Once in a while I take time to look at practices which our aspiring youth coaches are holding. I do this not to control their attendance or if they do practice at all … I do this because I believe, that I can learn from other coaches, independent of age, gender, experience or which teams they coach. Heck, I even think, that you can pick something useful for your practice sessions, if you are watching a Volleyball or Tennis practice. There’s always something new or different ideas you can implement in your daily practice routine.
Sometimes, attending group, or team, practices may not be enough to help you improve your skills in basketball. And also, there are individuals who can learn best when they get to practice alone. It is not, really, bad to take the time to practice by yourself. Well, except for the fact that it may not be as fun compared to playing and socializing with your teammates. However, practicing alone is still very much beneficial. You’ll have the chance to concentrate on enhancing your skills, and to experiment new basketball techniques that you can call your own.
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If you want to master the many basketball skills, you have to practice to get used to them. Practice becomes the center of focus in learning new skills, but you have to remember, it does not always make you perfect. It can either make or break you. There are well conducted practices while there are also practices that are not as good. How can this be?
Have you ever been in a dance group wherein you have to prepare for a certain dance competition? Or, have you ever been a member of a cheerleading group that you have to arrange, plan, and practice movements of a certain cheer dance program. What have you noticed? The group spends so much time in organizing everything, starting from the group members up to the completion of the entire dance program. Practice is more about organizing your team, your plans, your drills, and the synchronization of movements among the players. This is the same, and should be applied, in the sport of Basketball.
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The basketball season for youths is one full of energy and learning. The young athlete may not have many coping mechanisms for stress. A child who experiences stress without coping mechanisms can lead to a lack of success for him or her. This may discourage the child from reaching towards new goals.
The off season can be the perfect time to help them manage stress levels. During the off season parents are able to help the child athlete build self-confidence and leadership skills which they can then bring to the court and their game. Many parents may be concerned that children will lose skills during the months when schedules become lax. There are ways that the athletic youth can gain skills, knowledge, and maintain core abilities while still being a child and having fun.
Although it is important for all athletes, no matter what your age, to maintain aerobic fitness and muscle tone all year long, one can take advantage of good weather and time off to do a myriad of new things which can help build leadership skills, manage stress, and help to keep a fresh outlook on what can be a monotonous routine. Many leading authorities today can testify to the fact that children learn at a rapid pace when their attention can be kept undivided on the activity at hand. By adding fun to the menu of learning ones child athlete can continue to excel at top speed all year long.
Part II: Youths
It is important for developing athletes to continue to work on the fundamentals of their particular game during the summer. Standard skills drills and strength training are integral to the upcoming season. Youth’s find that they grow over the summer months and being involved in inter-mural summer leagues are a great place to make new friends and keep up conditioning to overcome any awkward stages. This involves activities which the youths have to do during the regular season. To ease the monotony of the summer months and while improving the youth’s fitness they should also participate in novel activities. Here are examples of activities which young athletes can participate in and it will carry over to basketball training.
Martial Arts like Tai’Chi and Karate assist with balance and limberness while stimulating the mind. Youths will also learn coping mechanisms for stress which will assist in the regular season.
Youth camps sponsored by the NBA or other professional leagues where fun activities are designed around basketball drills, physical fitness, and healthy eating can also be ideal. The youths get to meet people they admire and keep up their fitness while learning important techniques to improve their athleticism.
Youth nutritional classes are designed to assist children in learning about good health through eating which aides in a stronger athlete.
Day camps can often be found at local community centers designed around swimming, intermural sports like Basketball, nature walks, team building exercises, and leadership games which build communication skills while maintaining physical fitness. As a bonus for parents these courses are often very inexpensive.
Photo credit: zenobia_joy
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The basketball season is an intense time of athleticism and power. Whether an amateur or professional, athletes work hard to create a body which performs with prowess and dexterity. The synergy of adrenaline, sweat, and muscle creates the ability to move with agility and grace. During the regular season daily practice combines with a high level of competition to keep the athlete in peak condition but even a championship season eventually comes to an end. This may lead one to have thoughts on how to maintain one’s fitness level during the off season.
As Sir Isaac Newton stated, “A body in motion stays in motion.” If continued without variation the routine required during the regular season can land one in a rut. The human body needs diversity to maintain its highest level of fitness an one must take advantage of the mind body connection in order to create a superior athlete. The off season is a great time to take a vacation from the daily grind and add fun to the agenda while maintaining and even improving performance levels.
Part I: Adults
Tips for adults to stay in shape during the off season are similar to those suggested for the youths with a little more emphasis on conditioning. Intermural summer leagues and competitions are great. Hiring a training coach who specializes in the area in which one wants to improve their game is helpful especially if one can receive on-on-one interaction. Also attending seminars given by professional athletes will assist you in getting feedback about your game.
Eating healthy and daily conditioning like running and aerobics are very important. Adults might also benefit from a cooking class so that they can learn to prepare the types of meals that will suit their particular body type. Participating in summer marathons keeps one in the spirit of competition while causing an athlete to maintain fitness with a focus that is separate from their usual routine. Practicing the weakest part of one’s game is important to gain competency. Many adult athletes find participating in classes such as yoga, spinning, martial arts, and Pilates will increase their flexibility and build their level of aerobic fitness. An added bonus to these types of classes is the reduction in instances of muscle strains and tears.
The off season is an excellent time to start new athletic endeavors which assist you with your flexibility and improve your basketball game. Diversity during the off season makes for a stronger athlete.
Other off season training tips:
- Participate in pickup games at local parks and recreation centers.
- Charity basketball clinics held in your local area by professional basketball players.
- See a nutritionist for the proper eating plan to build muscle and maintain proper weight.
- Keep a daily journal of your physical progress and make goals to reach during the summer.
- Watch videos on how to improve specific parts of your basketball game and learn new techniques to use during the regular season.
Photo credit: duchamp
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