Hold Your Own Open Gym
High school athletes are expected to spend time practicing in the off-season of the sports they participate in. They call these "open gyms." They are truly "open"—you will see middle school as well as college players dropping in. Coaches don't coach at these events—they may unlock the doors and watch the activity, but the drills and scrimmages are organized by one of the players on the team, usually a high school senior.
Open gyms aren't typically required, but are highly encouraged by coaches. These evenings offer the athlete a great way to stay in condition for the sport. It's also a fun way to experiment with different techniques and learn them before the season (and tryouts) begin.
One phenomenon that occurs shouldn't be a surprise: athletes who participate in open gyms continually improve their skills before the season. You can have an athlete who does well in a sport—they may be a starting player—but decide not to participate in the off-season. Another athlete who is solid, but perhaps not as talented, participates in every open gym and at tryouts is significantly ahead of the former starter who took their skills (and position) for granted. I've seen this over the past few years on my daughters' teams and while there is some sadness for the kid who doesn't yet understand that hard work is a big part of success, it's inspiring to see someone grow and improve by spending some extra time on the court or the field.
While there's no true off-season for promotional professionals, we all know there are times during the year where our customers are less active. Taking a short vacation while customers are on vacation is always a welcome break. Beyond that, use that down time wisely. Have your own open gym and keep yourself on your game: