Sep 012010

It is easy to workout during basketball season. You have coaches directing traffic, yelling, screaming, and making sure you stay motivated. You have trainers who work with you on stretching, strength conditioning, and staying focused. It is in the off-season when they are all gone when you make the difference in becoming a top-notch championship player, or just another guy on the bench.

Your off-season basketball workouts should consist of some very basic items. Let us examine three core areas you can focus on.

The first core area you must take care of everyday is staying in playing condition. This means running. Not jogging down the street, but getting those legs working in sprints just like you do during the season. By working hard on your speed and conditioning during the off-season you will be miles ahead of your teammates and opponents when the season begins. You will be the player streaking down the court for the easy layup.

The second core area is shooting. This is not running around playing a game with your buddies, or playing a game of horse. This is serious work time. Setup shooting spots on the floor you know are critical for your game. Take 50 shots from each spot and never stop shooting until you make 3 in a row to finish the spot. Do not take these shots leisurely, take them in game fashion. Jump high, imagine shooting over a defender, and watch the net rip as the ball goes through.

The last core area is strength conditioning. The off-season is the time to add muscle and power for the season. Schedule two to three workouts per week in a weight room. Work on explosive power and speed, not building mass. Plyometric boxes are an ideal way to work on increasing your jumping ability. Speed box squats, bench presses, and military presses are great for rounding out the power of your body. Consider adding in Olympic weight lifting moves for even greater explosive power from the court.

If you want to improve even further during the off-season recruit a couple basketball playing friends and have them challenge you in defensive drills. Move your feet and try to stay between them and the goal at all times. Practicing your foot speed and footwork is critical to becoming an outstanding player.

The last suggestion, at the end of your sprinting workout grab a basketball and go shoot free throws. You are going to be winded, tired, with your legs will be feeling a little drained. This simulates the feelings you have in the fourth quarter of big games. Practice your free throws trying to make at least five in row and averaging above 70 percent.

By following a simple plan during your off-season you will be the player voted most improved. You will be the player ready to take on the challenges thrown down by your coach. Your coaches will see the changes in your physical speed, power, endurance, and skills, and will reward you with more playing time and big game responsibility.

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