Monday, March 7, 2011

Rest, Recover and Reflect

Posted by Lee Miller | Monday, March 7, 2011 | Category: , , , |

We pulled out a thrilling 3 point win last night over Gonzaga High School to capture the 2011 WCAC Championship.  It felt amazing to see our kids so happy.  We have a tremendous group of young men and they deserve to call themselves CHAMPIONS.

But our season isn’t done yet.  Winning the conference tournament earned us a ticket to play Theodore Roosevelt High School in the DC City Title Game on Monday, March 7th at the Verizon Center. 

Even though we are still playing, I realize many teams across the country have completed their seasons.

This blog is the first in a 3-week series of posts to help you plan your off-season strength & conditioning program.

Most youth and high school basketball players no longer have a true off-season as they immediately jump into AAU and then into the summer camp circuit.  While I am not an advocate of this schedule, I realize “you can’t stop the waves; but you can learn to surf!”

Given that basketball is now a year round sport, having a sound approach to training is essential:

1.    By making the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint structures stronger and more mobile, players will lessen the occurrence and severity of acute and overuse injuries.  If an injury does occur, they will recover quicker. 

2.    By improving strength, power, footwork, reaction, agility, coordination, flexibility and conditioning, players will be able to perform their basketball skills more efficiently, perform them at a higher level, and perform them for longer before the onset of fatigue.

3.    Players who train hard are more confident on the court. That is why ‘The Best Players are in the Best Shape!”
Players need to take one to two full weeks off after their last game.  This is non-negotiable. They need to rest their minds and their bodies.  They need to spend quality time with family and friends.  They need to make sure their academics are on point.  They need to get extra sleep.  They need to eat well. They need to kick back and enjoy being a kid! High school & college will be over in the blink of an eye; they shouldn’t take this time for granted.  They need to enjoy the journey.

Players need to address the nagging injuries they endured during the season.  They shouldn’t ignore sore ankles, sore knees, and sore backs. If appropriate doses of Advil and ice don’t do the trick, they need to see a medical professional (an Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist).

The only physical activity I would recommend during the recovery phase would be a daily full body foam roll routine (‘self-massage’) and/or some active stretching and mobility type movements like these:

If you need further guidance for the rest and recovery phase, this is an excellent resource:

Players need to take 10 minutes every day during this two week period and sit comfortably in total silence – no phones, no computers, nomusic, no TV, and no barking dogs.  They need to close their eyes and reminisce on this past season. If it was a successful season, they should take time to feel good about what they accomplished and pin-point what made it such an impressive year.

If it was a rough season, they need to use it as a learning experience to get better. They need to reflect on the challenges they faced and brainstorm ways to handle those issues in the future. Remember, from every adversity comes opportunity.  

My next post will cover the second phase of the off-season: Evaluate and Plan.

My main goal is to be a resource for as many basketball players and coaches as I can. Please email me if I can ever be of service (

Train hard. Train smart.

Alan Stein

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