I'm relatively new to weight training; however, I am continuously studying, reading, practicing physical training (working out 3-5 times a week, reading/studying nightly). Through my study's and practices I've came to believe the two best weight training exercises for athletes are, 1. Deadlifts and 2. Military presses (standing). I do acknowledge that every athlete is different; therefore, this may not be true for every athlete.
I play basketball and I want to be able to compete throughout the week while I strength train, that being said I have to factor in CNS fatigue(140lb ectomorph). I have a tendency to train too hard. I've realized in my own training that I should use less exercises because I cannot train light weight with any interest; therefore, I prefer to use the standing military press and the deadlift. The two most primitive movements, lifting heavy shit over your head and lifting heavy shit off the ground.
I do recognize that basketball players are notorious for having awful posture and painfully weak posterior muscles. If you look at the great athletes in the NBA, the athletes have extremely broad shoulders and large glutes. I've declared the shoulders and gluteus muscles as the most essential muscles for athletes, besides the core muscles of course. There are studies that reveal the deltoids have a greater influence on your vertical jump than you gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
Obviously, the gluteus muscles, hamstrings, and spinal erectors are most important, other than core muscles. I include the gluteus muscles and deltoids as core muscles. If you only utilize the deadlift and the standing military press you activate nearly all of your muscles, not to mention the importance of hip extension in athletic movements. What I'm asking here is, am I insane to imply that the only two strength exercises athletes need are Military Presses (standing) and deadlifts?