Winter Park Basketball – Off-Season Training

By Hank Morton

Over the last few months, Winter Park Basketball has been on a two-times a week schedule which incorporated development of movement skills as well as lower and upper body resistance training. During this period, the goal was to develop strength, power, and speed, specifically in that order, as well as teach and improve proper movement mechanics which became more sport-specific to basketball as time progressed. A 10-20 yard flying sprint and vertical jump were tested to monitor the athletes performance throughout the weeks.

Each week came with new challenges working on linear movement, agility and change of direction, progressed plyometrics, conditioning, and intent during resistance training. The sessions included warm-up, movement, lift, and/or conditioning. Teaching the athletes to be fast and explosive as well as learn to absorb impact during landings and cuts properly was very important. Another goal was to ensure that our athletes were injury and pain free as they performed. Common injuries revolving around basketball are ankle injuries and patellar tendonitis. To combat this, we included auxiliary exercises within warm-up and the lift such as tibialis raises, lower body isometrics, mobility, and ankle strengthening and stability exercises.

Below is a sample of how we progressed these athletes through their lifts:

Lower PushBack SquatBox SquatBox Squat
Upper PushBench PressPause Bench PressBench Press
Lower PullTrap Bar DeadliftTrap Bar DeadliftKB Swings
Upper PullWeighted Pull UpsDead Hang Pull UpsAssisted Pull Ups

Before these bigger lifts, the athletes were introduced to more fundamental lifts to prepare them for these progressions. Our lifts came with intent, intent meaning our goal. Whether it was lifting as heavy as possible (strength), moving moderate weight hard and fast each rep (power), or moving lighter weight as fast as we can repetitively (speed). Not included in the sample above is our use of unilateral, mobility, and plyometric exercises during our lifts.

Over the course of our testing, numbers improved. The athletes began to move better. Here is a summary of how our athletes’ numbers increased through vertical jump.

Vertical JumpStartEndDifference
Team High (in)33.335.5+6.6%
Team Low (in)22.624.1+6.64%
Team Average (in)27.929.2+7.17%

The environment remained competitive, stimulating, and fun. We wish Winter Park Basketball the best in their 2021/22 season and can’t wait to see them back in again.

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