How to Maximize Your Basketball Off-Season

Basketball players: now is the time to commit to an off-season training program. STACK Expert Kyle Ohman offers five tips.

Maximizing Your Basketball Off-Season

It's never too early to start training for the next basketball season. Here are five off-season basketball training tips to get you off the couch and onto the court.

1. Develop a Game Plan

You want to maximize every trip to the gym and walk away after every training session as a better basketball player. Sit down for five to 10 minutes and figure out what basketball drills you plan to do. This will keep your workout moving and maximize your gym time.

Customize your plan to meet your specific goals. If you want to become a better shooter, build your workouts around shooting drills.

2. Practice Game-Specific Moves

Hitting a game-winner or making a really tough shot as the clock expires looks really good. It's tempting to spend time working on these types of moves in the gym. However, the truth is that you will rarely get such critical shot opportunities during a game. If you spend all your time working on isolation one-on-one moves, the rest of your game will really suffer.

Practice moves you will actually rely on at your position. Different positions have different scoring opportunities. Here's a breakdown (not including combo players with multiple positions).

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Point Guards

  • Score off ball screen actions.
  • Use penetration to score or set up other teammates for a shot or finish.
  • Catch and shoot. Must be able to make an open shot.

Wing Players

  • Use ball screens and hard cuts to get an open shot or finish.
  • Score off ball screen actions.
  • Catch and shoot or drive against a bad defensive closeout.
  • Post up smaller guards.
  • Score out of the triple-threat position.

Post Players

  • Get deep post position and score with different post moves.
  • Face up in mid-post from triple threat position.
  • Catch and finish on dumpoffs from the guards.
  • Catch and shoot at least out to 15 feet.
  • Set great screens and react for a scoring opportunity.

3. Practice at Game Speed

It's OK to practice a move at a slow pace when you first learn it. But once you get it down, practice at game speed. This is important for cultivating muscle memory and for developing confidence. If you can't do a specific move at game speed, it's no good for you.

4. Train with a Partner

A training partner can keep you accountable and motivate you to do more than you would on your own. There will be days when you won't feel like going to the gym; and if you're training by yourself, you may decide not to go. Not so if you have a partner. Plus, when working on shooting skills, a partner is almost a must.

5. Maintain Consistency

Staying consistent is difficult with anything, including basketball training. But it's essential if you want to see real improvement this off-season. You can't work out once every week or two and expect to get results. Set up a reasonable training schedule for yourself and stick to it.

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