10 things to know for your offseason workout
Do you have a plan for your offseason basketball workout?
If you are truly a basketball player and you are the type to spend a ton of hours on your game, but do NOT have an offseason workout routine then you are missing out on an AMAZING opportunity to take your game to the next level!
During the offseason, you have a small window of time to improve on the important things that will enhance your performance on the court.
Well look no further, I have created a offseason basketball workout guide to provide you with the direction that you need to maximize your summer workout!
Here are the top 10 things to know for your offseason workout!
1. You should be playing a lot of basketball, AAU, pick-up games, very competitive games…
During the offseason, as a basketball player you should engage in a number of activities to prepare for your next season. One of these is playing basketball as often as possible.
Playing a ton of basketball will help you validate if the time spent working out is paying off. This was super important for me as I utilized the specific skills that I needed to work on against my defender in an actual game.
While playing pick up basketball, make sure you continue to focus A LOT of your attention on developing your skills. For example, if you know you need to shoot a higher percentage, take the time to improve your shooting ability and then focus on those fundamentals during a game. Besides just playing pick-up games, 1-on-1, and AAU, here is a list of competitive basketball games you should play during the offseason.
…Don’t stop here, continue to add more competitive games to the list!
2. You should be working on your strength, conditioning, agility, footwork and speed
It is a very important to take time in the offseason to become stronger. You should be engaged in weight training, so that you can embrace contact, have better control, and become mentally tough. As I got stronger, I wasn’t afraid to go inside with the big guys and draw contact. This allowed me to get a few And-1s!
During the offseason you should spend A LOT of your time in the weight room. Here is a basketball weightlifting schedule for beginner, intermediate, and the more serious basketball players. These schedules will allow you to spend 3 to 4 days out of the week working on your strength.
As a result of strength training, when your season begins, you will see an improvement in your agility, speed, power and condition. You should perform exercises such as squats, rows, pushes and dead-lifts.
Lastly, having strong legs will help with your explosion to the rim, quickness, endurance, and more…
3. Stretching is important during the offseason
Stretching is very important to any athlete. For a basketball player, it is essential! During the offseason, you should stretch as much as possible in-between workouts and afterwards too.
As you stretch, concentrate your efforts on your ankles, legs and foot joints. This is because these parts of your lower body receive the most punishment during the season.
If you wear ankle braces during games, you should give them a break in the offseason to avoid causing problems with your knees.
I would encourage you to do things such as barefoot training, light footwork drills and balance touches during the offseason. This will allow your ankles to experience a full range of motion slowly and comfortably. As a result, you will begin your season with a fresh pair of ankles ready to perform.
4. Offseason basketball workouts can maximize your strengths, focus in on your weaknesses, and allow you to work on every aspect of your game
During the offseason, you should work on various skills and moves. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Try new things, so that your creativity on the practice court will shine during games. Ensure that you work on every aspect of the game.
Ensure that you maintain the three D’s. These are the following:
- Dedication: – a “dedicated basketball player” will wake up early before everyone is awake and work on their game, they will skip out on partying with their friends to work on their game, they will find new ways to improve their game, they will spend countless hours working out…the list goes on!
- Determination: – a “determined basketball player” will make 100 shots and will not be satisfied, they will be determined to make their basketball team through hard work, they will continue to critic themselves in an effort to get better…we could continue to name the qualities of a determined basketball player.
- Discipline: – a “disciplined basketball player” will continue to focus on their fundamentals, they will stick to their basketball offseason routine throughout the entire summer, and more…
Develop dedication to commit to your offseason workout schedule. Stay determined and disciplined to succeed in your efforts. Listen to your coach and give it 110% on every drill. Practice according to your position and perfect your strengths as you correct your weaknesses. This will ensure that you will become a successful and better basketball player.
5. Become an excellent ball-handler
Ball handling skills are very essential in basketball. It is very important to know how to dribble at a high level. I remember when coach John Calpari from Kentucky came and talked to my kids, one kid asked, “What type of player do you recruit?” He said, “the players who have amazing ball-handling abilities!”. He furthered stated that those are the players who can better handle pressure and not turn the ball over as much.
