Training and conditioning is just as important as working on your shot in basketball. The truth is that if you are not in shape you won’t have the physical capacity to use your skills to the highest degree. Think about it; if you are out of breath are you as likely to make a three pointer or will it end up hitting the front of the rim?
Basketball training today looks a lot different than it did in the past. I mean just take a look at a couple things related to Larry Bird’s living habits. The dude literally put together his mother’s driveway even though he was a multimillionaire. Not only that, but he injured his back in the process which effectively ended his career. Can you image Lebron James building an driveway on his free time?
Now we are not saying that you shouldn’t be willing to do manual labor, but we are saying that you should make sure you are physically prepared to do any demanding task.
Larry Legend also had some poor eating habits during his playing career.
These days the best players in the world take care of their body in a way that past generations didn’t even consider. Take a look at Lebron’s diet. This guy takes inventory on everything that goes into his body, and for good reason. Food is the fuel of the body. If you are putting in a bunch of processed pizza pockets than you can be sure your body will not perform optimally.
For basketball players make sure you are getting a good deal of healthy fats, which can come from things like coconut oil, avocados, and nuts. Do not eat too many carbs, and make sure to get plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables which have important vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling your best.
In the old days guys would hit the bench press and just do rep after rep thinking this was going to prepare them for game time.
But if you want to be the best basketball player possible you need to work on strengthening the muscles most utilized in basketball. This means your focus should be on building a solid core, meaning your abs, back, and hips. Quads and hamstrings should be strengthen threw quick and explosive movement exercises like those in the Vert Shock Program.
Exercises that involved jumping and other types of interval training are always good for basketball players.
Meditation has so many great properties that enhance athletic performance. Mindfulness meditation helps to decrease anxiety allowing basketball players to focus in on the present moment. This is incredibly powerful when you are in a late game situation and you are expected to rise up to the occasion. If you have yourself mentally prepared for the moment then the moment won’t overwhelm you.
I see too many players when they practice not have any rhyme or reason for what they do. They willy nilly take shots and slowly get their rebound and shot again, and again and again.
Have a plan for each practice session. If you are working on dribbling make sure to have 5 or so drills that you can do at full speed. If you notice you are a weaker shooter from a certain spot on the court then work on it! If you need to work on passing and vision, then work on not telegraphing your passes.
When people think of basketball players they generally think tall. But the fact is that many great players have been at least small in relation to their professional counterparts. Steve Nash, Isiah Thomas, Muggsy Bogues, and Spud Webb come to mind when we think of small players who excelled at the highest level. All these players have some things in common that made them effective NBA players despite being vertically challenged. Let’s take a look at five things that you can do a small basketball player that will make you great!
As a small basketball player you need to really master the art of dribbling. You can see the benefit of skilled dribbling by watching clips of Steve Nash and more recently Stephen Curry. It is amazing how each of these players can use their handle to bring the defense to its knees. Work on drills where you dribble two basketballs simultaneously so that you when you are dribbling one in a game it feels like a breeze.
Being a great shooter for your team does a lot to ensure success. When you are hitting threes it spreads the defense out allowing for lanes to open up for driving. You can also rack up points in a hurry by having your jumper on point. As a point guard you will likely be primarily a distributor to your teammates but being an offensive threat yourself will add another dimension to your skill set.
Great point guards are thinking point guards. As a shorter player you will often have to out think your competition to better them. Be crafty, smart, and unselfish and winning will follow. It is important that you know how to attack man-to-man defenses and zones. Watch for lanes to open up for drives to get layups or kick outs to your sharp shooters for open threes.
Also watch for how your defender is playing. Are they playing off? Are they playing you tight? Then counteract appropriately and watch them get frustrated. Steve Nash has outstanding basketball IQ. We suggest you watch videos of him playing to gain an understanding of basketball IQ and how it can help you beat taller more athletic competition.
As a shorter basketball player you need to be crafty to get shots off in traffic without being blocked by the bigs underneath the hoop. One of the most effective and popular ways to do this is by shooter a floater. This shot takes practice and skill to develop, but can make a huge difference in your game.
This shot will also force defenders to come of their man quicker when you drive allowing you to drop dimes by dumping off passes to your teammates in the lane. Here’s a tutorial on the floater:
You are going to need every advantage you can get when playing basketball and here is one that just requires hard work: get in shape. If you can out run your opponents you will leave them gassed and eating your dust. With greater stamina you can also get out in transition more often and with greater speed, which with the revolution of small ball is becoming a critical element to success in basketball.
So, get running, get lifting, and do cardio focused basketball drills that will take your conditioning to the next level.