Now that you are in the "off" season it's time to decide which direction you need to take. In our last installment of "Off Season" we talked about the idea of setting goals. Now we have to ask the question how do we achieve these goals. For most, the bottom line question becomes do i spend my summer playing endless travel basketball games or do I engage in a training program to develop strength, athleticism and skills. In short, Games or Train?
I believe that the answer is actually all the above, but with balance. On one hand, if you are wanting to play beyond high school you need to put yourself in a position to be scouted by coaches and that comes from participating on a travel team that will play at tournaments where coaches will have the opportunity to see you play. But I will tell you that is simply not enough to help you achieve your goals. College coaches are not just looking for players who play the game, but they are looking for players who have the strength and athleticism to be able to play basketball at a level that far exceeds high school basketball.
I've worked with top level players for many years and the one consistent theme I have heard from them is that coming out of high school they were not ready for the faster pace and physically tougher play that comes with college basketball. They wish they had taken the time to develop their athleticism. Some of them were naturally gifted with some athletic ability but even those guys understand that true athleticism has to be developed. I believe that we all have untapped athletic ability that if put in the right environment with quailfied trainers can be brought out of us.
Sports performance training is that vehicle that will help take an average athlete and push him or her to a higher level. In a previous article titled "Performance Training: How To Get The Edge On The Competition" (Click here to read) I shared about the need for sports performance training to help you gain the upper hand on your competition. Todays professional athletes spend their off season at sports performance training facilities or working privately with sports performance trainers. When an athlete is in their teenage years, it is the optimal time for them to build the proper foundation for developing good athletic habits and abilities. That when combined with sports specific skills training will give you an edge over your competition that will not only make you out perform them but will make you more attractive to a college scout looking for the next great talent to add to their team.