During the offseason, you should engage in practice sessions to make your ball handling skills simple and effective. The first step is to get as comfortable as possible with dribbling the basketball.
This will improve your ambidexterity, quickness and hand-eye coordination.
Also, dribble the ball up and down the court at different speeds. Ensure that you can do this with both hands and with your head up. In addition to this, perfect how to dribble as you move backwards.
It sounds simple but it will thoroughly improve your ball handling skills. In the words of arguably the best ball handler in the NBA today, Kyrie Irving said, “When I make a move, it’s really a simple move. It’s just done with pace.”
Focus on the ability to change pace abruptly as you dribble. Use some of the ball-handling drills below and you will have amazing ball handling skills when the season begins.
- Figure 8 Basketball Ball Handling Dribbling Drill
- Spider Basketball Ball Handling Dribbling Drill
- 2 Basketball Ball Handling Dribbling Drill
- V Dribble Basketball Ball Drill
- Crossover Dribble
- Weak Hand Dribbling Drills
- Youth Basketball Dribbling Drills
- Advanced Cone Dribbling Drill
- Top Basketball Drills Infographic
6. Practice free throws in the offseason
Free throws are very important in the game of basketball. They often determine which team wins or lose.
According to statistics, the outcome of 75% of ALL games are determined by free throws. That’s a LARGE percentage!
Three fundamentals of shooting free throws consist of; the attitude that you do it with, your routine at the line, and focus.
Take the time in the offseason to develop an aggressive and optimistic attitude when shooting free throws. Adopt an attitude that your opponent made a serious mistake in fouling you and you are going to score free throws to make them pay for it.
7. Focus on excelling in your academics
The off season gives you time to focus on your academics. This is super important! Without the grades, you can’t earn a basketball scholarship at the collegiate level.
Imagine that you have the same ability as another player, they play the same position, and the college coach is trying to decide between you or him. Guess what, if he has better grades, they probably will pick him! They know he is less likely to be an academic liability.
During the season, you may not be able to spend as much time as you would like studying. However, you can refresh your memory on your subjects in the offseason. You can also encourage your parents to invest in a tutor to help you brush up on any necessary concepts.
8. Track your progression in the offseason
You can also take time to track your progression during the offseason. Your coach can guide you in doing this. You can refer to the program results from your last offseason period and compare them with the results you are getting in the current offseason. This will help you to know if you are making progress and by how much.
If you want some real-time tracking, check out the hoop tracker!
9. If you don’t have someone training you, you should find a good coach or someone who knows basketball to come and evaluate your efforts
Sometimes, you may not have a personal coach but you need an expert opinion on your basketball practice and progress. You can get a fellow player to come over and help you improve your basketball skills. Even the coach of your former or current high school can be of great assistance.
The reason I put this in the top 10 is because if you don’t have an expert there to guide you and provide feedback, you may never know that you are performing something incorrectly.
Having someone who trains other players is preferable because they can see things and can provide great insights that others may not!
I can’t STRESS this enough! PLEASE know and understand basketball fundamentals! Without fundamentals is like building a house with no foundation! Do you think that house will continue to stand strong?
The offseason is the perfect time to work on your skills and basketball fundamentals. Dedicate 75% of your time on improving your basketball skills and 25% of your time to playing.
Ensure that you work on your fundamentals, such as; shooting, lay ups, ball-handling, defense, rebounding, passing and etc. during the offseason.
A lot of players are more flash than substance! AAU has too much of this and it bothers me. A player with more fundamentals and hard-work will out last a player with raw talent any day!
Playing a lot of competitive basketball will allow you to validate your training.
Take the time in the offseason to work on your strength, agility, quickness, and endurance so that you can perform at a high level in the 4th quarter.
Excel in your academics and track your progress!
Have an expert train your or critic your training so that you can continue to improve your skills.
If you have a favorite offseason workout or have some thoughts about this article, share it with me and everyone else in the comments below.