What is your training philosophy?
I asked a veteran trainer this the other day in casual conversation and he froze. He looked like I asked him the capital of Zimbabwe. He has been training for years and he didn’t know (or at least he couldn’t verbalize) his own training philosophy! Wow.
Whether you are a player or a coach, you should know the ‘why’ behind what you do in the weight room and on the court. The ‘why’ is your training philosophy.
Your training philosophy is the foundation of everything you do in strength & conditioning. Your philosophy should dictate every aspect of your program – every rep of every set every workout.
The Foundation of My Training Philosophy
1) Train players in a way that will help reduce the occurrence and severity of injuries – both acute and cumulative.
2) Train players in a way that will improve how they move and function on the court – which will allow them to perform their basketball specific skills at a higher level.
3) Train players in a way that instills sound work habits, accountability, discipline, respect, communication, competitiveness, toughness and proper exercise technique (and footwork).
A basketball player’s strength & conditioning is the foundation of their entire game. A sturdy foundation will help keep them healthy and on the court as well as will give them the potential to take their skills to a higher level. Shooting, ball handling, passing, rebounding, and defending can all be enhanced when a player improves their strength, quickness, mobility, explosiveness, and conditioning.
That is why THE BEST PLAYERS ARE IN THE BEST SHAPE!
Strength & conditioning is more than just lifting weights. A comprehensive program needs to address every aspect of performance:
My Training Philosophy Expanded
Strength & conditioning for basketball is a means to an end, not an end itself. A properly implemented training program will give players the potential to improve their game… but it doesn’t do it automatically. Regardless of how fit or strong a player is, if they can’t shoot, pass, rebound, defend or handle the ball… they won’t be a very successful basketball player! They will just be a fit human being. They must constantly practice and improve their basketball specific skills (both mental and physical).
My Strength Training Philosophy
Basketball players are not Olympic lifters, Powerlifters, or bodybuilders… so they shouldn’t train as such. A basketball player’s strength program needs to reflect the specific demands of the sport. The goal is to produce better basketball players, not better ‘weight lifters.’ Being able to bench press 300 lbs. has very little direct value in basketball. Players should use a variety of exercises and modalities, should work in all 3 planes of motion, should work through a full (pain free) range of motion, and should work every muscle group (and joint) in the body. They should aim to work the front/back & left/right sides of their body equally to help reduce muscular imbalances. Players should be able to control their own bodyweight and perform functional movements (like the squat, lunge, and push-up) correctly.
My Conditioning Philosophy
The primary goal of a conditioning program should be to get players in peak basketball shape. Being able to run 3 miles is great for cross-country, but doesn’t do much for basketball. Under the umbrella of ‘conditioning’ are the vital components of proper jumping/landing and accelerating/decelerating.
Basketball is a game that involves varying bouts of very high-intensity work. Each workout should incorporate drills that include sprinting, cutting, back pedaling, defensive sliding, and jumping. Once footwork and technique have been mastered, the goal should be for maximum effort in every rep of every drill of every workout in order to truly reach a conditioning potential.
It is important to acclimate the body’s muscles and joint structures by practicing the specific movements used in basketball. If a conditioning program only incorporates straight ahead sprinting (a typical ‘track’ workout), it will not sufficiently prepare the hip, groin, and ankle areas - all of which are high-risk areas of injury for basketball players.
To get into great basketball shape, a conditioning program should be:
· Energy system specific: Conditioning drills need to be short to medium in duration (15-60 seconds) and very intense with limited rest.
· Movement specific: Utilize basketball movement patterns: sprinting, back pedaling, and defensive sliding. Stress changing direction (agility) and the importance of being able to plant and pivot off of either foot. Emphasize being in an athletic stance at all times with hands up and active.
· Progressive: Intensity and volume should increase, while rest should decrease. In other words, workouts should get progressively harder!
· Competitive: Players will work harder when they are challenged with competition. They can compete against each other or against the clock (i.e. themselves and their own ability). Remember, everything needs to be done at game speed.
· Fun: Players will work harder if they are having fun. Thus, it is good to use a variety of different drills to keep them from getting bored. Don’t just have players run “suicides.” Use imagination.
With that being said… P90X, Insanity, and CrossFit workouts, as a whole, do not address all of these criteria – so they fail to meet the specific demands basketball players require.
My ‘Jump Training for Basketball’ YouTube video was so popular, I had to make a Part II:
· Have you received the first 4 editions of my FREE ‘Basketball Nuggets’? If not, just email me.
· The Stronger Team Podcast is getting closer! Goal is to have them available on iTunes this summer!
· New products being released this summer at http://Shop.StrongerTeam.com:
o Downloadable PDF workout cards to accompany the 3 DeMatha Basketball DVDs.
o New DVDs with HoopsKing:
§ Killer 1st Step Explosiveness Drills
§ Lightening Quick Defensive Reaction Drills
o New DVD with Championship Productions:
§ DeMatha Basketball: All-Access (6+ hours of warm-ups, workouts, & practices!)
Please email me if I can help you in any way this summer: Alan@StrongerTeam.com.
Train hard. Train smart.
PS: By the way, the capital of Zimbabwe is Harare. Thank you Wikipedia!