Basketball is one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world, with millions of people participating in the sport at various levels of competition. From recreational players to professional athletes, basketball requires a combination of physical strength, mental agility, and technical skills to be successful. However, the process of developing these skills and abilities through basketball training is often fraught with challenges and obstacles that can hinder a player’s progress and limit their potential.
In this article, we will explore the hidden problems and unmet needs of players in basketball training today, and offer innovative solutions for effective basketball training.
Basketball is a game that requires a combination of skills, including hand-eye coordination, agility, speed, strength, and endurance. Effective basketball training involves the development of these skills through various techniques and methods, such as drills, scrimmages, weight training, and mental preparation. However, the process of developing these skills can be challenging for many players, and there are several problems and unmet needs that can limit a player’s potential.
The purpose of this article is to highlight the challenges faced by players in basketball training and offer innovative solutions for effective training. We will discuss the problems faced by players during basketball training, the unmet needs of players, and innovative questions and posible solutions for effective basketball training we can look at.
Problems in Basketball Training
Basketball training requires access to adequate training facilities, qualified coaches, sufficient time and resources, and effective training methods. Unfortunately, not all players have access to these resources, and the lack of these resources can limit their potential. In this section, we will explore the various problems that players face during basketball training.
Lack of Access to Adequate Basketball Training Facilities and Equipment
One of the most significant problems faced by players in basketball training is the lack of access to adequate training facilities and equipment. Many players do not have access to a gym or court, making it challenging to practice their skills. Furthermore, even if players have access to a court, the condition of the court may be inadequate, making it difficult to practice effectively.
In addition to inadequate training facilities, many players also lack access to proper equipment. For example, basketballs, shoes, and clothing can be expensive, and many players may not have the means to purchase them. A trip to the sporting goods store or Amazon can quickly empty a bank account these days and on my last trip I noticed basketball shoes and a basketball could easily be $300-$400 for a pair of Nikes and a Wilson Evo indoor ball.
Limited Availability of Experienced and Qualified Coaches
Another problem faced by players in basketball training is the limited availability of experienced and qualified coaches. A good coach can help a player develop their skills and provide valuable feedback to improve their game. However, not all players have access to such coaches, and some coaches may not have the necessary experience or qualifications to provide effective training.
Many coaches don’t know the science of player development, still others don’t have the passion, and yet others argue that player development should happen outside of practice because they don’t have the time.
Overall, we also have a sport that tends to be obsessed with specific tactics over skills. Coaches making decisions from the sidelines on every play, but not teaching how to actually set and use a screen. Trainers teaching James Harden 18 dribble and step, step, step back isolation moves but not how to perform a V cut to get open.
Skill Development Not Focused on Where Player Projects As A Varsity or College Player
We believe all player should learn all skills to be complete and position-less players. But there are two scenarios currently happening all across America that should change ASAP.
- Scenario 1 has Recreational and Middle School Coaches playing our most genetically gifted players at big positions where they rarely get touches, athletic development (like defensive sliding), or skill development for position they would need to play in High School or beyond. How many 5’8 players play center in Middle School only to end up 6’0 in a High School conference where the average Centers and Power Forwards are 6’7 plus?
- Scenario 2 has trainers teaching everyone isolation moves or deep threes when their mentee only receives the ball in the high post at school. And because he doesn’t train on those skills, he doesn’t make shots and spends more time on the bench than if the trainer had personalized to him.
What if we collectively pivoted to think about what was in the players best interests first?
Scenario 1: Coaches at all levels ask the height of the parents and if there are any height projections for the player. They make an educated guess at where the kid ends up height an position wise and make sure they do skill development and play some at that position. If you don’t have sufficient projected bigs, consider an offense like 5 out that allows everyone to focus on multiple skills while still reinforcing that rebounding and help defense is everyone’s job.
Scenario 2: What if trainers asked trainees what offense they are running at school? Where are your opportunities and how do you move into those in flow during games? Let me show you some high post moves that also will work when catching weak (facing away from your goal) on the wing. Let’s divide up our training session between what you can use at school this week and what you need to become the player you want to be in the future.
Inadequate Time and Resources for Training
Basketball training requires time and resources, and many players may not have access to these resources. For example, many young players may have to balance their training with their schoolwork, making it difficult to find the time to train effectively. Furthermore, some players may not have the financial resources to pay for training, which can limit their access to training facilities and equipment.
Each basketball community faces different struggles. I will never forget when a coach in rural Maine told me he was more worried about getting his kids food, sleep, some sense of security, hope and basic necessities of life to think about extra training.
Other communities face first world problems where a life of affluence can have a gym full of kids who really haven’t discovered the power that adversity can bring us to become more resilient warriors on and off the court.
