One game during my freshman year of college, I got subbed into a road game to guard some bulky White dude.
He was about the same height as me, but our body types were as different as could be.
Me: long, slender, athletic. Lithe. My body back then (and still now) was made for running, jumping and moving.
Him: bulky, more rounded than angular, heavy in the torso. He was built like a wrestler (the sport — not WWE).
My opposition — and his teammates on their bench — recognized that this was a defensive mismatch for me.
They cleared the paint and posted him up against me twice in a row; he sealed me off and scored two layups on me back-to-back.
The guy’s ass was too wide, his mass to heavy, for me to do anything against him. It didn’t help that I hadn’t yet been taught how to front the post and use my quickness to neutralize his size advantage. None of my teammates offered any advice, either.
My coach subbed me out of the game. That was the most embarrassing thing that happened to me on the court my whole college career.
After the game, my coach told me that I’d need to get in the weight room and get stronger. That was obvious.
What exactly to do in the weight room, on the other hand, wasn’t so obvious.
There was a lot of equipment in there. And a bunch of dudes in there doing all kinds of stuff. Maybe I could model them and just do what I saw them doing — but, they weren’t basketball players.
Most of the guys I saw in the weight room, their sport was lifting weights. They’re didn’t need to concern themselves with running or reaching or lateral movement or balance or changing directions, the stuff we needed on the court.
I couldn’t just “lift weights” and hope for the best. Well, I could do that — but while it would help me look good with my shirt off, it probably wouldn’t help my performance on the court.
Luckily for me, after basketball season ended, an older student who was a fan of basketball took me under his wing and taught me how to lift weights. I started seeing progress in my physique within 6 weeks, and I haven’t left the weight room since.
And, while I still enjoy lifting to this day, I’ve always kept FUNCTION in mind: am I lifting just to get big muscles, or to perform better in my sport?
(NOTE: Look, I know that we all wanna look good; let’s not act like that doesn’t play a role. But if you lift functionally, the “physique” results come as a package deal.)
The good news for you is that you don’t have to get scored on twice in a row in a game to learn that strength is necessary for basketball.
You don’t need to go in a weight room and do random stuff, hoping something works.
You also don’t need to get lucky and have some random guy teach you how to lift and hope that he knows what he’s talking about.
That’s because I met my trainer Maria during my overseas career. I had Maria put together a strength training program that is specifically for basketball players and fully functional — meaning, you’re lifting to make yourself a better hooper — not just to take selfies for Instagram.
You can get that program — it’s called Position of Power — here: http://HoopHandbook.com/Power
What questions do you have about developing your game? Write me back and let me know.
Remember: You’re Just One Bold Move Away…