With almost every state finished with high school basketball and the NCAA tournament coming to an end shortly, it's time to turn your focus towards the off-season. The off-season is perhaps the most important season for a basketball player, this is when you can truly work and improve your game. Below are my 10 keys to having the most successful off-season of your career!
10. Detailed Workouts
Before you start your first off-season workout, sit down with a coach or someone who will be honest with you about your game and discuss what you need to work on to improve. The worst thing a player can do is step into a gym with no game plan. You need to know exactly what you want to accomplish this off-season. With that being said make sure you are being smart about what you want to accomplish. Chances are if you are a 5'7 guard, saying you want to master the sky hook probably isn't a good use of your time in the gym.
9. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
The only way to truly improve with anything is to get outside your comfort zone. Push yourself, mess up, that just means you are going hard! I tell my clients all the time when we do various dribbling drills, if you aren't messing up, I promise you can go harder. Eventually your skills will raise and you will have no problem doing what you thought was so hard at one time. If you do not get out of your comfort zone, you will get the same results you have always had!
Yes, I love the term "Late nights, early mornings" But, understand for your body to endure off season training you must be well rested. That might mean shutting your phone off when you get into bed so you aren’t tempted to get on social media for 2 hours before finally falling asleep.
One of the most underrated parts of being the best player you can be. Simply put, you get out of your body what you put into it. As a competitor you should always be looking for different ways to gain an advantage on your competition. If another guy is eating a Big Mac, a large fry, and a coke while you are having grilled chicken, some fruit, and a water its pretty obvious who has the upper hand. Having a good diet takes a lot of discipline, but if you want to elite it is a must.
6. Weight Room
If you aren't getting faster, you are getting slower, If you aren't getting stronger, you are getting weaker. If you want to elevate your game to the next level the weight room is key. Stop getting pushed out of position, and start being able to finish with contact! Make sure you are doing basketball specific workouts that will benefit your game and not just make you look good in the mirror though!
5. Off Court Decisions
Maybe the most overlooked part for any player. Nothing will ruin your dreams of being a college basketball player like getting in trouble with the law because one night you decided to make a dumb decision. Ask yourself if what you are doing and who you are hanging out with represent who and what you want to be! Another thing that falls into this category is social media. I've read countless articles on players losing scholarships because of a tweet or picture they posted. A simple rule to follow when using social media is, if you wouldn't say it in a press conference do not post it on social media!
There will be times when you have to tell people no. You have to ask yourself is a day at the pool worth missing my workout and weight room session? Is the movie people are asking me to see worth me skipping out on my film breakdown session? To be elite at anything you must sacrifice and do things others will not. Some people will call you crazy. Thats fine. If being great was easy, everyone would do it.
3. Work Consistently
To be really successful you must work every single day. Busting your butt one day and laying on the couch the next 3 will not do anything for you. You must build on each day. You must continue each and every day to work on your skills and each day you must stick to your diet. Anyone can workout and eat healthy twice a week. The elite players have the discipline to do it day after day after day to the point where it essentially becomes a habit.
2. Work Smart
It makes no sense to workout every day if you are just going to be working on stuff that will never translate into game like situations!!! Be purposeful in what you do. Have a game plan and stick to it. Focus on skills that will carry over to your game. A scoreboard is in the gym 24/7 but it is never getting better. Make sure you are getting a fair return in your investment of time in the gym.
1. "Outwork Everyone"
This is the saying on the official Hoop Dreams Basketball bracelet. You can purchase one on the home page if interested. The most important part of any players off season is the work. You have to get up everyday and refuse to let anyone else in the country outwork you. It should make you sick to your stomach to think of another kid putting in more time than you. There is no substitute for hard work. Hard work does not guarantee success, but I can promise not working hard almost guarantees the opposite. If you want to be elite and take your game to the next level NOW is the time to prove it. Do not be outworked.
One of the best tools you can get to have the best off season of your life is the Hoop Dreams Workout Guide. We have sold 50+ in just over 2 weeks and have yet to get a bad review. To learn more about the workout guide email us, or check out the first blog we posted. Make this off-season the best off-season of your life.