What does our community and kids in our gym need help with?
Inefficient and Outdated Training Methods
Finally, many players face the problem of inefficient and outdated training methods. Some coaches may rely on traditional training methods that may not be effective for all players. For example, some coaches may focus on repetitive drills without providing feedback or assessing the progress of the player. This can limit the player’s potential and result in a lack of progress.
Let’s use the example we can all relate to that was the norm for many years of basketball players always running cross country in the Fall to “get in shape for basketball season.”
I currently see a ton of Olympic movement and Crossfit type weight training in basketball strength programs across America. I don’t see them actually benefiting most of the athletes in my gym from a functional basketball strength or explosiveness perspective and have seen a rise in back injuries among the athletes in our gym. Is it possible that this trend is not serving our young athletes most efficiently?
Here is a link for an alternative: Basketball Bodyweight Strength Program
What are we doing now in our basketball training that in the future might be the equivalent of “run cross country.?”
Unmet Needs of Players in Basketball Training
In addition to the problems faced by players in basketball training, there are also several unmet needs that can limit a player’s potential. In this section, we will explore the various unmet needs of players during basketball training.
Customizable and Individualized Training Programs
One of the most critical unmet needs of players in basketball training is customizable and individualized training programs. Every player has unique strengths and weaknesses, and a one-size-fits-all training program may not be effective for everyone. Players need personalized training programs that are tailored to their specific needs and abilities. Customizable and individualized training programs can help players improve their skills, identify their weaknesses, and work on areas that need improvement.
We run personalized training programs with customization to each player. But could we do better by having a leader board on one of our whiteboards with every player’s benchmark times and scores and another section celebrating breakthrough personal bests? Look at how martial arts guides, tests and celebrates with their belt system. How could we bring that to basketball?
If you’re looking to help a young woman become a dominant shot-blocker and rim protector, one of the best ways to do so is by studying the techniques of the top shot-blockers in the WNBA. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available that can help you do just that. https://bucketlist.fans allows users to easily find and watch their favorite WNBA players, including those who excel at blocking shots.
For example, if you want to learn about the shot-blocking prowess of A’ja Wilson, you can easily search for her on the Bucket List website and find videos of her in action. Last season, Wilson averaged 1.9 blocks per game in the regular season and 2.4 blocks per game in the post season, so there are plenty of highlights available for you to review and study. By watching her approach and execution, you can gain a better understanding of what it takes to become a top shot-blocker in the WNBA. https://bucketlist.fans/#/videos/season/blk/1628932/42022
Similarly, if you’re interested in becoming a better passer and playmaker on the court, you can review film of the top assist-makers in the NBA. By watching how these players move the ball and create opportunities for their teammates, you can learn valuable lessons about court vision and decision-making. https://bucketlist.fans allows you to easily find and watch the top assist-makers in the NBA, including the likes of Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton is currently averaging 10.2 assists per game this season, making him one of the top playmakers in the league. By reviewing film of his assists, you can gain insight into his passing technique and learn how he creates opportunities for his teammates.https://bucketlist.fans/#/videos/season/ast/1630169/22022
In short, https://bucketlist.fans is a valuable resource for basketball players who want to improve their skills by studying the techniques of top players in the WNBA and NBA. Whether you’re looking to become a better shot-blocker or playmaker, we have the resources you need to take your game to the next level.
Access to Sports Nutritionists and Sports Psychologists
Basketball is a physically and mentally demanding sport, and players require proper nutrition and mental preparation to perform at their best. Unfortunately, many players do not have access to sports nutritionists and sports psychologists who can provide guidance on proper nutrition and mental preparation. Access to these professionals can help players optimize their performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and overcome mental barriers.
Most trainers and coaches are not expert in either field, but do we have a resources list of best basketball nutrition options for players? Do we have a mental health checklist for players? Do we have a pre game checklist for mental preparation? Could we teach kids how to make a smoothie that is healthy? Discuss replacing horrible food choices with healthier ones?
Regular Player Assessments and Data-Driven Feedback
Another unmet need of players in basketball training is regular player assessments and data-driven feedback. Many players do not receive regular feedback on their performance, making it difficult to identify areas that need improvement. Regular player assessments and data-driven feedback can help players identify their weaknesses, track their progress, and make adjustments to their training programs accordingly.
Sure we have technology options available, but a simple basketball player evaluation form filled out by the player and then by the coach can really help increase self awareness and also note progress. This could be done in training once a month or quarterly.
Integration of Technology and Data Analytics in Training Programs
The use of technology and data analytics in basketball training is becoming increasingly popular. However, not all players have access to these tools, which can limit their potential. The integration of technology and data analytics in training programs can help players improve their skills, track their progress, and make data-driven decisions about their training.
