Hope everyone’s enjoying their summer. Today, I want to to switch it up and take a break from hoops, and focus on things that don’t involve draining threes and running cone drills but could still be beneficial to your overall game.
For starters, something I highly recommend to high school athletes–and keep in mind this is purely my opinion–is to utilize your high school’s various sports teams. Don’t be afraid to play other sports that you are good at or interested in. Channeling your competitive spirit in different outlets keeps your mind and body engaged year-round. I played three sports in high school, and it helped me lead a tremendously balanced life. I’m not recommending these specific sports but you get the idea.
I played golf in the fall, and this sport did wonders for my mental strength. Anyone play golf? Yeah, you hook a shot into the woods, lose your ball, and you can’t just toss your club like Happy Gilmore. You have to re-group and come back and stay focused. Sure, I still attended open gyms for hoops but golf had my attention and once basketball season came around I was refreshed and mentally stronger.
After hoops season wrapped up, I transitioned to tennis. Tennis helped my footwork tremendously in regards to translating to the hardwood. Again, I would break away from basketball for a bit and enjoyed having fun and also again the mental challenge of playing a game that is truly mono y mono, so that when the pressure rises on the basketball court, you recognize that feeling and you’re prepared. You can have the confidence to step up and be a leader because you’ve done it before.
Once you make it to college, it is much harder to be a dual athlete at that level. If you’re a college athlete you are locked into your sport for long durations. So when summer hits, that’s when it’s beneficial to step out of your comfort zone and try different things to stay in shape and stay motivated. Here are a few of my absolute favorite cross-training exercises that will spark whatever summer workouts you’re doing now and kick them into another gear. I suggest these five because I’ve either done ’em, still do ’em, or swear by ’em. Happy training and go out and kick some butt.
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image via Erik Nomm/Flickr Creative Commons