The regular season schedule is hectic for players and the majority of time is already reserved for practice and games. That leaves very little opportunities for a player to set aside some time to improve his individual game. Luckily, the off-season provides you with that much-needed time to critique your game. Here are some things that you can do after the season has ended to come back as an even better basketball player.
Take some time away from the game
Some people might think that time away from the game is counter-productive to improving as a basketball player, but it's necessary and extremely important. Even professional NBA players, at the end of the season, take several weeks away from the game to relax.
After a long season, it's important to take a break from the game to give yourself time to rest. The length of time varies from person to person. The most important thing during this time is to relax and recharge your batteries so that you can once again be physically and mentally ready to tackle the rigors of basketball. Enjoy some much-needed personal time. If you have some nagging injuries, this would be a great time to rehab it and allow the injuries to heal.
Critique your game by watching film tape
Watching game film is one of the best things you can do in the off-season to improve your game. If you haven't done so already, invest in a digital video camera and ask a friend or family member to videotape your game for you.
Watching game film allows you to see things that you may not have noticed during the fast-paced game such as defensive schemes or why your jump shots are falling short of the rim. With this knowledge, you can then make the necessary adjustments to improve. For example, if you noticed that some your missed shots are hitting the front of the rim, your legs could be fatigued and you're not getting the elevation you need to get your jump shot over the rim. Thus, you need to improve your strength and conditioning in the off-season. Or, if you're constantly being double-teamed and causing turnovers, watching game film allows you to see where the double-teams are coming from and the steps you need to make to counter it. In short, you now have the chance to critique every facet of the game and that provides you with countless opportunities to improve.
Ask the coach
Many teams conduct "exit interviews" at the end of the season. This is a great time to not only reminisce about the season that just concluded but to also look forward to the next one. Ask your coach what areas of your game he feels you need to improve on. Great coaches are always looking for opportunities to improve their players so they're happy to offer any shooting or conditioning drills that you can do in the off-season to strengthen your game.
Develop the mindset that great basketball players are made in the off-season. Before you know it, the regular season will start and you'll be stronger and better prepared that everyone else!