I get requests for certain topics and this one has come up enough recently that I thought I would cover it.
Each sport has its own conditioning type or style with different muscles being used for each. When I played high school football and then had to transition into basketball it was different for a few weeks trying to get into basketball shape. People who haven’t played different sports probably wouldn’t understand but those that have understand what I’m talking about. The muscle usage is different and the way the game is played is different and it takes an adjustment.
#1…Short Distance Running: By short distances I mean 1 mile to 1.5 miles timed. It is important to have goals with your running and be able to build up to it. You should be able to run a mile under 8 minutes and a mile and a half under 12. That puts you at a 2 minutes per lap pace if you are running on a track or 7 speed on a treadmill. Both are very reachable. If you are surpassing those times easily then push yourself. In preparation for a coming season I would run 10 miles a week TIMED. Never run without keeping track of progress. That makes no sense to me.
#2…Basketball Style Conditioning: This should take place on the court. The running should be in bursts and always be full speed. IF you are doing basketball conditioning drills at less than full speed then you are preparing to be a bench player. The best players should go all out on everything. These drills should consist of up/downs (timed), ladders (timed), side to sides (timed). None of these drills require a ball. Don’t tempt yourself with the ball when you are working strictly on your conditioning. I think it is very important to be focused in your workouts and by doing a concentrated 10-15 minute intervals of focused conditioning work you will find it becomes easier and more important to you. By timing yourself it forces you to push yourself to always be better.
#3….All Basketball drills. These include full court layups (5) without misses and going full speed. I would include 20 shots from certain spots on the floor. These shots are taken to get the legs in shape and used to shooting. Same with the arms. NEVER shoot the ball and walk to it. Shoot the ball and run after the rebound and run to the spot and shoot again. You should get off 20 shots and be a little fatigued. Shoot 20 shots in sets of 5 before taking a rest. Keep track of how many you are making and document it. Documenting should be used as your break and is the only real way to see if you are improving. Take a jump rope and after the sets of 20 are done simply mix in 100 jumps before starting on your next set. I’ve thrown in several examples of what you can do and tomorrow I’ll come back with a documented routine that I used when I played. I think you’ll like it but it isn’t easy.