There are approximately 70 days before the East Lansing Basketball Club will conduct tryouts for their club teams this winter. I am currently witnessing a young man in my household go through two-a-day practices and conditioning to prepare for his Fall sport. His experience led me to think about all the kids that will tryout out for club and school basketball this Fall in elementary and middle school and it inspired me! It inspired me to try to provide some information, drills and advice on how to prepare for these tryouts. I wondered if parents and players would find the information valuable. Thus, I have decided to dedicate my blog for the next 70 days or so to the idea of helping kids prepare for tryouts. My focus will be on basketball, although I suspect that some of the information will be beneficial to other sports as well. I am hopeful that I can include information from several “guests” and that people will add comments and point to additional resources during this period.
For this first post, I would like to focus on conditioning. The toughest player on the court is the one who can last the longest. You may be the most skilled player on the team; however, if you are not in good shape your ability to use those skills in a game may be severely limited.
I would offer the following three tips to help begin to get you conditioned for your basketball tryout:
(1) Running is an essential part of basketball. Some people may jog, some may run sprints. My suggestion is do both — but add a basketball to your run and practice your dribbling!!
(2) Jumping is so important in basketball. A drill that can help build your leg strength and foot speed is ball jumps. Some would have you jump over a basketball, I prefer a safer version. Use a large square or round sponge (one that is about 3-5 inches high) and place on a solid service. With your feet together proceed to jump over the sponge repeatedly. See how many times you can do this before becoming fatigued. Try to increase the number of jumps each day. You can also have Mom or Dad time you and see how many you can do in one minute. Try to beat your score each day. When you get really good add a second sponge!
(3) Another very simple conditioning exercise is to jump rope. Start out by using both legs and as you progress jump rope on one leg for one minute and then alternate legs.
These are simple and low cost activites that can help get you moving and get you working on areas of your body that will help improve your game.
Get started today — the clock is ticking!!