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7 Tips For Developing Offseason Workouts- By Don Kelbick
- Evaluate The Past Season
Before you start on any offseason development program, you have to evaluate the past season. I don't mean just the game season. I think you have to go back to the previous year's workouts and decide whether you got what you wanted to get from them. If you spent a majority of your time working on your shooting, did you shoot it better? If your goal was to cut down on turnovers, did it happen for you? What did you do to accomplish that? Before you know where to go, you have to know where you are and how you got there.
- Anticipate Future Needs
Look at your game. Where is it now and where do you need to be? Who is on your schedule next season? Who are their players? What do you have to do to win a championship? While all works should be to help you get better, there may be things that you need to do that exceed the things that you want to do. Evaluate your role on the team. Can you play more than one position? Are there other players that can do the same things that you can? Can you help your team by giving it an added dimension that they don't have? Becoming better at things that you don't need is not getting better, it's getting worse.
- Identify Strengths
In the game of basketball, you cannot be good at everything. However, the things you are good at, you should strive to be great at. Too often, players do not progress as they should and it is mostly because someone told them to work on their weaknesses during the off -season. However, strengths are strengths because they are good at it. If you don't continue to work on your strengths, they will become weaknesses. Then where are you?
Spend a majority of your time on your strengths and where they fit into the game. It is entirely possible that you can develop your strengths significantly enough to overcome your weaknesses.
- Identify Weaknesses
What are the things you feel you need to improve on? In reality, you are going to be weaker in more areas than you are strong in. It has to be, you can't be good at everything. Select 1 or 2 things you feel are significant enough to improve you and your team and you can affect in a particular period of time.
Work your weaknesses into a progression. If you are not good at creating your shot off the dribble, put that at the end of your progression. Start with form shooting, go to jump shooting and so on and then the last thing in your progression will be shooting off the dribble. That way, you have significant work on your strengths, have built your confidence and then, when you are feeling good about yourself, you have gone into the things you don't have as much confidence in with a positive frame of mind.
- Determine Time Available
It takes time to improve. It takes repetition, repetition, and repetition. Days, weeks, months of constant work to really improve the things you would like to use in competition.
When putting your workout plan into action, you have to determine how much time you have for your workouts and how long will it take for you to improve that skill to make it worthwhile of the time. If you have an hour per day for 2 weeks, it is not realistic to think that in that period of time you can become a great 3-point shooter. No matter how much you want to be a great shooter, your time is better spent working on something else that you can improve in that period of time. That does not mean you should not practice your shooting, of course you should. But, don't let that desire to be a great 3-point shooter get in the way of the things that you can realistically expect to improve in that time span.
- Compete To Evaluate Progress
The purpose for play in the workout season is to evaluate your progress. You don't need to play for competition; you get that during the season. The chance of injury becomes greater when you play in competition after competition. If you get hurt and it takes you off the floor for a period of time, it will drastically set back your progress. Use and pick your competition wisely.
Use competition and games as a gauge as to how effective your workouts have been. Are you improving on the things that you want to? Where do you need to spend more time, less time? Are your strengths getting stronger or are they slipping? Competition is the only way to tell.
There is no way to underestimate the value of rest in the workout season. Rest keeps you mentally sharp and helps prevent injuries. The two most common causes of injury are fatigue and overuse. Rest alleviates both causes. Working when you are rested helps build strong psychomotor pathways, which are the highways that your nerve impulses travel when performing fine motor skills. Well-ingrained psychomotor pathways are what you need to create the muscle memory necessary for consistent skill performance. Working while fatigued breaks down those pathways.
It is easy, when you are motivated, to say, "go, go, go," all the time. Sometimes you have to take a step back to move ahead.
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