How should you be training now that the basketball offseason is here? There are so many ways to train, so many YouTube videos showing ways you should be training - but are they really how you should be training? In my short video below you'll hear some of the best recommendations for training during this early offseason time. Ditch the speed ladder - it doesn't help you get faster, get out of the basketball gym - I mean it - and improve your game with the tips below to help you dominate next season.
Now that it's the basketball offseason for many high school teams - and for the rest of the high school and college teams the offseason is just around the corner - I wanted to share some tips with you that have been tested throughout the world over by many strength coaches. And these are tips that I wish I knew when I was still playing in college and professionally because these help basketball players improve dramatically during the offseason.
***And many of these tips are NOT practiced by most strength coaches or athletes.
In this first phase of offseason training - and this is contrary to what many of you want to hear (and have been told) - you need to get off the basketball court. You need to rest your joints. What we are going to do in the gym is work on structural balance and body composition. What I mean by body composition is the ration of lean muscle mass to body fat. Many players lose lean muscle throughout the season. They don't eat enough, they don't train as hard, and they lose their muscle mass. So some players need to gain muscle. Some players need to lose body fat. Strength to weight ratio really affects speed and explosiveness - so maybe you need to lose some fat. That's what I mean by body composition. So we need to focus on maybe gaining muscle or burning fat and this phase of the offseason is the perfect time to do that.
The other thing that we need to focus on is structural balance. What I mean by that is every player by the end of the season will have developed some imbalances. Maybe they'll have weak glutes, weak hamstrings in relation to their quadriceps, maybe weak low back or even weak VMO's. These can be found out quickly with a couple simple tests like the klatt test, which I run on all my athletes, and then the exercises that you do during your workouts should focus on correcting those weaknesses.
***See this link for more information on which exercises help to improve each specific lower body weakness.
If you have weaknesses - if you are out of structural balance - you will be more prone to injury and your performance will suffer. It's for those reasons we want to focus our body and focus our nervous system on optimal training regarding structural balance and body composition. So no on-court time. That also means no plyometrics in the weight room. There is plenty of time to do that closer to the season. You shouldn't be jumping or running during this phase. You're going to rest your joints. You're going to get stronger and you're going to improve your weaknesses. And if you need to gain muscle - if you're too lean - we'll work on hypertrophy or muscle building - and if you are a little overweight and need to lose some fat we're going to work on some fat burning and get you leaner.
The longer time before the season that we have for you to train on the court with your "new body" is better. That's why we want to do that now at the beginning of the offseason. We want to create your "new body" and then have you spend as much time on the court using that body for basketball-related skills to aid in the mind-muscle connection.
Typically in this first phase of offseason workouts you should be training in the 8-10 or 10-12 rep range - or hypertrophy zone. I like this because more reps allows for more rehearsal of the movements. Again, a lot of players don't train very hard during the season. And some of that motor memory or muscle memory gets lost. So we aren't trying to do sets of 3 reps or 5 reps - we're not trying to get strong right now. We want to peak you in the preseason and right when that tip-off of the very first regular season game happens. That's when we're working on strength and plyometrics. But for right now we are going to rehearse the movements, improve our weaknesses and for that reason we'll be in the 8-10 or 10-12 rep range.
We want you to peak right when that tip-off of the very first regular season game happens.
Besides that you need to focus on your nutrition and your sleep. If you imagine your body is like a car at the end of a race the gas tank is low. A lot of athletes have a low gas tank at the end of the season ... their nervous system is fried, their muscles are fried, their joints are fried. You need to focus on your sleep this first phase, you need to focus on your nutrition this first phase, you need to focus on correcting your imbalances this first phase.
Those are my recommendations for you basketball players who are just starting your offseason or are about to start your offseason. Get in the weight room, get out of the basketball gym, get in the weight gym, get your food right and optimize your sleep. Most athletes need 8-10 hours per night - especially the younger you are the more you need!
Those are my tips for now. Feel free to ask any questions below. I'll be happy to answer them. Please subscribe to my channel and check back often for more basketball related content.