We are looking closely at this in our own basketball training business. Some ideas that we are looking at include:
- Mounting a Smart TV so we can film from our phone and stream to the TV and show in slow motion what shooting form is and how we can improve it. Of course we can use it in other areas like discussing approach angles in shot blocking.
- There are now AI type camera solutions like the VEO that can track players and the ball in full court training or scrimmages.
- Training Apps so players can work out on their own (Caution: I don’t recommend spending huge amounts of time developing this unless you are confident your training group is dedicated to working on their own.) There are many great training apps already complete you can share or partner with.
Innovative Solutions for Effective Basketball Training
Innovative solutions for effective basketball training are emerging that can help players overcome the problems and unmet needs discussed above. In this section, we will explore some of the most promising innovative solutions for effective basketball training.
Virtual Reality Training Programs
Virtual reality training programs use virtual reality technology to simulate game situations and provide players with a realistic training experience. These programs can help players develop their skills in a safe and controlled environment and provide immediate feedback on their performance.
While these are financially out of the reach for almost all players how could we focus on taking the advantages of this and bringing it down to a level where we could use similar principles for the masses? What if we wanted to train to become better at moving without the ball? We instruct players to watch a Golden State game, but not have their eyes follow the ball on screen. Their job is to watch only Klay Thompson and watch his cuts, reads, use of screens, effort level, physicality, and change of speed. This would essentially help us mimic some of the virtual reality programs being developed at a high $$$$ price tag.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Training
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used in basketball training to analyze player performance and provide personalized training programs. These technologies can identify areas that need improvement, track player progress, and provide feedback on performance.
What apps can we use to support players? What can we learn about the future of AI in general terms? How can it support our teaching and sharing? Our sustainability as training business owners? How can it support basketball parents?
Sports Science and Nutrition Advancements
Advancements in sports science and nutrition can help players optimize their performance and reduce the risk of injuries. For example, players can use wearable technology to track their physical activity, monitor their heart rate, and track their sleep patterns. They can also use nutritional supplements to provide their bodies with the nutrients they need to perform at their best.
I was at a University of Texas closed basketball practice years ago. They had a big screen television on rollers. The display indicated the heart rate of each player who was wearing a chest strap for monitoring. Graduate assistant coaches and trainers would monitor effort and also warmup and cool down processes. A simple Apple watch can help in our training. Think of shooting drills being performed at 120 bpm and then at 160 bpm. We can move forward in sports science in our own gyms with out the University of Texas budget.
Personalized Coaching and Mentoring
Personalized coaching and mentoring can help players overcome the problems and unmet needs discussed above. Coaches and mentors can provide players with personalized training programs, feedback on their performance, and guidance on proper nutrition and mental preparation. This can help players improve their skills, optimize their performance, and reach their full potential.
The fundamentals and skill development necessary to climb the competitive ladder are often the same for most players. But the most effective path you journey can be personalized to each player.
- What are realistic goals for this player and how can I support them?
- What is their Why?
- How do they learn?
- What is positive feedback for this player look like?
- How can I hold this player accountable to their goals and our agreed upon focus?
- When a player has a bad day, do you ask: “You don’t seem yourself today, tell me… how was your day… what’s going on? Or do you throw them out of the gym?
- Do you ask the parents how are we doing off the court? And what else can I help with?
- Do you know the learning challenges and opportunities facing each player as an individual?
Support, Accountability and Community
While sustained development is certainly driven by intrinsic motivation, how can we fuel that as leaders in basketball training? How can we fuel it as players? As parents? As coaches?
What platforms can we adopt or build to make us grow together? How can we go faster as a group rather than individuals?
Try this at a training session during cool down or free throw work:
Brag, Ask, Share. Each player (and coach) has to brag about an accomplishment that week. Could be basketball or otherwise. Ask.. I sure could use some help or ideas with ________. Share- a resource, quote, belief, hack, tool, website, Tik Tok Channel. Keep it short and brief.
Ask players at the beginning of a training session:
“What do you need accountability from me on today? How can I best provide that to you? “
Their ideas imply permission and often we can skip the defensive reaction or butt hurt look that coaching criticism can bring.
What can I outsource in these areas via technology or other products?
Effective basketball training is essential for players to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, the problems and unmet needs discussed in this article can limit a player’s potential and hinder their progress. However, innovative solutions for effective basketball training are emerging that can help players overcome these challenges and reach their full potential. By prioritizing effective basketball training and utilizing these innovative solutions, players can develop their skills, optimize their performance, and achieve their goals. We can meet the unmet needs and move from being problem spotters to problem solvers!