Charlotte High basketball coach Tom Massolio has never been one to sit on his hands during a crisis.
When Hurricane Charlie ripped through Punta Gorda, Massolio and a group of coaches traveled through the county doing repairs and odd jobs for residents in need.
“We’d go out and fix people’s houses and do different things they needed for about three weeks,” Massolio said. “I’m one of those people that can’t just sit around and not try and help people.”
Now the county, along with the rest of the world, has another crisis at hand. The spread of COVID-19 has canceled schools and subsequently all athletics along with it.
Massolio has coached at Charlotte for 2 1/2 decades and has become an authority in the southwest Florida.
So when area athletes needed something to keep them in shape during this indefinite hiatus, Massolio sprang into action, developing an online class that provides daily workouts for his team as well as other area athletes.
The class is available on Google Classroom with the course code: 3rscpoz. Workouts are also posted on the Tarpons’ boys basketball Facebook page.
“I don’t want my guys sitting around, I want them to get up because all I hear is how bored they are,” Massolio said. “It’s just about getting kids up and getting them active. But obviously we don’t want them running around the neighborhood or getting other kids involved.”
It’s been a work in progress, but is beginning to take shape. Massolio has enlisted former players and colleagues to aid in the development of workouts.
The program includes a well-rounded array of shooting, ball handling and defensive drills and includes ways to use household objects in the training in case players don’t have a hoop at home.
A sample workout featured 10 sections: ball handling (dribble moves), form shooting (one handed shots), post moves (with chair as defender), rebounding and finishing, conditioning (sprints), free throws, catch and shoot, Allen Iverson drill (shooting off the dribble), more conditioning (burpees) and all conclude with a 10,000 step challenge for the day.
“You don’t know what people’s situations are with their baskets if they even have one,” Massolio said. “It’s a different workout every day with rest days. Like (Sunday) was a challenge day where you like play your parent one on one. It gets them better at basketball or at least gives them an activity to do.”
Theme days have been added to keep things light and fun. Massolio broke down all-time starting fives for teams like Auburn and the Boston Celtics so far.
All of the Tarpons are using the program and other athletes around the area are following suit. It keeps them active and their skills sharp while they are away from their coaches and teams.
“It’s very difficult since we can’t go to the gym and workout and lift weights. Also with AAU being postponed, it really takes a toll on a number of guys,” Charlotte senior Tre Carroll said. “I just do the workouts on my outside hoop because we can’t leave our house. It’s helping us stay active and not have us on the couch.”