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Basketball Offseason Development: What You Need to Know as a Player

Basketball Training: Shooting at Game Speed

Welcome to ‘Basketball Offseason: What You Need to Know as a Player to Dominate the Offseason,’ your definitive playbook for maximizing your potential during the crucial downtime between seasons. While the court may lie dormant, your dedication and preparation never rest. In this guide, we’ll explore how to turn the offseason into your most valuable training period, refining skills, building strength, and enhancing your game intelligence to emerge as a dominant force when the next season arrives. From tailored workout routines to mental conditioning strategies, join us as we unlock the secrets to offseason success, empowering you to return to the court stronger, faster, and more skilled than ever before.


Owning the Offseason in Basketball


Owning the Offseason in Basketball


During the offseason in basketball, it may seem like there is plenty of time to work on your game and that there will always be time tomorrow – however, this only an illusion. Before you know it, the season will hold you accountable for what you spent your time doing this offseason. The season will not wait for you, no more time will be given for preparation, and certainly, no wasted time in the offseason will be returned.

That is why it is so important that you spend your time wisely and own this offseason. This is not always the easiest thing to do, but you will set yourself up to be successful this upcoming season if you are willing to commit to it.

Here are four keys that will help you own the off-season in basketball!


Make an Offseason Basketball Plan

Before you go to the gym and start training or doing all of the different basketball drills you can think of, you need to sit down and make a game plan. Ask yourself this, “What am I trying to accomplish this offseason, and how am I going to get it done?” The answers to these two questions will help you figure out what you should be spending your time and energy on.

For example, if you want to become a better shooter this offseason, you need to spend time working on your shot. That means you need to budget a set amount of time each day/week to work on your shot. It will be different for every basketball player, but make sure you have a strategy for accomplishing your offseason goals.

The offseason is also a great chance to work on different weaknesses in your game. It is hard to dedicate the needed time to develop specific areas of your game during the season, but the offseason is perfect for turning weaknesses into strengths. Whatever you do, don’t go to the gym without a plan because if you do, you are just asking to waste time.



Quality Basketball Training Over Quantity

It is not just enough to go to the gym every day. You need to go to the gym and spend quality time working on your game. You will get more out of 45 minutes of hard work at game speed than 3 hours of taking turns shooting at half speed with a friend. When you get to the gym or weight room, train with a purpose. Eliminate all of the distractions around you, and spend quality time developing as a basketball player.



Maximize Your Training Time

You may not always have a lot of time in the gym, and there may be multiple things you want to work on. This means that you need to maximize your time. There are many great basketball drills out there that work on multiple skills all at the same time. So if you do not have a lot of court time, find some great drills that will maximize your time and allow you to work on everything you need to work on.



Stay Dedicated to Your Basketball Training

There are going to be days that you don’t feel motivated or start to think, “there is plenty of time before the season starts to work on my game, and I can wait.” However, these days are the most important to your offseason! These are the days that you need to step up and dominate the summer as a basketball player.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days that you need to take a break and let your body recover, but if it is just because you aren’t “feeling it,” you need to fight it and get in the gym. It is hard to work for something down the line that you can’t see, but it will all be worth it when the time finally comes and the season is here.

“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” – Jerry West



Developing Your Shot in the Off Season


Developing Your Basketball Shot in the Off Season

Chris Capko contributed to this portion of the article. 


The off-season is now upon us, and many players will say that becoming a better shooter is their primary goal in the off-season. How does this happen? Do you have a plan, or are you just going to show up to the gym and take a hundred shots?

There are several different factors to take into consideration and breakdown as you attack this skill.


Evaluating Your Shot

One of the first things you have to do is breakdown statistically how you shot the ball. Whether that is from the field, from the three, or the free-throw line, your field goal percentage can take several different shots into consideration.

Shots such as floaters and finishing at the rim, which might not determine how you actually shoot the ball, can determine your field goal percentage. However, your three-point percentage and free-throw percentage directly equates to what level of shooter you are.



Bad Shots or Shooting Mechanics

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, why are your percentages what they are? Is your percentage from the three low because you take bad shots, or is it a mechanical reason? Watching film from the season can help you realize how many of your shots were good or bad shots.

