Tag: warm-up

Peak in the Playoffs

 

Want to help your team peak in the playoffs?

Looking to go on a miraculous run through the playoffs with an average team?

Or are you trying to finally breakthrough and beat one of the elite programs in your sport?

Or are you top-seeded and wondering how your team will handle the pressure of expectations?

Here are five strategies to ensure that your team is motivated, fearless, and focused when it counts the most – the playoffs!

1. Stick to what got you there.
Do what works for you. Don’t feel like you need to change up your whole routine and game plan. Stick to what works for you and trust it to work again during the playoffs. Stay consistent with your routine. Remember that consistent preparation leads to consistent performance.

2. Execute the small things. Don’t beat yourself.
Championship teams are usually the ones who consistently do all the small things necessary to win. Focus your team on the top 3-5 battles you need to control to win the overall war. By focusing on and taking care of these small things, you force your opponents to beat you and often avoid beating yourself.

3. Know how to quickly refocus teammates.

Coaches and captains must know how to quickly and effectively refocus teammates when they are down, distracted, aggravated, or scared. You can’t allow people to go into the tank when you need their focus, confidence, and performance. It’s the ability to keep their team’s competing play after play, rather than succumbing to the inevitable adversity, distractions, and hassles of competition, that determines the outcome of many games.

4. Compete aggressively.
Take it to people, dictate the tempo… Go out and play the game with passion and vigor. Often it is the individual and team that is the most aggressive that comes out on top. 

5. Become a team of DESTINY
Many of the teams that I have been fortunate to witness win championships felt they were destined to do so. No matter what situation they found themselves in, whether they were down with little time left, had a tough injury to a key player, or weren’t getting the appropriate calls, they somehow felt that it was never enough to deter them from reaching their ultimate goal. They persisted on and trusted the process that it was all meant to be. Give your team every reason to feel they are destined for success. Assuming you have paid the price of success, remind your team that the training, your practices, and the lessons you learned throughout the season have all prepared you for this moment in time.

You want your team to feel – “This is our time.”

Plan for a Purposeful Pre-Season

While the fundamentals of the game haven’t changed, the way basketball players at all levels train to enhance performance has changed greatly in the past 15 years. The game today requires true basketball athleticism – a unique combination of strengthpoweragility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning.

A basketball player’s athleticism is the foundation of their entire game. 

If a player can improve their strength, power, agility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning, then they can perform the skills of ball handling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and defending at a much higher, more efficient level before fatigue sets in.

While it’s true not all players have the genetic potential to be as athletic as Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Every basketball player can make improvements to their athleticism. Keep in mind, basketball athleticism is not just sprinting fast, jumping high or dunking.

With proper and purposeful training, players can make impressive improvements in their hand/eye coordination, footwork, acceleration/deceleration, reaction, strength, mobility, and conditioning level.

Check out this video:

Just as a player’s athleticism is the foundation of their game, the pre-season is the foundation for the upcoming season. What players do from the start of the school year until the day of the first practice will determine the type of season they have.

Your pre-season workouts need to address basketball athleticism and prepare players for the actual demands of the game! As simple as that may sound, many pre-season training programs lack this crucial component.

There are 3 important purposes for pre-season training:

  • Reduce the frequency and severity of injuries
  • Improve performance on the court
  • Have fun and build team unity

If any exercise, drill or concept you use this pre-season doesn’t meet at least one of these three… then it is a major waste of time. 

There are 6 primary movements in basketball:

  • Sprinting
  • Backpedaling
  • Defensive sliding
  • Jumping (and landing)
  • Pivoting
  • Lunging

Boston Sports Medicine Performance Group broke down a basketball game and observed the following:

  • Average player’s heart rate: 165-170 beats per minute
  • High-intensity sprints occur every 20-30 seconds
  • 100-plus high intensity sprints per game
  • 40-50 maximal jumps per game
  • Change in movement every 2-3 seconds
  • 30% of time is spent defensive sliding
  • 15% of time is in high intensity

As you can see, basketball is game of quick, explosive bursts of multi-directional movements with short bouts of rest. In order for your pre-season workouts to be truly purposeful, they need to prepare players for these very specific demands.

Do you need help designing or implementing your basketball team’s pre-season workouts? The staff at True Athlete Performance brings a wealth of valuable experience after years of extensive work with youth, high school, and college players.

Our passion, enthusiasm, and innovative training techniques make us some of the areas leading experts on productive training for basketball players. We hope you consider the work we’ve done, the programs we’ve developed and the teams we have helped! 

The Perfect Warm-Up

Knowing how to warm up effectively can be the difference between your players surviving the preseason and thriving in the regular season or your players stumbling through the season due to preventable injury.

Traditional warmups take athletes through a series of static stretches. There’s value in traditional stretch-and-hold, or “static” stretching if done properly and done after a workout. However, static stretching routines performed before exercise increase flexibility only for a short time. There is little scientific evidence that such routines improve performance, reduce delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS), or prevent injuries.

The main purpose of warming up is to prepare your body for the upcoming movement. At TrueAP, we progress through a “Movement Prep” process of activating or “waking” the muscles, dynamically stretching them, and then exciting them so it is easier to call on these muscles when needed. As opposed to a traditional warmup, Movement Prep actually makes you stronger and produces long-term flexibility gains. You actively elongate your muscles in a series of movements, which can improve balance, mobility, and stability. Think of it as warming up with a purpose.

Movement Prep increases heart rate, core temperature, and blood flow to working muscles. By strengthening muscles in this new range of motion, you stabilize all the tiny muscles that hold the joints together. That will improve posture and performance and decrease potential for injury. Just doing Movement Prep alone can make your body stronger and more stable, and can also help increase speed and power output. Performing Movement Prep will allow you to keep pushing your body to the level needed while reducing the risk of injury. 

Check out TrueAP’s “Quick Guide to Movement Prep” and start using our sample routines today!