Presented by Todd German, Camp Director
McCracken Basketball Camp Saline Middle School
3 Tips to Improve your Individual Game in the Off Season
Players are often lose sight of their goals in the off season and don't maximize this time to improve and get stronger. It is important to stay in shape by taking advantage of summer time and returning to the court stronger in the fall. Todd German, Director of McCracken Basketball Camps says, "the first thing we remind players of at camp is teams are made in the winter; players are made in the summer. I know players also are on summer and other travel teams, but the off season is the time to improve on the individual skills that must be mastered and then blended with those of other players, so that a team may have success.” Playing games is good for improving reactions and decision-making, but there are limits to how much improvement can be made if all a developing player does is play games. In competition, players tend to shy away from their weaknesses or parts of their game where they’re not as confident. This often leads to a turnover or missed shot, and the next thing the player knows he or she is sitting on the bench. Here are 3 off season tips that young athletes at all skill levels should follow to get the most out of their summer.
1. Learn how to play the game correctly. Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes permanent! First learn how to do things right, and then practice them over and over. Make sure that you are reinforcing good habits and working with professionals that can give you feedback and catch mistakes before they become habits.
2. Practice drills at game speed. This can be done alone or with other players. Start slowly and learn the proper technique, then gradually build up speed so that you are pushing yourself past where you are comfortable. As we say in camp, when working on ball handling drills, “If you never drop or fumble the ball, it doesn’t mean you’re a great ball handler, it means you’re not working hard enough.” If you do a shooting work out and never miss a shot, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good shooter, it means you not tired on your shots, or you’re shooting to close to the basket. Challenge yourself!
3. Compete! In the off season you are often alone when practicing and much of your training is competing against yourself. Keep track of your progress and chart shots made, how many times you can do a ball handling drill in 30 seconds, etc. Anything where you can have a goal and can work to improve.
Take advantage of your time off and use it to comeback stronger! Check out more basketball drills and tips and join us this summer at McCracken Basketball Camp.