Within the offense, do you know what a good shot and a bad shot are? Good shots and bad shots are different for every player on the team. Get with a coach, watch the film and get on the same page. Take coaching and improve. Knowing what a good shot is will help any player’s shooting statistics immensely.

Sometimes the issue may actually be the mechanics. Now it is time to get in the gym and break it down. Shooting the basketball has a lot to do with muscle memory. Becoming a better shooter does not happen overnight or in a couple of weeks. It is a lengthy process that takes plenty of repetitions with different basketball shooting drills, determination, and commitment.

Again, get with a coach and figure out which mechanics you can improve on and what the plan will be to improve them.



Basketball Shooting Workout

Here is a sample workout to help with the breakdown. You must have a feel for what you need to fix, but the workout below is usually a good breakdown start and some ideas to think about as you move forward.

  • One-hand shooting- 5 spots right at the rim, making 10 shots from all 5 spots. (Make sure that your elbow is directly underneath the ball and that your follow-through finishes in the rim).
  • Take a step back, but still shooting with one hand – Shoot at the same 5 spots, but now make sure the lower body becomes involved in the shot. (Same technique applies).
  • Start to move out and shoot short shots. (Starting point and finishing point. Make sure you are down ready and start the same way with each shot, whether that be a 1,2 step or hopping into your shot. Just be consistent. Make sure your finishing point is consistent as well. Follow-through is consistent; you are jumping forward on your shot and staying in it.)

This is very basic but can give you a start. For a more in-depth breakdown of shooting a basketball, check out this article from our experts: How to Shoot a Basketball. It includes a video breaking down the different parts of your shot.

Whatever you feel the issue may be, just work at it. Shooting is an essential skill and will take your game to another level. This is the time to become better at it. Put in the time, and enjoy the rewards!



Keys for Dominating the Summer as a Basketball Player


Keys for Dominating the Summer as a Basketball Player

During the season, you spend a lot of time in practice working on basketball plays, building team chemistry, and primarily working on team-focused skills, as it should be. During the offseason, though, it is all about personal development. As a player, you finally have the time to get in the gym and spend the needed hours working on developing your game.

However, all hours spent in the gym are not equal; this may actually be one of the biggest understatements you have ever heard. I just want to get something clear, though, and really make sure that as a player, you understand this, GOING TO THE GYM DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO BECOME A BETTER PLAYER.

I have seen too many kids who go to the gym for hours a day and not get any better while they are there. They choose to spend their time in the gym, putting up half speed undisciplined shots, hang with their friends on the side, or playing pick-up games that promote more bad habits than good. As a player, it is up to you to create good habits that will allow you to progress and accomplish your goals.

My challenge to you is simple, don’t be that player this summer! Spend your gym time wisely and come back in the fall, ready for the best season of your life. Here are some keys to dominating this summer as a basketball player.



Basketball Training During the Summer


Work Smart: I was fortunate enough to play division one basketball and professionally in Spain during my career, and when I was younger, I spent a lot of time in the gym working hard to get better. However, I didn’t really know what I was doing when I got to the gym until I got to college. I would spend time in the gym working hard, but not really working smart.

That is one of the primary reasons that I helped to found this website. I wanted coaches and players to have all of the information that I didn’t have. And before you think this is just a shameless plug for Basketball HQ, I don’t care if you use our videos and plans, another plan, or have a coach/parent that you trust; just make sure that you are maximizing your gym time by working smart.

The analogy that I like to use is if I asked you to dig a two-foot deep hole in the backyard and gave you a shovel, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but if you only had a teaspoon, it would take you a lot longer to get the same job done. Learning the correct way to do a move, having the right basketball drills, etc. is like having the shovel. You can get so much more done if you have the right tools, so work SMART this summer as well as hard.


Basketball Game Plan: One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t waste time in the gym is to come into your workouts with a game plan. Spend 10 minutes in the morning or before you go to the gym and write out what you will work on. Budget out how much time you will spend on basketball shooting drills, finishing moves, ball handling, etc.

Doing this will help keep you on task and give you something to aim for. Make sure that your workout plan is realistic, though, and that you will be able to accomplish it. Writing down “make 3,000 shots” sounds awesome, but is it something that you really can accomplish? Give yourself goals that are going to push you but are still realistic.

