Why Your Off Season Basketball Workouts Sucks

Your off season basketball workouts sucks. You ask, why? You are probably making these key mistakes in your drills, conditioning and weight-training program.

You’re Unfocused:

“I’m focused man” – Jay-z
“I try my best to stay focused” – Kendrick Lamar – “live again”

Unfocused basketball workout sucks. Do you put together workouts based on what you “feel like” doing. Eliminate your feelings and structure your workout around your goals. To achieve your goals, have a process that will maximize your time. Do not walk in the gym or weight room without direction.

Why it Sucks:

  • Unfocused goals lead to mediocre outcomes.
  • Unfocused workouts are unproductive.


Too Many Games

You are participating in too many offseason games. You are involved in AAU, pick-up, and summer leagues; however, you are not working on your game. Games only allow you to perform comfortable skills. You gain comfort in your skills with constant, consistent and repetition of drills.

During the off season, concentrate on increasing your skills, athleticism and basketball IQ.

“My parents didn’t want us playing AAU because they didn’t want us to lose our skill level. AAU gets kind of crazy. In the summer, my Mom and Dad will get us in the gym and work on our games.” – Seth Curry

Why it sucks:

  • Your skills never improve.
  • Others that are working on their skills will improve at a faster rate.


  • Work on your Game


Too Many Shooting Drills

You want to be the best all around player, however your shooting drills dominate your court workout. However, basketball requires multi-directional movement and other basketball skills beside shooting.

Are you working on defense stance, shuffling, footwork, dribbling, closing out, posting and rebounding? If not, add these movements to your workout.

Why it sucks?

  • Coaches reward playing time to great rebounders and defenders.
  • Rebounding and defending is valuable.


  • Expand your basketball skills
  • Decrease shooting drills, and add other types of drills.


You are always walking

Include more game pace drills by sprinting and walking less.

During shooting drills, sprint to the desired place on the floor. Run harder in practice than your opponents will in their games. Therefore, improving your ability to play at a faster pace.

As you move from middle school, freshman, junior varsity, varsity and to college. The game pace increases. Become accustomed and comfortable to making court decisions at a faster pace.

Why it sucks?

  • You do not walk during games
  • Your mind is not ready for fast paced game play.
  • You are not ready for playing at the next level


  • Sprint during drills.
  • Train at a pace faster than game play.


No Defense & Rebounding

Be honest with yourself. How often do you work on your defensive and rebounding skills? Though you may think of shooting and dribbling as the only basketball skills, however defensive and rebounding are skills too, and will improve with effort and concentration. Great teams and players are great defenders and rebounders.

“I feel all great teams have two things in common: defense and rebounding. So, we stress defense and rebounding every day as the most important aspects in the game to win.” — Larry Brown

Why it sucks?

  • You never improve your defensive and rebounding skills.
  • Defense and rebounding are foundations of great teams.



You Love Upper Body Workouts

What do you Bench? This is probably your favorite question. You love upper body beach body, bodybuilder, meathead workouts that impress the opposite sex. If you want to increase your speed, vertical jump, rebounding strength, and quickness, increase your lower body power by training your lower body. Leave the meathead upper body workouts for the bodybuilders.

Why it sucks:

  • More off season Upper body workouts than Lower body


  • Balance Upper body workouts with Lower body workouts.


You’re forgetting Multi-Directional Training

If you perform only squats, lunges, in one direction. (Sagittal direction which is front to back). Including multiple directional training will turn you into a better athlete and basketball player.

Basketball requires you to move in multiple directions. Sagittal – Front to back, Lateral – Side-to-Side and Transverse – crossover and drop back motions.

Your body only gets stronger and more powerful in the ranges of motions that you train. Train in multiple directions to improve your multiple directional power, speed and quickness.

Why it Sucks:

  • Only training in one direction
  • Lack Lateral and Crossover movements


  • Move in Multiple Directions
  • Increase Mobility in all directions.


You’re forgetting to Prevent your Injuries

If you are not healthy, you are not playing. Add injury prevention exercises that improve body control and decrease your injury risk.

The most common basketball injuries are ankle and knee injuries. Have a balanced exercise program to decrease your chances of injuries:

Why It sucks:

  • More  knee dominate exercises vs Hip Dominant Exercises (Read Basketball training Terminology)
  • Lack of Glute Activation Exercises
  • More Upper body Presses vs Pulls


  • More Hip than Knee dominate exercises
  • Add Glute Activation Exercises

If any of these areas applies to your workout, take action. If you have any questions Leave a comment.

Author: Courtney Campbell

Basketball Strength & Conditioning Coach. I breathe, sleep & eat maximizing basketball players on and off court performance. Follow him on Twitter or Like on Facebook.

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