While the fundamentals of the game haven’t changed, the way basketball players at all levels train to enhance performance has changed greatly in the past 15 years. The game today requires true basketball athleticism – a unique combination of strength, power, agility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning.
A basketball player’s athleticism is the foundation of their entire game.
If a player can improve their strength, power, agility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning, then they can perform the skills of ball handling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and defending at a much higher, more efficient level before fatigue sets in.
While it’s true not all players have the genetic potential to be as athletic as Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Every basketball player can make improvements to their athleticism. Keep in mind, basketball athleticism is not just sprinting fast, jumping high or dunking.
With proper and purposeful training, players can make impressive improvements in their hand/eye coordination, footwork, acceleration/deceleration, reaction, strength, mobility, and conditioning level.
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Just as a player’s athleticism is the foundation of their game, the pre-season is the foundation for the upcoming season. What players do from the start of the school year until the day of the first practice will determine the type of season they have.
Your pre-season workouts need to address basketball athleticism and prepare players for the actual demands of the game! As simple as that may sound, many pre-season training programs lack this crucial component.
There are 3 important purposes for pre-season training:
- Reduce the frequency and severity of injuries
- Improve performance on the court
- Have fun and build team unity
If any exercise, drill or concept you use this pre-season doesn’t meet at least one of these three… then it is a major waste of time.
There are 6 primary movements in basketball:
- Defensive sliding
- Jumping (and landing)
Boston Sports Medicine Performance Group broke down a basketball game and observed the following:
- Average player’s heart rate: 165-170 beats per minute
- High-intensity sprints occur every 20-30 seconds
- 100-plus high intensity sprints per game
- 40-50 maximal jumps per game
- Change in movement every 2-3 seconds
- 30% of time is spent defensive sliding
- 15% of time is in high intensity
As you can see, basketball is game of quick, explosive bursts of multi-directional movements with short bouts of rest. In order for your pre-season workouts to be truly purposeful, they need to prepare players for these very specific demands.
Do you need help designing or implementing your basketball team’s pre-season workouts? The staff at True Athlete Performance brings a wealth of valuable experience after years of extensive work with youth, high school, and college players.
Our passion, enthusiasm, and innovative training techniques make us some of the areas leading experts on productive training for basketball players. We hope you consider the work we’ve done, the programs we’ve developed and the teams we have helped!