You can set up goals for an entire summer as well. It could be focusing on becoming a better shooter and working towards a total number of shots that you will shoot/make before the season starts, a commitment to a certain amount of ball-handling a day, etc. Once you make your goals, set it as a reminder on your phone or place the piece of paper somewhere that you will see it every day. This will help to hold you accountable.


Basketball Strengths and Weaknesses: During the season, you are pretty much committed to your role on the team; you may work your way into more minutes, more shots, etc., but there isn’t a ton of time to work on individual skill development. This is not the case during the offseason, though. During the offseason, you have the time to really develop your game and focus on turning weaknesses into strengths.

One of the best examples of this is Michael Jordan. Coming out of college, people said that he wasn’t a good enough jump shooter. So he spent hours and hours in the gym working on his shot, and ultimately he became the most clutch shooter of all time. It may not be enjoyable at first to spend time working on your weaknesses, but it will be worth it as you begin to turn them into strengths. Don’t shy away from your weaknesses this summer; face them head-on!


Like-Minded Basketball Partners: A great way to make sure that you are getting after it in the gym is to have other like-minded players who will challenge you every day. On the other hand, if you hang out with players that want to waste time in the gym, it can be hard to stay motivated as the summer goes on. Find workout partners with the same goals as you and are willing to put in the work.

Not only will they help you to stay focused and challenge you to work hard on days when you aren’t quite feeling it. They will help push you to get better through natural competition during different competition drills and playing. A great workout partner can be a real game-changer. Find like-minded partners that will push you this summer. And if they are also your teammates, that is a huge plus.

Playing Basketball During the Summer


Basketball Pick Up Games: Playing games during the summer can be a great way to improve your skills and allow you to work on the moves you have been practicing when you train. It is important to make sure that you are playing in the right kind of games, though. As mentioned previously, all gym time is not equal, and that goes for playing pick up as well.

You need to find places to play where people are playing at a high level and are playing the right way. If you can’t find a great place to play, then just workout and train, but finding a good group of people to play with regularly can add a lot of value to your game. It will allow you to use the moves you have been practicing in your workouts against live competition.

While you are waiting on the sideline to play, don’t waste your time either. Instead, take advantage of the sideline and work on different stationary ball handling basketball drills. This time on the sideline will add up, and before you know it, you will be handling the basketball at a much higher level.


AAU Basketball (High School/Middle School): During the summer, AAU basketball is in full swing, and it allows players to play against some of the best competition around the country and help them get exposure in front of college coaches. This is a great chance to really improve your game, and you must maximize this time.

A couple of words of caution to any player that plays AAU, though. Make sure that you continue to learn how to play the right way and don’t try to force your game. Don’t fall into the trap that college coaches only evaluate you on the number of points you score.

This is simply not true; play your game and do all of the little things that go along with being a great player. Here is a great overview of what college coaches are looking for: Anatomy of a College Basketball Scholarship.


Basketball Camps: Basketball camps in the summer are a great chance to gain exposure, learn, and develop your game. If you can get to a couple of camps this summer and really learn from some great coaches, you will help set yourself up for success. The key is to learn as much as possible at the camp, and then from there, spend the following weeks and months mastering the skills you were taught at the camp. Go into every camp with an eagerness to learn.


One on One Basketball: Playing one on one offers a great opportunity to practice all of the moves you have been working on in your workouts. It also teaches you to compete because there is no hiding in one on one. You either step up or get exposed. It is also great because it allows you to work on both offense and defense.

Make sure that you set up realistic games of one on one. Give yourself a dribble limit, reset after defensive rebounds, play out of the triple threat, etc. Remember that you are really preparing for real game situations, which means taking into account help defenders. Most of the time, you will not be able to score with a large number of dribbles. Learn to be efficient with your scoring moves.



Physical Development During the Summer


Weight Room: During the off-season, you should be living in the weight room. Find a plan specifically for what you want to work on, gaining muscle, improving quickness/speed, vertical, etc. and then get after it. If you are inexperienced in the gym, make sure you find someone to show you the correct form before performing the different lifts and exercises. And if you don’t have access to a weight room, don’t use that as an excuse. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises and other workouts that you can do on your own.


