Though rising above your competition and making sure your team stands out are key elements of any game season – there are some pivotal habits you can adopt during offseason. Sure, you can hang with the kids at your neighborhood court, and practice with friends. But this is more about YOU – summer is actually the perfect time to brush up on your personal fitness, fine-tune your flexibility, and focus on what matters most to you.
Summertime is a great opportunity to review and assess your last season. Give some thought to what was accomplished; how did your games go, which goals were met and what caused them to fall short when they did? Were your objectives on target, and was sportsmanship high on your list? What were the high points, and what made them so special?
Give it a Rest
Put the basketball away for 4-5 weeks. Yes, you read that right. It may seem crazy but you really do need to take an intermission. No practice times, meetings, team tryouts, keeping track of uniforms and equipment. Release the tension, and let any injuries have time to heal. After a month or so, pick it back up and you’ll find you’re much calmer and ready to jump in again with a positive mindset.
Add another type of sport to the mix. Each kind of activity (from gymnastics to dance) has its own skillset, uses different muscles, and sharpens different functions of your brain. The more diversity you engage in, the more capable you are going to be in anything you wish to achieve.
Hit the Gym
Weight training will strengthen those muscles and increase your stamina. Cardio workouts will improve your heart rate, so you aren’t so winded at games. Basketball is a vigorous sport with fast maneuvers, and you don’t want to get out of breath when you’re trying to score those points. Sports are activities, but they aren’t necessarily ‘exercise.’ Supplement with real workouts and the benefits will be substantial, and evident to your coaches as well.
Grow Your Style
Maybe you need to release faster, increase your range or master shots from various positions on the court. Offseason allows you to spend more time on your personal style (whether alone or with a partner or small group of friends) to perfect your hoop skills.
Keep it Fun
Any sport can be tedious if it’s ‘all work and no play.’ So, remember to bring along the joy and laughter whenever you’re playing during offseason. No pressure, no worries, it’s a feel-good time to share with family and friends.
Wheatland Athletics Association’s basketball programs enhance the skills of experienced players while teaching fundamentals to girls and boys in K-12th grades. We encourage both individual and team skills, in a fun atmosphere of good sportsmanship!