Gone are the days when an athlete could simply just be good at the sport. You know, those guys and girls that just had the natural ability to just blitz the competition. They were naturally fit, quick and had really good coordination.
Well, those days are gone!!!
Athletes these days are having to do the work. Putting the extra HOURS to make sure they are 0.1% better than the rest. With how hard it’s becoming to reach the top levels, athletes are now required to possess something exciting and exceptional to be noticed and be give that shot.
I can appreciate this because I struggled in school when I was younger and had to put HOURS and HOURS in just to get a B-Grade on my science exams. (Fast forward to now and I have a Masters in that field and am now paid to lecture it. Spins you out a little just thinking about it.) The same goes with athletes these days. The time and effort that you need to invest in getting good at your sport is what’s going to see you become the best. But there’s a catch…
Skills Are Just One Area. Developing Your Physical Attributes is much more important.
As a professional strength and conditioning coach, it’s something I see all the time. There are kids that have the genetics to play amazing basketball (or insert any other sport if you’d like here) but it’s the tiny little improvements that need to be made that will have the coach selecting them ahead of someone else. It’s the ‘just-hasn’t-quite-got-it’ attribute that elite coaches can spot a mile away that will have you cut from the team.
So how do you fix it?
You need to spend time in the gym lifting, fixing posture, developing speed, enhancing your power production and strengthen up muscles and connective tissue.
He may play professionally in Europe and Australia, Courtney Belger still a regular fella just like you and me. You know what makes him a better athlete? He lifts to get strong, he trains to get fast and he eats so that he can out run you and me. That’s what makes him a professional.
I have over a dozen athletes in the SBL (State Basketball League) here in Western Australia that all are seeking just that… The 1%’ers.
These are the things that are going to fix their posture, improve their biomechanics and also help keep them injury free. Here are a few things that you should be doing if you’re wanting to be a better baller.
Lift Weights With Intent, Not Just For Reps
If you want to count reps, that’s fine. But just lifting weights to fill your programs requirements will see you finish second at best. You need to WANT to over deliver. Lifting weights with intent, focus and drive will lead to greater strength gains compared to lifting weights for the sake of lifting weights
That’s why I’d rather people fail a rep or two shy of what i’ve programmed because that way I know they’ve attacked the program. Don’t just finish it, destroy it!
11 years of training clients and athletes has taught me that just ticking the box is not what breeds results.
Your Shoulders Should Be Mobile First Before They Get Strong
Just because your shoulders are important in basketball doesn’t mean you smash them. What happens to those people that over work the muscle and then go into the game? They injury the over worked body part.
Why is it that runners always injure themselves in the gym? It’s because coaches get them doing excessive amount of squats and deadlifts thinking it’s going to help when in fact it’s creating a pathway towards injury. Don’t over work something that you’re going to need very soon.
If you want stronger shoulders, increase their range of motion (ROM) and then develop the strength in partnership with the ROM. Don’t just think you’re going to have Dwight Howard delts and then become a star player. He’s one of a handful that had the genetics and was blessed with them. The other 98% of athletes that overworked the shoulders instead of focussing on ROM, external rotation strength and overhead coordination suffered from shoulder dislocations, AC joint issues and inflammation that’s lead to reduction in mobility.
Knees, Strengthen Your Fucking Knees!
I’ve written about this before so I’ll save you reading it again. Simply click here to read what I was talking about. It’ll save you from a knee injury. You’re welcome 😉
Coming in to see me for the 2017 season following her MVP award winning season, Ali Schwagmeyer wanted one thing and one thing only… to be stronger and better than her SBL year. One area we worked on was her knees. For years of complaining to coaches and specialists, we tackled the problem of knee issues and within the first 10 days has had ZERO knee pain and is putting up 20+ point games. As far as people go, she’s probably the nicest human I’ve come across.
A Professionals Eye Is Better Than Yours. Use Theirs!
To get to where I’m at in my career, I needed the help of amazing people. I knew that I had a great set of skills that could see me become a great strength coach but having an experienced eye, a mentor and even my own coach has opened my eyes and allowed me to become a better coach.
As an athlete, you need to be doing the same. Seek out those that have come before you, have been to the top and have reached the success you’re seeking. I reached out to an NBA legend and was lucky enough to have him spare some of his precious time to speak with me about the sport of basketball, his history and his experiences. If it wasn’t for that cup of coffee, I’d be fumbling a few things rather than being able to fix them.
Moral: Seek the best and get the best advice. You can have access to this kind of stuff at the bottom of this page.
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