As school basketball season winds down, many AAU and summer hoops teams are alreading ramping up. Tournament season has already kicked off in many parts of the country.
We asked some of our leading POINT 3 Alpha skills trainers: Should a player take time off between school and the AAU season?
TJ Jones: The player is going to need a break. I always say it’s best to take time off. Basketball now is so different. If you play November to February and then two weeks later you’re playing AAU with games soon, it’s a lot. Especially if you are young, it’s good to be a kid. The player has to get some rest to get away from the game and re-charge his or her batteries.
Jeff Sparrow: I am a firm believer in taking time off. Physically, our bodies need to recover from the rigors of the long winter months. Mentally, I really believe that taking time off can be extremely beneficial. "Burnout" is far too common, especially with AAU seasons lasting as long as they do. Player's need to get away from the game, enjoy life outside of basketball, and come back with a renewed sense of self. This can help energy and motivation levels regenerate and start anew.
Mark Adams: I think time off is a good thing. It all depends on the player and his or her situation, of course, but a little bit of time off is good because sometimes your body needs to rest and recover. Sometimes you’re banged up and have injuries and you really need that rest. So a little bit of rest before you start your summer ball is a good thing. Sometimes players want to work, work, work and as a trainer it’s good to say, "take a couple days off and recover."
Romeo De La Garza: I tell players they can take a couple days off after a season, but my recommendation is that they get in the gym and get back into it. They don’t need to work for two or three hours, but they need to get quality work in. As a high school head coach, I am now taking off a week and a half and then getting back into training.
Gilbert Abraham: Rest is necessary, but there’s also not enough attention paid to athletic development. If you are a great athlete, then a lot of time there can be skill issues. Russell Westbrook isn’t a super skilled player, but his game is fueled by his athleticism. He doesn’t do a whole lot of flashy things, but what he can do defensively and racing the ball up the floor is absolutely amazing. A lot of that stuff is skill, but it’s very much tied to athletic development. He spent a lot of time cultivating his body in a certain way.
So rest for me is rest from playing but not necessarily rest from training. Getting ready for the AAU season means putting up 500 makes a day and really focusing on strengthening up your body.