Key Tips Every High School Ballplayer Should Follow Into the Playoffs
3 min read
With High School playoffs in full effect in most parts of the country, we asked a couple of our Alpha skills trainers about what ballplayers should be doing to be at their best when the season is on the line.
1. How should a player be working out in-season with all of their games and team practices?
Mark Adams, www.markadamsbasketball.com:Even though players are deep in-season, I do encourage them to do some work on their own. Players can get individual skill work with their coaches in before and after practice.
Sometimes on a day off it’s good to get with your skills trainer. But you really have to respect the season. Never do anything with live defense in skills workouts during the season. You don’t want to see a player get hurt.
A lot of high school teams can’t practice on Sundays, so it’s a great time to get a 45 minute or hour long shooting workout in. And the biggest thing it helps with is the mental approach. When a player knows they’re putting in extra work, it builds their confidence. You deserve the right to have shooting success by getting the extra shots up.
Jeff Sparrow, www.pointblankperiod.net:As playoffs approach, scheduling tends to change from a practice standpoint. Details, quality repetition, film study and mental days are the norm for a championship caliber team late in the season. During this time, the great players understand that while less physical activity is occurring in their practices, they still need to make time for their individual craft outside of practice.
As a collegiate player, I spent more time before/after practice during our playoff years in order to make sure I received game-speed reps and quality work. Strength often gets overlooked during the winter months as well. Why work all summer in the weight room if you aren't going to continue with your progress? All players should receive, at minimum, a maintenance program in order to keep their gains while not overdoing it during the season. If a player shows up only for his hour and a half practice and leaves, odds are he is not part of a championship caliber team anyway.
2. How do you work on increasing a player's energy level?
Mark Adams:A lot of that is nutrition, diet, and taking care your body. You have to eat properly, rest your body, sleep a lot, and get a lot of fluids. Another thing I’ve done from an energy standpoint is the power of words. I’ll give the players I work with a word, and that might be their theme word for the week, month, or year. For example, for one player I’m working with I’ve given him the word “Attack.” And that translates to energy for him when I asked if he attacked in practice or the game.
Also to have energy, don’t save yourself during the game. Too many players try to save themselves so they don’t sub out. Play as hard as you can every play. I encourage players to ask their coaches to take them out when they’re tired and then go back in when they are ready to play hard. That’s a great way to teach a player to always play with energy.
Jeff Sparrow:As a Trainer and a Coach, both avenues involve being the most motivated/energetic person in the gym. When I set that tone early, I never see an issue with a quiet gym or lack of communication. Being active and engaged is non-negotiable. It is a crucial part of being great. We set that expectation early and usually never need to revisit it again.
Good luck to all the High School players out there in the playoffs!