As school begins and summer washes away into fall, basketball season will be quickly upon us. As a basketball player you want to be prepared and ready for the season that’s about to commence, but what’s the best way to accomplish such a goal? Do you know what you should be doing as a player?

If not, here are some great ideas to get you started:

  1. Know Your Strengths: Look at your strengths as an individual and in a team setting from the year before. What did you do well to help your team win? What do you do well individually that makes you stand out? Once you’ve decided on the strengths of your game, get into the gym and continue to work on those tools to keep them sharp and honed.
  2. Know Your Weaknesses: What do you need to improve on from last year? What area of the game do you need to improve on more so than your opponents or other teammates? In what areas did your coach want you to get better at in the off-season? This is something you have to be absolutely honest with yourself about if you’re going to get better. Write down the things you’d like to improve on, or talk about them with another teammate, parent, or coach and begin putting together workouts to improve. For example, if you feel your three point shot was solid the prior year, but you need to get better at your mid range jumper, work on that distance off the dribble and by catching and shooting (try and do every drill like it’s a game and at game speed, this way once you begin practices, you’re used to the speed).
  3. Tailor Workouts to the System Your Team Runs: As you prepare your pre-season workouts to get ready for the season, it can help to know the type of offenses and defenses your coach runs. If he or she is partial to a dribble drive offense, work on your ball handling and correct pivot foot techniques. If you’re a post player and your coach runs a high-low offense, work on catching the ball at the free throw line, as well as your body positioning at the low post. Factors such as these will make you more experienced and attentive to the needs of your team once practices begin. Ask your coach his or her plans for the year, and align your pre-season workouts to them.
  4. The Conditioning Factor: Finally, there is something that every individual can do to be prepared for the start of his or her season. If accomplished, this specific tool will give you a head start above competitors and teammates you’re looking to beat out, while simultaneously allowing you to focus on other aspects of your game… That something is being in basketball shape. Anyone can get in great shape leading up to the season with dedication and hard work, and it makes such an incredible difference in your game! Not only with how you feel on the court, but in the eyes of the coaching staff, and from the perspective of your fellow teammates. How is getting in shape best accomplished? The quickest way is to play basketball a lot. Play, play, and play some more. The more your body gets used to running up and down the court, playing defense and moving on offense the better shape you’ll be in. Other ways are short five to ten minute runs, timing yourself at a high pace, mixing in sets of defensive slides, doing jumping exercises, and if conducting a lifting program working quickly through your sets. Work hard to be in the greatest shape imaginable for the start of your season, and success will closely follow.

The season is almost here! Time to get to work!

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