Basketball Workout in the Offseason
I know we are not currently in the basketball off-season, but I thought I would talk about what players do to prepare for the regular season. Some players do not understand how important preparation, conditioning, and skill development is in the off-season. My first question for young basketball players is, did you take the off-season off to rest? Did you simply sit on the couch, playing video games, munching down on chips while waiting until next season? While some might view the off-season as a time to rest and relax, this time is almost more important than the actual season.
While the season provides competition and your chance to play against others who love the game of basketball, you are going to have some of the most improvements during the off-season. This is because you have the time to work on areas you need to improve upon, train your body, improve your shape and go over every single aspect of your game. During the season there just isn’t much time for that. In fact, during the season you are working on drills to make the team better. During the off-season you are working on basketball drills to make yourself better. Several professional basketball players have shared their off-season schedule and workout habits, and you will find that it might actually be more extreme than what takes place during the season.
In the off-season, Amar’e Stoudemire eats an early breakfast and then goes straight to the gym to lift weights. During the season it is important to not go overboard with weight lifting, as it can fatigue the muscles for days and end up reducing the performance on the court. However, during the off=-season, it is possible to gain the most strength. After his extensive weight lifting, Amar’e is on the court, working on his inside game, which consists of jump hooks, baby hooks and short jumpers. He does this for about an hour and a half, shooting nothing but short hooks and jumpers. For the next hour and a half he works on his ball handling, face up moves to the basket and shooting. He doesn’t spend much time playing five on five, he focuses on specific drills that will help him improve on his individual skill set, five to six days a week.
Consistency is so important in your basketball off-season schedule. You need to stay at it! Basketball is not everything or is it? It gets to the point, where you ask yourself how bad do you want it. Yes, there is a very small chance that you will play in the NBA, but why concern yourself with that? If you love the game of basketball and want to improve and be the best player when you step on the court, you have to work at it. If you consistently work hard, have awesome grades, a little bit of luck and exposure, there is no telling where basketball can take you. Former NBA great and current NBA head coach, Jason Kidd said it best, “A lot of late nights in the gym, a lot of early mornings, especially when your friends are going out, you’re going to the gym, those are the sacrifices that you have to make if you want to be an NBA basketball player“. Exactly, so during the off-season, when you watch your friends go out to the movies and spend the days just goofing off, you probably want to join them, but this isn’t going to make you better. You need determination, focus, a vision, hard-work, persistence, dedication, I could go on for days, but if you have a lot of these attributes, you will surprise yourself! It might not always best the funnest thing to do, but it is going to transform you into a much better player. It is like anything in life, the more you work at it, the more experiences and failures that you endure, you will become successful at a specific skill. The more persistence and determination you put into your basketball off-season, the more your going to get out of your game.
Deron Williams follows a very similar workout schedule during the off-season, but he focuses a good amount of additional drills on improving his quickness. This includes short sprinting exercises, such as the shuttle drill, where he sprints from one baseline to the foul line and back, then to the three-point line and back, half-court and back, and so on until he runs the full length of the court. He generally does this at the end of the workout and tries to beat his time from the previous day. He also works out five to six times a week, although he admits he will play five on five a handful of times throughout the week. Deron mentioned that he will focus on a specific skills every time he plays in the off-season, for example, if he wants to have crisper and more precise passes, he will spend the majority of his time in pick-up games passing. This is pretty cool, to be an elite point guard, you have to be able to pass the ball exceptionally well.
The basketball off-season is a very important time in your development. You are going to learn new skills and polish the ones you currently have more so during this time of the year compared to the actual season. The season allows you to apply your hard-work versus other players and teams. Because of this, you need to work on not only your entire game, but also the finer points, to make every move crisp and better improved compared to the previous year. Don’t forget those fundamentals because that will take your game to another level if you have great basketball mechanics.I take pride on my life and basketball because of what I accomplished. If you have read my blog and my story, I came from nothing and made something out of basketball because of my consistent hard-work. I’m a 5’9″ soaking wet point guard who played Division 1 basketball and professionally overseas. It was all because I had a dream and applied my life to that dream. For a few off season workout tips, check out the LeBron James off-season workout video.