So your school basketball season is over. But AAU ball is right around the corner. What should you do to get ready? Some of our Alphas weighed in with their opinions on how to maximize your performance when transitioning into the summer season.
Be sure to check out the five key steps at the end of this post!
TJ Jones: It’s really good to focus on skill development training during the off-season to improve your skills, and then use AAU to test those skills. If a player comes to me and says their school coach wants them to play more on the wing than in the post, then we’ll work on those things. But then if the player goes to his AAU team and they just throw him in the post, then the player probably shouldn’t be playing for that team.
If we are working on learning new skills, then the player needs to be using those new skills in practices and games. If your school coach wants you to transition, then you already want to be comfortable and confident with that new skill and the new position at the end of the summer. So you need to have the right AAU situation.
Jeff Sparrow: When a player does begin their off-season, they need to have a structured idea of what they are trying to accomplish. Far too many kids say they "went to the YMCA for 3 hours" and classify that as their workout. Realistically, they should be putting in 30-45 minutes of game-speed work and stop wasting their day playing unproductive pick games at the YMCA. "More work, less time", and their goals will turn into productive outcomes.
Gilbert Abraham: Everybody should have goals.
We really focus on strengthening up your body for the AAU season. Sometimes a player plays three or four times a day in the summer, and that can be physically taxing if you aren’t prepared. AAU is like a marathon, so as far as athletic development I want to get a player as strong and fit as possible to be ready for it.
I also want to help them get as efficient as possible so they can shoot well during the summer. I want my shooters to be 40% from behind the three-point line and 50% in the paint. We try to put up 500 makes a day during the summer.
Mark Adams: First thing the player needs to do without a doubt is meet with their school or coaching staff. The player needs to discuss a summary of the season, what they did well, what they didn’t do well, strengths, weaknesses, and what do they need to improve on during the summer. And if I’m able to, I will contact the coach too and ask what does the player need to work on. Once you know what to work on, then it's time to come up with a plan. Figure out a plan to work on the strengths and weaknesses that you discussed with your coach. Then it's time to get to work!
Romeo De La Garza: It’s very important to add something new to your game every year. Focus on the things in and outside of your workout that well help add new dimensions to your game. I see kids I train playing with their school teams, and it feels great seeing them using the skills we've worked on during the summer. Polish the skills you are good at, and develop something new you can take to your team after the summer.