a youth basketball coaching and athletic resource                              PowerBasketball.com | Site Map | About Us | Contact Us | Advertise
PowerBasketball, Basketball Coaching Resource Site
  Coach's Clinic       Coaching Tips       Fundamentals        Books           Videos         Resources     
The Off Season needs to be “Your Season”

Ganon Baker, Nike Skill Development Trainer / Director, Ganon Baker Basketbball and Elev8 Sport Institute

Here is a recent letter I wrote to some players. They asked me how to improve during the off season. They said there is so much information out there on improvement, what do I REALLY need to do? Here was my response:

Thanks for your interest in us and I know there is a ton of info out there. I hope we can make it very clear for you on what you need to do to get better. I can assure you, the below solutions WILL WORK if YOU DO!!

As the high school season winds down and the spring AAU season heats up, I hope you are getting some MUCH needed rest. The spring and summer are very long and you must be sure you are refreshed and injury free.

A few things you need to think about this off season!


  • Any losses and frustration you had during the season about anything, let that motivate you, fuel you, let that give you that edge to work and get better!
  • Talk with your coach or your parents and see what your weaknesses are. Write them down. Then come up, with a game plan on how to improve them. You have to be strategic, scientific about this. Chart out a timeline and how many reps you will get in daily to improve your flaws. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You have to have solutions to improve your game.
  • Watch film weekly with some of you and some of your favorite NBA/WNBA/College players. You must educate yourself on what you did well this year, and what you did not do well. Always grow! A lot of my NBA guys who I worked out did this during the off season


  • Get your skill workouts in – 5 days a week – 1-2 hrs a day
  • Learn 2 new moves! Make them your go to moves!
  • Play a lot of 1 on 1, 2 on 2, and 3 on 3 games against older tougher players.
  • Add muscle to your frame by lifting weights.
  • Improve your diet, where you are getting protein and amino acids!
  • Make sure you are getting in your ACL prevention exercises weekly

Specifically, think about these details:

  • When you train, pick 4 moves to work on. Maybe start out with a move and a counter off the dribble and a move and a counter off the 1 foot finish. Work on them until you feel you have mastered them at game speed by yourself.
  • Then pick 4 more moves. A move and a counter out of the triple threat. Then a move and the counter off a 2 foot finish. Master them. It might take a week; it might take 2 months, depending on your talent and ability to learn. Every person is different. I have had young players take 3 months to learn something and other players 3 days…it varies.
  • Then add 2 more dribble moves (You get the picture?)
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to do is everyday play 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 to “try out” and “test” your moves. There is no way your reads are going to be fresh or correct in 5 on 5 if you don’t get the reps in 1 on 1. I mean think about it, in a 20 min 1 on 1 game you will get 30- 40 reps at taking and attacking your defender. Where in a 5 on 5 game you might get 5 or 6.
  • So you have to play 1 on 1 try out moves, fail, try again, see what works. I played at every level HS, D1 College, Europe pro ball, and NBA tryouts. We all played 1 on 1 daily. I trained over 50 NBA players; they all play 1 on 1 DAILY.

So play more 1 on 1 daily. Learn what works and does not work. But play against good competition or players better than you, so you grow! GROW means

G - Get better Daily

R - Real practice with reps.

O - Opportunities to be taken advantage of

W - Work HARD! A ridiculous work ethic and have a will to win.

And make sure you stick to a move and a counter until you have mastered it by yourself. You can do a lot of different drills but just make sure you are only working on a move and a counter for half the workout and then another move and counter during the other half.

Get after it!


ADVERTISEMENT Basketball Training Videos
Basketball Training Videos endorsed by Mike Bibby and Gilbert Arenas.

NOTICE:All material on this web site is copyrighted. No article may be reproduced or redistributed in any form or manner without the expressed written consent of the respective author. Commercial reproduction is not permitted without the written permission of the Coaching Staff at PowerBasketball.


Winning Hoops

Get your student athlete mentally tough today!

Player Development DVD's

Better Ball Handling
Championship Productions
helping individuals and teams realize their fullest potential
Better Basketball
Fundamentals and Training DVD's for the Player and Coach
Open since October 21, 1998. Copyright © 1998- PowerBasketball. All rights reserved.
No part of PowerBasketball, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use.
This includes framing of web content, modification, reproduction, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in
any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise is strictly prohibited without prior written permission. You agree to abide by our Disclaimer, Updated Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use.