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Back to School. Back to Basketball

by Rich Stoner, USAW Elite Basketball Training, LLC

The last day of summer has officially come, but for many summer ended when we went back to school about three weeks ago. Going back to school is a rite of passage into the fall. Parents rush around to purchase new school supplies, kids go shopping for new clothes and maybe even some new Lebrons to rock to school, and most importantly players rededicate themselves to basketball...I mean their education. In all seriousness, along with these common back to school traditions comes a renewed focus on training for basketball, or should I say, getting ready for the season? Why do I say, "getting ready for the season?" For many youth and local travel teams, basketball season is upon us and for the high school teams around the state of NJ, it is only two months away. Many players may not have trained as much as they should have this summer, opting out for the sun and sand of the beach or some air conditioning and their x-box. As a result, they are now in a rush to get themselves into the best shape physically and skill wise that they can in the shortest period of time that they can. Is this the best scenario? No. Is it a reality? More often than not, yes. So with basketball season coming fast how do you prepare for a season that is inevitably breathing down your throat on limited time? The following is a four step plan to get you ready without wasting too much time.

For some, skill development can be a burden and just getting to where you need to be to train becomes a major obstacle. So, first and foremost, get there. Stop sitting around your house and go outside or to a gym. As a former player and current training fanatic, the hardest part of training is actually getting up the energy and/or will power to go to the gym. There are a myriad of excuses why you do not have time for basketball skill development or sports performance training but you will find that if you just go to the park or to a gym, these excuses will disappear because you are now in your element and have no choice but to train.

Now that you are at the gym or park, what's next? Players, like coaches, should have a plan of what they want to work on that day. Take some time to jot down your ideas for skills that need to be developed and drills you will use to develop them. Use the notes app in your fancy new Iphone so that you do not have any extra baggage to carry with you and follow your notes one by one, checking them off upon completion. If you are not sure of any good drills, there are tons of good resources online these days and many good clinics that you can attend. I know, that I personally put up at least one new video a week on my elitebasketball channel that you can use and I have a skill development clinic every Saturday morning. Both youtube and weekly clinics will allow you to learn, provide you with options for new and innovative drills, and in the case of the clinics, give you feedback on how you can personally use those drills to improve.

Now that you are armed with your plan and the drills that you will use, you need to begin keeping track of your improvement. While checking off your accomplished drills, keep a record of your results (shots made, layups made, time of completion, etc.) write in the same notes section of your phone that you have your practice plan. Keeping a record of your results will help you track your improvement as a player and it will also determine what you need to work on the next day.

Having completed your workout, take some time that evening to reflect on your workout and determine what went well and where you need to improve. Then, write down your plan for the next day, based on these reflections. This continuous planning and action cycle is bound to help you improve. More importantly, it will help you improve in a quicker amount of time than randomly going out and shooting the basketball and let's face it, time is of the essence because basketball season is right around the corner or in some cases already here.

Committed to taking your game to the NEXT level.

Rich Stoner, USAW

About Rich:
Elite Basketball Training, LLC is a New Jersey based basketball training company that provides basketball players and athletes with the tools to take their game to the next level. Elite Basketball Training specializes in individual, small group, and team basketball skill development, sports performance training, and college planning and recruiting.

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