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Preparing For Your Basketball Season

Well summer is over and school is now in full swing, you still have several weeks before your first official practice. If you haven't been doing anything to prepare for this upcoming basketball season, you better get started!

Whether you are a question mark to make the JV team or a potential All-State player, being in anything less than outstanding basketball condition is unacceptable. Your conditioning level is something you have complete control over, and if you are not in great shape, look no further than the mirror. If you come into your first official practice in great shape you are sending a huge message to your coach and everyone else in the gym.

We all know Basketball is a high-intensity game played at a very fast pace so going out and running three miles every day will not get you in basketball shape. Also having played a sport prior to your basketball season isn’t a guarantee to being in shape. Basketball is a game of reading and reacting, quick changes of direction, and sprinting, jumping, defensive sliding, and back pedaling. To get in, and stay in, top basketball shape you need to participate in a series of progressive, game-like drills!

Our HOOPZONE pre-season camps not only offer skill development such as dribbling, ball handling and shooting, but also aggressive conditioning. If you do not make it to a camp setting then I’ve listed here some conditioning suggestions to get into great basketball shape.

- High intensity/short duration, drills should last 15-60 seconds
- Drills that focus on sprinting, back pedal, defensive slides and jumping
- Compete against teammate or clock
- Find drills you enjoy doing, you will work harder if you are enjoying what you’re doing

Rest And Nutrition
You need to try to get eight hours of sleep each night to make sure you are well rested enough to give 100 percent at every workout. You also need to make sure you drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can affect performance on the court and in the weight room. You also need to eat a healthy diet and stay away from junk food day in and day out.

Strength Training
In this day and age basketball players are getting bigger and wider. Proper strength training will increase the size/strength of your muscles (giving you a bigger advantage!). If your muscles are stronger, they can produce more force, which means you will be able to run faster and jump higher (and you will also be less likely to be injured). Here are a few guidelines:

+ Frequency of training: 2-3 workouts per week
+ Duration of training: 40-60 minutes per workout
+ Intensity of training: Perform each set to a point that no other "quality" repetitions are possible.
+ Repetition Ranges: 8-15 repetitions per set (reaching muscle failure prior to eight repetitions means the resistance is "too heavy" and increases orthopedic stress)
+ Utilize what is available--free weights, machines, manual resistance, etc. To make your workouts as effective as possible, utilize compound movements like squats, lunges, step-ups, pull-ups, bench presses, rows, and shoulder presses.

The primary goal of your conditioning program should be to get in peak basketball shape. There is a huge difference between being fit and being in basketball shape. You are not a track athlete and not marathon runner; so don't train as such. You should aim for each workout to incorporate drills that include sprinting, cutting, back pedaling, defensive sliding, and jumping with appropriate work to rest rations to maximize intensity. The more game like the drill--the better! You must go all out every rep of every drill in every workout to truly reach your conditioning potential.

I could give you an outline but I’d rather suggest you contact your coach and ask them for suggestive strength and conditioning drills. This will have a 2 fold purpose. You get drills that are just right for you and you’ll also be letting your coach know you are willing to go the extra mile and do your pre-season work.

One thing that unites every player in the world this preseason is the power to choose. You have the right to choose how you will train this preseason. Every one of us is a product of the choices we make on a daily basis. Where ever we are in life, we are there as a result of the choices we have made. If you are happy and successful, it is because of your choices. If you are unhappy and miserable, it is also because of your choices, the same goes for preseason training. When the season is here, if you are in great shape it is because you made the choice to be in great shape!

Good luck with your game,

Coach O


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