Training The NBA Way



This season’s training regimen has been brutal, with two-a-day practices scheduled all the way up to the start of the season. The lockout’s tightened the schedule, and the teams are having to scramble to get in shape.

That kind of training regimen takes a lot of mental toughness. Do you think you have what it takes to keep up?

Staying Focused

A two-a-day practice schedule is tough, but not as tough as the season, says Ray Allen. “If you can’t do two-a-day,” Allen told BALLnROLL, “then you shouldn’t be playing the game. Mental toughness is sustaining 82 games and being present. You go two a day, you just have to stay in it, stay focused. I could go two-a-day, but you’re counting on a guy over six months, seven months, where he’s got to be there, take care of his body and get his rest. That requires great mental toughness.”

But to take a two-a-day schedule, you have to be in great shape.

How In Shape Are You?

Players going into training camp go through a battery of tests, which include eye tests, orthopedic tests, blood work, and a full physical. They also determine the player’s VO2 Max, in order to find their oxygen intake levels. It’s important to know the VO2 Max of the players, to see how much oxygen they can take in before becoming fatigued.

If you’re want to find out your VO2 Max, you should be someone who’s been running for a while. To estimate it, run as much as you can in 12 minutes. Your VO2 max = (D-505 / 49.2), where D is the distance in yards you run.

Defensive Drills

A strong defense often trumps an offense. This season, the Raptors, all ten of them, have been doing non-stop defensive drills. These guys are going to have to get these skills so ingrained into their systems that they can react instantly during the real thing.

That’s the sort of thing that Leandro Barbosa and his teammates has been focusing on. After a day of training, “Everything changes,” Barbosa told BALLnROLL. “We’ve been going. It’s been really hard, mentally, and we’ve been really, really strong. We know we need to go two-a-day and how hard the season this year is going to be. We need to get better, especially on defense. We’ve been hard on communication, but everyone’s been working well together.”


You have to be able to sink in shots in any situation. Your coach will have to working on:

  • Pull-up shots
  • Free throws
  • Drives to the hoop
  • Jump shots 

Start getting your shots in; you’ve got a lot of practice to get through.

Explosive Sets

Back in the day, weight-lifting was frowned upon in the NBA world, where they thought that too many muscles would weigh a player down and keep them from making shots. Now, of course, we know that’s not true.

Dwyane Wade’s workout routine has him focusing on power, flexibility and shoulder strength, and mixes them up with endurance training. Explosive sets condition your muscles to be able to work in single, powerful, fast movements, invaluable for someone who needs to put force and speed behind his reflexes. Wade packs his weight-training into a single compact 30 minute workout.

Obviously, if you’re not at D-Wade’s level, you’ll want to take things a little easier, especially with explosive sets, of which there is a higher chance of injury than in other weight lifting.

Mixing It Up

A lot of teams’ workouts emphasize core training, but often players will mix it up and follow it up with a routine including cardio training and swimming.

Making The NBA

When it comes to making the NBA, Barbosa told BALLnROLL, “You have to understand the game, to read and to know when coaches are talking about something and know what to do when the situation comes up. It’s not easy. It’s pretty hard. Now it’s all about ‘Make the NBA’, and after you make the NBA, it’s a lot of work you got to do to be on the NBA and make sure you’re comfortable on a team and everything.”

Allen felt that it was equally hard to make the NBA as it was to stay in it. “Think about it,” he told BALLnROLL. “There’s a 12 man roster, and you’ve got all these guys coming out of college trying to make it, so the numbers are so staggering. So when it comes to the guys who end up being able to be here, if you’re here, you see why guys are great at what they do and why they’re here, but, you know, I think there’s a sense of complacency and mediocrity that exists with some guys, so I think it’s equally tough to get in and stay in.”

Making the NBA and getting through training is going to be tough. It requires the ability to stay focused and do drills again and again.

And after you’re finished training, don’t forget to clean up the courts afterwards. Which apparently is Jimmer Fredette’s job. 


Stone at 30 Nov -0001

Just what the doctor ordered, thanitky you!

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