5. Strength and conditioning
This is high on my list because it’s the two areas that you can truly set yourself apart from competition. There is endless time during the summer, and an hour a day for strength and conditioning isn’t too much to ask. Some may rest and relax, play video games over the entire summer, ultimately ending up out of shape when tryouts veer around the corner. Don’t let that be you.
That being said, I mentioned this is the time to elevate YOUR game. Well, part of that is how strong you are, and how fast and hard you can go for extended periods of time. A 6-week strength program is not hard to find–there are plenty of great ones either online or from your coach. My thing is, if I’m on a program and it gives me specific lifts to do, maybe they are the same lifts week in and weak out…and it may get boring. Just always continue to lift heavier each week.
Conditioning, I hate to say it but suck it up and do it. No one likes it, and it’s not easy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Period.
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6. Surround yourself with positive and influential people
Summer freedom is just that, freedom. If you’re serious about becoming a better basketball player you may have to tighten your circle and stay around good people and, thus, good things will follow.
Balance is key. Other activities and having fun doing non-basketball-related things will keep you from getting burned out and that’s critical. I’ve always felt being around great people inspired me to be great.
Basketball Hall of Fame coach Tara Vanderveer of Stanford University and I chatted earlier this basketball season about her coaching philosophy. She encourages her players to do other things besides basketball, pick up hobbies, do things that keep you mentally engaged but don’t drain you from the sport you played. I found that incredibly interesting as Stanford has been a perennial force in women’s basketball. It’s not all about hammering players into the ground. It’s about balance. I say she has the right formula with over 900 wins.
Make each day count!
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With school coming to a close, your routine is gone, and there no more classes. So what’s there to do with all that down time? That’s what I’m here for. Since I started blogging for The Drop, I’ve written about the things that can turn any pretender in the NBA Playoffs into a contender. I’ve also told you about the five skills that every great player needs to maximize before they can truly be considered superstars. Today, we’re taking it back to the basics. You don’t need to be a longtime NBA veteran to understand all of this. All you need is the motivation.
Here are some key tips on how to maximize your summer and elevate your game to the next level.
1. FIND A TRAINING PARTNER
Okay, so not everyone is self-motivated or can push themselves, even if you have the benefits of having someone there to push you further than you can push yourself makes this an important first step to get your summer going in the right direction. When you have someone holding you accountable, you are less likely to skip days because you don’t want to let someone down. This is called No Days Off for a reason.
They don’t have to necessarily be at your same skill-set, but a training partner helps get the party started. With as much access as we have to social media nowadays, this should be an easy task. Even finding someone who is older–perhaps in college–but is in their home town training would be a great situation to luck into. No harm in asking or reaching out!
Follow Steffi on Twitter at @steffisorensen
image via @NikeBasketball