Mr. Jeff Wilson is a phenomenal basketball coach. He was actually my coach while I was at Cedarview Middle School. He devotes his life to teaching and to coaching sports of all levels. He is the coach for the AA boys U15 Ottawa Next Level basketball team. I was so excited when he asked me to come in and spend a couple hours helping his boys basketball team prepare for the next couple tournaments before their Provincials. I was also a bit nervous how they would react to a girl coming in who was only a couple years older than them but they were awesome.
Obviously I was not going to help them with any of their basketball skills but the purpose of the night was to give them some new cross training drills, get them outside their comfort zone and get them thinking after about goals, and their progression.
These 15 year old guys are currently playing in an older age group which is great since it’s really challenging for them and it’s the best way to improve. They all take their basketball very seriously and want to be the best they can be.
Practising 3 times a week is a good start and it’s usually the only amount of gym time that teams can get. However, if teams really want to excel they have to put in a lot more work (physically and mentally) if they want to reach the next level. They need to use their precious gym time to work on the specific drills and strategies for basketball with the expertise of their coach, but there is so much more that they can do off the court to step up their game.
The first part of the workshop I gave a few new drills that they could do on their own.
I introduced them to:
- Tabida drills
- different cardio drills
- explosive leg drills
- resistance training
- core strengthening
- shoulder and arm strengthening
- I had them kick and punch shields for their first time
- stretches for the main muscle groups that we worked
- team building exercising where they have to work together as a team to accomplish a goal
The key to being successful athletically, is being strong and coordinated overall. A lot of athletes are one-sided. If you can balance out the strength, you will be so much stronger and also prevent injury. The great part about the drills is that you can do them just about anywhere and you can use the things around you for equipment. You don’t need a fancy or expensive gym membership!
Over the years, I’ve picked up hundreds of drills from different coaches, personal trainers and training partners and made up a few of my own. Mixing up your training also keeps it fun and challenging. Here are some old pictures of the types of drills I do on my own. This is just a very SMALL sample of things that you can do….. 🙂
We are all teenagers going through growth spurts and our bodies are constantly changing so it’s so important to stretch properly and be aware of the changes to help prevent injuries. Most people are so inflexible and need to stretch every day.
We discussed nutrition and how hard it is when we travel so much for tournaments. Having the right fuel in our bodies is so important to our athletic performance.
Time management is really hard when we are in high school with a ton of homework and also wanting to be with friends. I discussed the difference of between making the choice to train vs. feeling it’s a sacrifice to train.
The second hour was on goal setting. I went over my five step process. It was interesting for me this time, because not only did I touch on individual goal setting, but team goals as well. Each step of the process has key points, but for this team, the main message was “What are you going to do to reach that next level?” I wanted to get them to think about when they can do as individuals and what they can do as team to improve. I shared what I did/do in each of the five steps to give them some ideas. I gave them each a booklet that we went through and I hope they fill them out on their own after they’ve had some time to digest everything that was covered tonight.
I emphasized the idea of having Swag. They laughed at first, but soon understood that really, Swag is confidence. Swag is feeling worthy of greatness. Stepping onto the court (in their case) and owning it, believing that they are the champions and playing like true champions knowing that they have put in all the work to get to that point. It’s about being proud to wear their team jersey.
We finished off making two team push-ups. Each line had 6 guys and they are all linked together and they had to do one team push up together. It takes team work to find out who has what strength and where they should be in the line-up to make it possible. In order to do the push up everyone had to be part of the link. Everyone has to pull their own weight in order to be able to do a team push-up. One line was able to do it right away and then it was fun to watch them go and advice and cheer on their team mates in the other line. Hopefully they see the symbolism of being on the court together. Jokingly they said they wanted to practice that and go do one in the warm up before every game to psych out the other team lol. If nothing else, they would be remembered 🙂 Great team spirit!
They seemed really receptive and I hope they were able to even pick up even just one little thing. They have so much potential and I think they can get to the next level, all they have to do is put in the EXTRA work and find their swagger 🙂
I look forward to hearing how they do at their next tournament. Good luck guys.
Check out all the pictures from the physical portion of the night. Thank you Mr. LeGrow for lending me all the shields and hand pads for the evening.