Basketball Conditioning: It doesn’t matter how skilled you are if you aren’t in good enough shape to execute the moves. So you must be maintaining your level of conditioning during the offseason. A great way to maximize your conditioning time is to do basketball drills with a conditioning aspect. Whether it is a full-court ball-handling drill or a shooting drill that requires you to sprint if you miss a shot, you can find drills that also help to condition you.

Make sure that you are executing moves the correct way as you get tired, though. Don’t allow yourself to practice poor shooting mechanics as you get tired or get out of athletic stance when doing different ball handling drills.


Keys for Dominating the Summer as a Basketball Player Conclusion

The offseason in basketball is really what allows you to set yourself apart from everyone else. You have all of the time that you need to get in the gym and develop your game. It takes a high level of commitment, though. So I ask you this question, are you ready to dominate this summer?



Preparing for the New Basketball Season


Preparing for the New Basketball Season


I always looked forward to the new basketball season because it was a chance to display all the things I had worked on over the summer. I would come into basketball training and practice ready to go. Along with being confident, there were several other areas that I focused on to give myself a good start to the season.

As a player who was able to have some success in the game of basketball, I want to help you out with a few tricks I have learned during my basketball playing career. These tips will help you in preparing for the new basketball season coming up.



Starting the Season With a Clean Slate

The first thing you need to have in your mind is the idea of a “clean slate.” It doesn’t matter how much success or failure you had the year before because that is all in the past. When you start this year, you need to be thinking about what you will do to help your team and how you will achieve your personal success.

Start by making a good impression with the coaches. Come in and work your butt off in basketball drills, sprints, lifting weights, etc. From the very first minute, show that you will be one of the hardest workers on the team. It is a new season, and first impressions with the coaches are big.



Enter the New Season With Confidence

Secondly, as a basketball player, you need to go into the preseason with confidence. There will be people who doubt you and who support you, but the biggest person that matters is you. How can you expect your coaches or teammates to have confidence in you if you don’t even have confidence in yourself? Confidence is not arrogance, and a lot of people confuse the two. Have confidence in your ability, but don’t be a showboat or try to be a selfish player. If you are struggling with your confidence, get in the gym before or after practice, and work on your game. The best way to build confidence is through repetition.



Set Goals for the New Season

Another thing you need to do in the preseason is “set goals.” As a player, do not be afraid to dream big. Write down a list of individual goals as well as team goals. Just as a runner is looking to the finish line when they run, you need a goal to look to and achieve. Your goals shouldn’t just be about how many points you are going to score. Make goals on how many rebounds you will get a game, steals, assists, etc.

Make sure your goals are big but realistic. Along with making a list of goals, make a list of how you will achieve those goals. Ex. Shoot 100 shots after practice, do ball handling drills for 20 minutes, run extra, watch more film, etc. Make this list realistic as well, and hold yourself to it every day. As you progress through the season, you can look at this list of goals and use it for motivation and accountability.



Do All of the Little Things as Basketball Player

The next thing you want to do as a basketball player is to make sure that you do the little things. Coaches are not just looking for scorers. Let me repeat that one more time. Coaches are NOT just looking for scorers. Sometimes the best way to get a coach’s attention is to hustle after a loose ball, box your man out, play defense, etc. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you are only valuable if you score points.

There are many different roles on a team, and if it is not your role to score, then find your place doing something else. If it is your role to score the basketball, you need to focus on doing the little things even more because you are the leader, and if you are willing to do it, then the rest of your team will follow.



Be a Great Teammate

The last thing that I am going to talk about is being a great teammate. From the beginning of the year, you should start with the idea that every player is in it together. If a player falls, rush over to pick him up. When a teammate makes a good play, let them know.

Don’t let fighting over the same position make you a bad teammate. You should work as hard as possible for your position, but do this in a team-building way. If every player is working their hardest, practice will be competitive and every player that much better.



Preparing for the New Basketball Season Conclusion

If you try and hold to this list for your preseason, you will start on the right foot and set yourself up for a good season. You need to build a strong foundation because you and your team will be tested during the season. Do things the right way right from the start of preseason and give yourself and the team a chance to do something great this year.






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