Basketball is a game of skill. Have you ever played with a player who doesn’t have the physical tools to take advantage of his skills? How about playing with a player who didn’t train well enough and was always getting hurt? I hope that you aren’t and never will be “That” player we are referring to.
To help insure that you never will be, you need to a have a plan for a year round basketball training program. For the program to be effective you will need to focus on different training methods depending upon the time of year.
During Your Games Season (November through March)
It is essential that you do not do any additional basketball training other than what your coach has you doing before, during, or after practice. Basketball seasons are long and physically grueling. Adding extra physical stress and fatigue to your body will result in decreased performance. Most of the time your coach devotes to training during the season will probably be devoted to maintaining strength conditioning, power, speed and agility, and flexibility.
Consult your coach for the best advice on putting together a program that is helpful to you and will not harm your body or cause injury.
It is important to stretch and warm up prior to each and every workout as well as to stretch and warm down to finish each one.
Improvement-Season Basketball Training Program (April through August)
Rest is an important part of the recovery that you need from the bumps, bruises, and minor injuries that you suffer during the long and often grueling basketball season. However, that doesn’t mean to not put in any work. Depending when your season ended, it is a good idea to stay out of the gym for a week or two before you start working out. It will refresh you both physically and mentally.
When you do return to the gym, your time should be spent doing shooting and dribbling workouts. Your aerobic conditioning should come from pushing yourself during these workouts and playing all out in open gyms or pick-up games.
This is also a time for you to work on a weight program. But, make sure that you develop it together with your coach to fit your needs and one that is safe for you to pursue. Make sure that you NEVER lift alone and are always with a teammate who can spot you and that you can return the favor.
Pre-season Basketball Training Program
Your pre-season training routine has two main areas of focus. One is to prepare yourself for the movements that happen most frequently in games. Those movements are sliding, pivoting, sprinting, backpedalling, jumping and landing. The second is to prepare your body to avoid injury during the season.
Your training program should be planned out in advance so that you are in game shape by the first day of practice. Having an advanced plan allows you to gradually build up so that you don’t overdo it early and have to stop your training program due to injury. It also keeps you on track so that you are where you need to be when practice begins.
When the opportunity presents itself, you should do as much sliding, pivoting, sprinting, backpedalling, jumping, and landing on a basketball court as you can. That way in addition to the aerobic benefits you attain, you will also be subjecting your feet to the friction that comes with starting and stopping during basketball practices and games.
Basketball is a game played with continuous starting and stopping. You must simulate those movements in your pre-season training. In addition to the aerobic training and the basketball specific movement drills include a weight program prescribed by your coach that is properly supervised.
The final part of the pre-season preparation is a plyometric program that will improve your quick and explosive jumping as well as prepare you to absorb the many thousands of landings that you will make over the course of the season.
Your time is certainly limited by other activities and interests other than basketball. It is impossible to do as much basketball training as you would like to do. There is no such thing as a perfect training program. The key is to do what you can, when you can, to improve yourself physically to become the best player you are capable of becoming.