As spring winds down and the school year ends, now is the time to prepare for your summer basketball workout program. Summer is the ideal time to lay the foundation for next season. And the best way to maximize your summer training is to evaluate where your game needs to improve, so you can set priorities.
You need to formally evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a player. This step is vital to success, yet rarely done. Clearly establish what you do well on the court and what skills you need to improve. This can only be done effectively through a comprehensive evaluation by both you and your coach.
Rate yourself on the following 15 traits:
- Ball handling (How's your weak hand? Do you have a variety of moves? Can you maintain court vision?)
- Shooting (How's your form? Can you shoot off the pass? Off the dribble? What's your range? Can you make free throws?)
- Passing (Do you understand angles? Feed the post? Can you pass on the move?)
- Rebounding (Do you box out consistently? Go to the ball?)
- Defending (Can you defend on ball? In the post? Through screens? Do you understand team concepts? Contest shots? Do you foul?)
- Strength and Power (Do you finish with contact? Or get knocked off ball screens? Can you dunk?)
- Quickness and Reaction (Do you own an explosive first step? Are you first to the ball?)
- Agility and Movement Efficiency (Can you effectively accelerate, decelerate and change directions?)
- Flexibility and Mobility (Do you have stiff hamstrings, low back pain or tight ankles?)
- Body Composition (Do you need more muscle? Do you have excess body fat?)
- Conditioning (Are you in great basketball shape? As effective in the fourth quarter as in the first?)
- Basketball I.Q. (Do you know how to play? Have quality decision making?)
- Leadership (Do teammates listen? Do they follow? Do you "Play Present"?)
- Role as a Teammate (Do you know and accept your role on the team? Care about your teammates?)
- Work Ethic (Are you first in the gym, last to leave? Give 100 percent all the time?)
Rate each trait on a scale of 1 to 10. Write down what you believe, not what your parents or girlfriend thinks or what a scouting service says. Then have your coach rate each trait, too.
How do the results compare? Any score that you and your coach agree on is probably accurate. If you both believe your ball handling is an "8," it probably is. But what if you think it's an "8" and your coach says it's a "5"? Is it possible that you think an aspect of your game is better than it actually is? Regardless, average out the two scores for a final rating for each trait. Then list them in descending order, highest scores (strengths) at the top, lowest scores (weaknesses) at the bottom. The ranking will help you prioritize what to work on this summer.
Once you and your coach have completed the evaluation and you have averaged the scores and ranked them in descending order, it's time to plot the framework for your summer training plan.
Photo: Sandy Carson // austinchronicle.com
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