Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Don't Ruin Practice with Running: Thoughts on Conditioning.

This time of the year as students are returning Coaches on every level everywhere are all planning their strategy to get their athletes into shape by the start of practice. Some Coaches will have a fitness test of some sort, whether it be a mile test or a shuttle run. They will chose a test to show what kind of shape the athlete is in. Some Coaches will start the first day with trashcans in the corners to see "how bad you want to be on this team." We've all been through or know a Coach like that. I'm going to give you 3 points of my take Conditioning.

#1 Don't Ruin Practice
In my opinion nothing sets a worse tone than after a great practice the dreaded 4 words: "Get on the Line." Your players have just busted their tails for 2 hours. Diving for loose balls, Taking Charges, Talking on Defense and the last thing they will remember is sprinting for 10 minutes at the end of practice. I'm not against running. My teams run. Run during drills. Run between drills. Run to and from water breaks. If you believe your team has to run 17s or a triple-nickel do it at the beginning or in the middle of practice. Spend every moment of practice improving your conditioning. If you are focused and prepared, you can get the same amount of conditioning in DURING practice and you and your players will leave feeling energized about the effort vs exhausted. 

#2 Punishment Can't Be the Same as Conditioning
We've all been in a situation where a basketball practice turns into a tryout for the Olympic 5000m event. We've all had players who need a reminder of how to do things on and off the floor correctly. As a Coach, If I'm using the same drills that we condition with as punishment I'm sending the wrong signal. Conditioning is a need to. Players shouldn't feel like it is a have to. We want Players who feel like I want to. Find ways to separate Conditioning and Punishment.

#3 Build Toughness But GET BETTER
We are spending a lot of time in our indoor facility as well as on the track. Today's players, in part to a bad summer set up just want to play. They don't want to work-in general. We are slowly working on being a better athlete but most importantly watching to see who is a competitor. I've rarely seen the "best player" finish last or not try to win.

*Note to Players- The Best are the Best EVERYWHERE.

Use Conditioning as a gauge for competition. See who will fight through one more sprint.

In my opinion, this is the BEST conditioning tool for Basketball. Enjoy

Syracuse Running Program

Ask yourself this: Why do I work so hard at Coaching? BECAUSE YOU ENJOY IT! It doesn't feel like work. If your players enjoy practice and conditioning they will work harder for you.All days aren't sunshine and rainbows but grind on things worth grinding on.

If you would like more "fun" conditioning ideas follow @AlanStein or @TrainWithPaige

1 comment:

  1. I love the first point you make about not making conditioning ruin practice. One of my biggest dislikes is when coaches don't end training on an enjoyable, easier drill.

    The best memory your players will have is of the last drill they have to do. If you end on something boring and hard, that's how your players will remember your practice.

    Try to send them out of the gym in a happy mood!