This week we will focus on explosiveness and building a base for core strength and endurance. Our skills focus will be on the basics of ball handling and shooting. If we can master the little things, our team will accomplish big things.
Work out of the Day (WOD) for Wednesday and Friday
For each of the five dribbling drills, take about a minute on each. Try to push yourself to get quicker and to keep you eyes up. If you make mistakes, that’s great; you are pushing yourself!
Right Hand Pound: With knees slightly bent and eyes up, pound the ball into the ground, keeping control with the fingers and pads of the hand
Left Hand Pound: Switch to your left, using the same form. With all drills you can vary the height and speed of your dribble, but try to emphasize staying low and quick.
In and Out Right Hand only and Left Hand only (Windshield Wiper): Dribble the ball like you are going to cross over. But instead of going back and forth with both hands, one hand does all of the work. This drill is the base of a lot of in and out/ hesitation moves that you will need in your arsenal in order to be a good at creating off the dribble.
Quick Cross: Cross over hard and low, keeping your eyes up and your cross over below your knees. Keeping the ball low will make your cross over quicker and harder to steal. You can go back and forth with no extra dribbles, or take one dribble on each side to get yourself settled.
Figure Eight (Both Directions): Dribble the ball low and with your finger tips going around one leg and then the other. Try to take at least eight dribbles to go through the entire figure eight. After a minute or so, try to switch directions. Concentrate on keeping your eyes up and bending at your knees and not at your waist.
For these shooting drills, concentrate on good form and getting better at in game shots. It doesn’t matter if you never miss a shot in HORSE but can’t hit a shot under game conditions. Game time is when it matters!
Form Shooting: Start in front of the rim. With only your dominate hand, make three swishes in a row. It doesn’t count if the ball touches any part of the rim. After you make three in a row, take a big step back. Repeat this process until you get to a point where you cannot make three swishes in a row while keeping good shooting form. For your form, concentrate on keeping your elbow under the ball and not allowing it to flare out to the side. Follow through with a flick of the wrist. Your pointer and index finger should be the last to touch the ball and should be centered in the middle of the rim on your follow through. The drill makes you concentrate on your touch and putting good arch on your shot.
Mikan Drill: This is a great drill for both guards and bigs to develop good finishing ability around the rim. Starting in the middle of the rim make a layup on the right side, rebound your shot keeping the ball above shoulder height, and shoot a left hand lay up on the left side. Go back and forth until your make 20 on each side. (There are plenty of youtube videos that do a great job of demonstrating this drill)
Free Throws: Shoot 50 Free Throws and keep track of how many you make. You should have a goal of improving your score each time! Keep your shot smooth throughout and keep your follow through right down the middle, just like in your form shooting drill. Arch on your shot will help give you good touch. You can have too much arch though. The optimal angle is about 45 degrees.
Beat the Pro: In this last drill, take shots from all over the court, some off the dribble and some by spinning the ball to yourself. If you make the shot, you get one point. If you miss, the imaginary pro, let’s say Paul George, gets one point. First to 10 wins! You can play this game a few times and from different spots. Challenge yourself!
In this last section of athleticism building, really focus on being quick and explosive in everything you do. But make sure your form is very good with every exercise in order to prevent injury.
Warm up and Work out:
20 Air squats-Keeping your back straight and your weigh on your heels, bend down like you are sitting in a chair and then stand back up.
10 Inch Worms- With your legs together and knees slightly bent, bend at your waist and touch the ground. While keeping your feet on the ground, walk your hands forward until you’re in a push up position. Now walk your feet back up to your hands. Repeat.
10 Square hops- Starting by standing on your left leg, hop to the left and land on the left leg. Now jump forward, then to the right, and then backwards, ending up back where you started making a Square with the landing points of your four jumps. After making ten squares with the left, repeat by making ten squares with the right.
20 Leap ups from a Chair: From a sitting position in a chair, in one explosive movement, stand up and jump as high as you can. Land softly and return to sitting in the chair. Repeat.
10 Push ups
20 Split jumps: Placing your right foot about two feet in front of your left, bend your knees and jump as high as you can, Land in with your feet in the same position as when you jumped. Land softly but then explode back into the air. After 20 reps place the left foot in front of the right and repeat.
10 Push ups
20 Calf Raises: Satnding on a book or stair with one leg, keep your knee pretty straight and lower your heel below the step. Next, raise up onto your toe like you are standing on your tip toe. Do 20 reps on both legs. Make sure the lowering of your heel is slow, but the raising of the heel is done quickly.
Push ups to failure- Go until you can’t do any more while keeping good form. You don’t want to let your form break down because it will put too much stress on your shoulder joints.
Planks-Lower yourself into a push up position, but have your weight on your elbows and forearms instead of your hands. Keep your abbs tight and your back straight. Do 10 for 10 seconds, 5 for 20, 2 for 30, or 1 for 60 seconds, depending on how hard or easy this exercise is for you.
WOD for Thursday and Saturday:
Run 1 mile and go through the skill work above. You can add more to these work outs if there are parts of your game you know you need to work on. Each week I will increase the difficulty of the workouts to keep things fresh and challenging, and I will concentrate on keeping things intense but not super long.
Post Your best mile time and your Free Throw makes in the comments section below. Stay honest! These numbers are mostly for me to be able to see your improvement throughout the season, but they can also provide some competition between you and your teammates. Train for an audience of One.