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Youth Basketball Conditioning

A lot of emphasis is placed on specific basketball skills & drills when you are coaching the sport like dribbling, shooting, passing, defending, and rebounding, and these are the fundamentals of the game that all players need to work on.

Author: Trevor Sumner
Date: Nov 13, 2009 - 9:25:35 AM


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A lot of emphasis is placed on specific basketball skills & drills when you are coaching the sport like dribbling, shooting, passing, defending, and rebounding, and these are the fundamentals of the game that all players need to work on. However, an often overlooked aspect of youth basketball is conditioning. Conditioning will make your team better while improving the health of your basketball players off the court.

When you explain the value of conditioning to your team, emphasize the fact that no matter how well you can shoot, pass, dribble, rebound or defend the basketball, if you are hunched over with your hands on your knees gasping for breath you are unable to contribute. A basketball player with mediocre skills who is in great condition and able to contribute 100% of those basketball skills for the entire game, especially during crunch time when others are tiring, provides far more value than a flashy player who has half a game of energy. For youth basketball players who have a genuine passion for the game and aspire to playing at higher levels, basketball conditioning must be a priority.

Well conditioned players run faster, jump higher, bring more energy to the table, and withstand the rigors of the action without losing anything in the fourth quarter. Being a successful basketball player is a lifestyle that you need to consider around the clock, not just when you are on the court. There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind if you want to achieve peak conditioning and reach your full potential as a player.

Below are some tips for proper basketball conditioning techniques as well as some fun drills for your youth basketball team’s practice. You can also find more free basketball skills & drills videos and tutorials online at websites like Weplay.com.

Youth Basketball Conditioning Tips

  • Engage in aerobic exercise on your own: run, hike, walk, swim, join the cross country team.
  • Build your strength without becoming too bulky through pushups and calisthenics.
  • Stretching is an important part of complete conditioning. Do your stretches or try yoga.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits & vegetables.
  • Prioritize your conditioning efforts and recognize that they translate into Wins on the court.
  • Give yourself the proper amount of rest & recovery between conditioning workouts to avoid injury and build strength.

Youth Basketball Conditioning Drills
  • Stretches & Laps
    It is important for a coach to instill a commitment to conditioning in his or her players. Every practice should begin with stretching exercises followed by at least twenty minutes of running laps (as time permits). Basketball is not a leisurely game, and due to its demanding physical nature the team that is better conditioned is going to have an advantage just about every time. When you place an emphasis on conditioning, you separate those who really want to play from those who are unwilling to do what it takes, and your team bonds through a shared commitment to excellence.

  • "Suicide" Sprints
    Doing some suicide sprint training is a great way to end your practices. Players line up behind each other in two lines at the baseline and they sprint in pairs to the near foul line and back, touching the lines with their hands. Then they go the half-court line, touch that, and back to the end line. Next, they sprint to the far foul line and back, and finally, to the far baseline and back.



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