recently.
“We do our meetings on Zoom telecast so that we can see each other’s faces. Those workouts have the same kind of effect on theses group of players.
“The first 5, 10 minutes our guys are just catching up with each other and cracking jokes. It’s like they’re in the locker room before practice, just messing around. We all are just a little bit of that right now.”
There have been some changes in their mindset about the situation right now, especially from the conversations he has had with them and even his network of friends. (READ: Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra wants Heat to ‘feel real empathy’)
“Really our thoughts are about the people out there and what they’re going through. We’re doing fine. We’re making the most of it. To be frank, we’re not really looking for a competitive advantage,” said Spoelstra.
“We’re doing really is just to have a routine, to be able to see each other’s faces, to be able to get some workout and get some endorphins, positive endorphins. These things have been helpful.
“It is unique. I don’t think we’re doing anything different from anybody else in the league. We’re just trying to keep our guys engaged. We’re trying to have a routine meanwhile, while we’re all going through this.”
The workload the past couple of weeks, though, have been different even for his coaching staff as well.
He realized that most of them have young families, especially for him, who has been the head coach of the team for 12 seasons and is now raising two boys with wife Nikki.
“We’re spending an inordinate amount of time trying be helpful around the household. It dawned that this is our new reality for a lot of us,” he jested.
“It’s been good for a lot of us, especially in the coaching staff. Really, just trying to be helpful around the house and take a little bit a load off our wives.”
The Fil-Am coach knows that there will be challenges getting back to peak playing form given the situation.
However, the team knows that they have to do their part of staying home and practicing social distancing.
“I actually heard a phrase, somebody said, try not to think of it as social distancing, but more of physical distancing,” he said.
“You really want to stay socially connected as much as possible. In fact, the connection of our guys with each other or with the staff, we’re doing that. We can help with that quite a bit.
“But you connect with your friends, family members and maybe some people you haven’t really reached out too in a while and try to do it and see each other’s faces. I really think, those types of things can help in a situation like this which is so unique for all of us.” – Rappler.com