You don’t have to be a basketball aficionado to know the ruthless competitiveness of Michael Jordan and the championship rings that preceded it. But, did you know there was a large portion of Michael’s career that consisted of zero strength and conditioning?
He was finally tired of taking the physical abuse from opponents. If you aren’t familiar with the type of play he had to deal with, check out “The Jordan Rules.” I’ll let Dennis Rodmanand Bill Laimbeer speak on that subject here. The Detroit Pistons were the “Bad Boys” of basketball at the time.
Jordan wanted to start a strength and conditioning program, but he was afraid of lifting weights because he wasn't sure what the effect on his game would be. The first day of a 30 day trial period with Tim Grover turned into 15 years of training.
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." Michael Jordan
As the game of basketball evolves from tough and physical to quick and explosive, many athletes and coaches are looking to sharpen their athleticism and basketball IQ as much as possible. Coaches like Ted Butler and Tony Miller along with organizations like VertiMax & Nike Championship Basketball play an important role.
Have you ever seen coaching footage of Hall of Famer's Bobby Knight, Geno Auriemma or Hubie Brown and wished you had the opportunity to sit in on one of their practices? Having this type of access would provide a whole new perspective on how these coaches operate. In the words of Allen Iverson, “After all, we talkin about practice…”
Nike Championship Basketball Clinics
If you haven’t heard of the Nike Championship Basketball Clinics, it’s time to listen up. For years, Nike has provided court side access to the best coaches in the world. Here’s the setting: Nike hosts between 100-300 coaches and trainers at High School’s, Universities and convention centers across the country. The goal of these clinics is to give local high school and AAU coaches the opportunity to go beyond the X’s & O’s with some of the best current and legendary coaches in the game. Topics of conversation range from “Our Half Court Offense vs. Man to Man Defense” with Quentin Hillsman from Syracuse to “Practice Drills for the Individual Player and Team” with Steve Forbes from East Tennessee State.
Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Knight and retired Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan are among the list of coaches appearing at the upcoming Nike Championship Basketball Clinic at the University of Illinois on September 28th (Itinerary).
Basketball Performance Training
Lifting heavy weights is not essential for basketball athletes. More important is their ability to perform basketball specific strength. This is where performance coaches Ted Butler and Tony Miller are helping athletes improve their game. Their goal is to help athletes become faster, quicker and stronger as related to basketball and the movements that players are going to be making on the floor.
The sport of basketball requires many changes in direction, quick movements and explosive jumping - So, there are position specific exercises that should be the point of focus.
In Coach Miller’s own words, “My goal is to have a point guard who is an extremely skilled decision maker and ball-handler, a shooting guard who is a great shooter, etc. So the training we do with those individuals reflects those goals instead of just turning them into whatever you define as “a good basketball player.”
To ensure the athlete can perform these skills properly and handle the stresses that come with the sport, speed and agility training will be an important component to include in your training regimen. These position specific drills should be incorporated into any basketball program for athletes across all levels to help maximize performance and decrease the risk of injury.
Coach Ted Butler also values the importance of position specific training. Specifically, how lateral movement can be used to take your training to the next level. "It used to be that off court training was focused on getting stronger and vertical jump; those were 99% of almost all weight room training for a basketball player. Today, trainers and coaches are finally understanding that lateral movement training(or 3D movement training where you move in all directions) is helping basketball players become much quicker and helps us reduce the risk of injury. Training in all planes of movement is a trend that is becoming more accepted and something I am very excited to see becoming better received all the time."
Coach Butler doesn't shy away from how he feels about momentum and how important it is to his training as well. He get's the most out of his athletes on a daily basis because he goes all in and expects his athletes to reciprocate that as well.
"ALL IN! You have to be all in for whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. You simply must be! You will not be successful with any diet or workout program without a rock solid commitment. Decide that you are “all in” and failure isn’t even a possibility and that you will see this thing through regardless of any issues or unfortunate circumstances that might occur. Bad luck, murphy’s law, mistakes, failure, weakness or even tragedy is not going to stop you." Ted Butler
At VertiMax, we help youth athletes from the AAU level to NBA professionals like Steph Curry and James Harden. Many of the teams utilizing our equipment value three main things:
1) Group Training
One VertiMax platform allows coaches the ability to train up 5 athletes at one time. We all know time is a precious commodity. This gives coaches and trainers the capability to be as efficient as possible in maximizing their time with athletes.
2) Vertical Performance
For those of you who are somewhat familiar with VertiMax, you may have an understanding that it “helps increase your vertical.” But, many don’t understand why. VertiMax users are able to maximize both explosive leg power and arm swing velocity simultaneously. This combines for significant gains vertically, but also in other critical sports performance parameters such as first step quickness and overall speed.
Here is a video highlighting how VertiMax technology differs from conventional resistance bands and how arm swing and waist loading can be applied simultaneously.
VertiMax resistance allows athletes to achieve the highest resisted training velocities possible. This is important because the faster you can train with a load, the greater your high speed strength gains or power outputs will be. Strength gains from resistance training are highly correlated to the velocity you train at. In other words, low velocity training builds low velocity strength and high velocity training builds high velocity strength. If you are trying to increase high velocity sports performance you need to engage in a light load, high velocity training regimen. Please take a moment to watch how VertiMax equipment assists in building acceleration here.
I would love and appreciate your thoughts. Leave comment below, or shoot me an email.