Training While In-Season
I get a lot of questions as to whether a player should continue to do individual training once the season starts. As a player development coach the easy answer would be for me to say yes. But I don’t want to take the easy way out so I’ll lay out some things to consider and you can make your own decision.
Maintaining Your Off-season Gains – one of my favorite sayings is “the house you build in the off-season is the house you have to live in during the season.” For a lot of reasons such as limited reps, limited role, etc. it is rare that players expand their game during the season. However, you do want to make sure that you are able to maintain the improvement you worked so hard for in the off-season. It is easy if you are not getting a lot of reps, playing a limited role, not playing lots of minutes to “give back” some of your gains and slide back into old habits. At the very least, from a shooting perspective, it is hard to maintain the rhythm and confidence you need if not getting up consistent reps. When our clients continue to work with us throughout the season we are able to keep their shot mechanics pure and their confidence high throughout the season and into the post-season. We have had great success taking players all the way up through their league, district and state playoffs. On the flip side, the most frustrating thing for us is the inevitable call we get each year from a player who waits until they are in a slump or have lost confidence and we have to try and get that back mid-season.
Time Management – we often hear from players that while they would like to continue to train during the season that there simply isn’t time between homework, practices and games. There is no doubt that academics must come first (books before ball) and the time demands during the season are immense. I would tell any player hoping to play in college that time management is one of the greatest attributes you will need. Clearly your individual training during the season as a priority falls below your academics and your team activities. But, I also feel that out of the 168 hours in a week, most players could find one hour to fine-tune their own game if they really want to.
Physical Toll – the season not only has a lot of time demands but there are a lot of physical demands as well. Proper rest and recovery is crucial to perform at your best. Typically, however, once the games start, practices many times aren’t as intense. Even if they are, if you are playing 2-3 games per week, unless you are playing close to the whole game, game days are almost rest days for all but a few individuals. So if you play limited minutes, there is no reason from a physical standpoint that you cannot train during the season. If you are fortunate to be one of those players playing substantial minutes, we understand how to modify our sessions so our emphasis is on working smart not necessarily working hard. For JV, 9th grade and middle school players the games are shorter and therefore less physically demanding for all involved.
These are a few of the things to consider when deciding if you should continue to train or not during the season, whether that is with a coach like me or Gabby, or on your own. However, I believe that we can help you get the maximum benefit out of the minimum time that you have. Plus we can see things that many times you cannot when you are working out on your own.
As I stated earlier, the easy answer as to whether or not you should continue to train during the season is yes. Now that I’ve laid out the main issues involved in making that choice, you can see that from our perspective there is little downside and a whole lot of upside. So if you can find that 1 hour in 168, let us help you play your best this season from start to finish!