Basketball Training: The Fundamental Basketball Training Program

A basketball training program greatly helps to be fast, light and agile with an excellent endurance and powers of recovery. For this reason strength conditioning and plyometric training are a compulsory part of professional player’s training as they are known to increase player’s speed, acceleration and jumping ability. Speed endurance is a critical factor for basketball players because they continually repeat high intensity activities during matches with small resting periods. Training program for basketball is mainly broken down into four phases in years. Furthermore each of the phases focuses concentrates on a particular fitness development program thus offering participants a progressive buildup to top fitness and performance.

Professional basketball training presently focuses mostly on weights and strength development which we are about to look at. Thus a year-long training program would be as outlined below:

Early pre-season- During this time which precedes the offseason, players are making preparations for the onset of the season. Emphasis is placed on achieving peak strength by concentrating on aerobic fitness and functional strength. When this occurs focus will be on converting the peak strength into muscular power through plyometric workout. This phase should last for at least 4 weeks before onset of the competitive season. 3 strength training sessions separated by 48 hours each would be sufficient to build maximal strength.

Late pre-season- Start of the season is around the corner and pre-season trials are imminent. In this phase of basketball training focus is on building anaerobic fitness, maximum strength and power. Polymeric training is applied to convert newfound strength into basketball specific power on the lower part of the torso with rebounding exercises like depth jumps. The upper torso is worked with medicine balls. Please note that it should not be overdone even when you have the feeling like you haven’t had enough as it can result into burnouts.

In season- During this phase competition is already underway and emphasis is on players to try and maintain their achieved speed during the previous phases, aerobic and anaerobic fitness and strength power. Though during this course players are likely to lose some maximal strength, as long as they maintain a high level of muscular power they earned previously they will fare well in competitions. During this phase the players are encouraged to spend at least a session in the weight room and plyometric training.

Off season- Probably you won the title and you feel the desire to relax and wait for the pre-season. During this phase of basketball training focus is on rest and recovery and some several weeks break from serious fitness and strength training will be helpful but should be accompanied with maintenance of light activity e.g. light weight lifting and cross training. Exercises should focus on stabilizing muscles and core stability. This low-intensity functional strength phase workouts help to restore balance and its objectives are to prepare the athlete joints, ligaments and tendons for the upcoming intense exercises in the coming phases, strengthen neglected stabilizer muscles, balance both sides of the body by correcting imbalances between flexors and extensors. This phase is very crucial and should not be overlooked as it is a determinant of the strength quality and power one develops in later phases.

Role-specific Training

An effective basketball training program requires participants before embarking on training to first warm up and after training to try to cool down. It is important to note that just like in other sports, in a basketball team members have different roles to play and require different physical attributes. Guards are required to attain speed and be more agile which the main requirements for their mobility training are, and to focus less on strength and bulk unlike centers and power forwards. For this reason guards are encouraged to lift heavy objects with minimum repetitions and longer resting period between sets for them to build strength with less bulk. Huge players would use a program with more repetitions and minimum rest between sets which speeds up strength and bulk.

Amelia J. Bell

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