With vacation just around the corner many of you cannot help but to think of the possibilities this summer has in store.
And why shouldn't you? You have been stuck in a classroom for approximately 9 months, 5 days a week and 6 or 7 hours per day. You deserve a break!
While I hope this summer is your best one yet, I just want to remind that next season's success will be directly influenced by the work you put into your game during the next few months.
In as little as seven hours a week, only one hour a day, you could transform your game and achieve your dreams.
Here are 7 things you consider doing during your summer break:
Evaluate Your Spring
At the end of every season, whether that be the fall pre-season, the regular basketball season, or the spring, the first thing athletes and coaches should do is evaluate their previous individual performance. What were your strengths? What were your weaknesses? More importantly, what do you need to do in order to be better prepared at the start of next season?
Increase Your Foot Speed
The second thing every athlete should do is concentrate on improving his foot speed. Any coach (high school or college) will tell you that basketball is an agility sport. How fast you can stop, change directions and then accelerate/explode is way more important than being the strongest guy in the weight room. During one or two of your weekly workouts spend the last fifteen minutes of the session improving your speed and quickness. Thirty minutes a week could be the difference between starting and coming off the bench, or between being a role player and all league.
Get Shots UP!
While all fundamental skills are important it's possible that the most important one is the ability to shoot the basketball. Before you can take people off the bounce, rise up and shoot a pull-up jumper you first must develop your overall shooting touch. Improving your shooting touch (grooving your shot) usually begins with your ability to knock down stationary shots. Very few shooters are better off the dribble than they are in a stationary position. Younger players could set a goal of shooting 10,000 shots over the summer while older players could set out to make 10,000 shots. (5 days x 200 shots/makes x 10 weeks = 10,000)
Go To Camp
One of the best things you can do for your game is to attend a basketball camp. With the popularity of AAU tournaments today, basketball camps are becoming more and more extinct. However, going to camp offers several advantages over playing in endless AAU tournaments. For one, it's a great place for serious players. You wake up, play basketball, eat, play basketball, eat again, play more basketball and then wake up the next day and do it all over again. Second, it gives you the chance to learn from many different coaches who each has a different way of explaining a particular skill or drill. Third, camp allows you to play against different competition. Many AAU tournaments, especially local ones, will consist of the same handful of teams.
Increase Your Strength
While basketball is definitely a game of agility and speed, having an increased amount of strength will contribute to your overall degree of athleticism and will help prevent injuries. Go online or ask your coach to help you find a basketball specific strength building routine and start lifting weights. Girls, I'm talking to you too!
Add One Dimension to Your Scoring Toolbox
Once you have found your shooting stroke it's time to add one other scoring dimension to your game. Notice how I said one scoring dimension? Not two. Not three. Not four but one. Instead of being average at four things it will be much more beneficial for your game to master only one more aspect of scoring before moving on to something else. Several areas one could work towards mastering are: improving overall ball handling, posting up with your back to the basket, finishing around the rim, using your off hand, and developing a pull up jump shot.
Take Time to Relax
Lastly, don't forget to relax and enjoy your summer. For some of you this might be the last opportunity you will have to really be a kid and to hang with your friends. You will be much more motivated to work out if you have a balance between training hard and having fun. It's far more important to spend quality time in the gym rather than quantity. Keep reminding yourself that if you use your summer wisely, next season will be more FUN than ever!