T Nation

Help For a Basketball Coach

My name is James and im a boys varsity coach at a prep school, and we play in the New England Prep School League, which is one of the most competititive leagues in the country. We had guys from are league such as Rashad Mcants, Torin Francis, and a bunch more. My team was class B this past season but we had a very good team and won the Prep Tittle for class B in our league and this upcoming season we are being moved up to class A, which is as competitive as it gets, to the point where, some teams have their starting 5 going Division 1. I was introduced to this site by one of my ex-players who played d1.

Well to my problem that im having, i am getting 3 kids returining next year from the varsity and there all very dedicated and talented to a point, and they all started for me at some time. They want me to train them in the offseason which is starting now, and i feel i want to help them get more athletic also. So i decided to come to this site for help, my main focus is on my 3 players becuase i know they are dedicated, enough so stick through the ride. Heres some information on the players

Player A ) Hes a 6’2" SG, who can really score, he averaged 22 ppg this season, but shoots a pretty low fg% about 39%, he is the only raw scorer we have. His standing vertical leap is 27-28 inches, he is quick as lightning but skinny about 175 lbs, and really struggles taking bumps when he drives to the basket. He doesnt have much prevuios lifting experience but he squat 205x3 reps, Benches 155x3 reps

Player B) Hes 6’4" SF, 200 lbs and has a pretty good body on himself, he is a very rugged player stats were 13ppg, 13.5 rbpg. His vertical leap is 26 inches, he benches 200x2 reps, squats 245x 3 reps.

Player C) Hes 6’7" PF/C, 220-225 lbs, pretty skinny frame, started playing his freshman year and improved alot. His Stats arent as great as the others he averaged 5ppg and 7rbpg. Hes the least athletic of the group but the most determined. His vertical leap is 22 maybe 23 inches. Squat is lower than the rest of the guys he squats 155x5 reps, and benches 175x3 reps. He is a decent player but athleticly hes not there yet, hes uncoordinated, very slow, his speed is bad, and he just doesnt have that explosiveness great power fowards do.

What i came on to T-mag was to ask for some help as to what to do with my ballers to help them, becuase from what i read on here the past few weeks, and the workout i seen the trainer give them, i think the potential to increase athletic ability is great, and i dont want my players to fail becuase of a bad program.

The program the trainer gave them consisted of the following

bench 3x15
leg press 3x15
curls 3x20
leg extension 3x15
this workout 2-3xs per week, i mean i have tons to learn but that doesnt seem to be helping my players at all.

Thanks for reading this and i hope i can get some solid advice.

Coach James

Well Coach - I definitely commend you for being considerate enough to realize that this program is flawed and attempting to find ways to improve it. Unfortunately, there are far too many things to address in a single message.

My best advice would to be to hire qualified trainer/consultant for your team. The program you have posted is not only imbalanced (doesn’t work all muscle groups), but also seems to be lacking any theoretical approach that will help your athletes get bigger, stronger and faster. If a trainer is out of the question - even a few hours reading some of this sites articles will allow you to produce a much more useful program.

Good luck

Hey Coach. I’m a college student who played some ball in high school and am considering getting into strength and conditioning for basketball some day.

Anyway, I’ve been reading up on this site for about five years, and I would recommend a program that strongly emphasizes the compound lifts such as Squats, Power Cleans, Deadlifts, Power Snatches, Good Mornings, Bench Presses, Pullups, Dips, Rows, Push Presses, Overhead Squats, Glute-ham raises, Lunge variations, etc.

These exercises along with sprint training, and extra core work would be great to include in an offseason basketball program.

I also agree that hiring a strength coach who knows how to teach the lifts and develop a good program would be a great move. Once your players learn proper form on the lifts and start following a strict program, they should see dramatic results. Oh, and definitely keep reading up on this site. Good luck, and I Hope this helps.


You might consider checking out my “Designer Athletes” article featured previously here at T-Nation. As you stated, it sounds as though there’s some decent raw material there, but a focused and balanced strength training program can only help.

Once you’ve read the article if you have further questions, feel free to post them here.

Stay strong

Hey, just check out all the articles on this site their is a ton of stuff and like Mike Robertson check out his article that should give you a pretty good start and just keep reading.

Good luck with your players. Its really good to see a coach thats real dedicated to his players

Just off the top of my head-there’s Mike Robertson’s article, Christian Thibaudeau’s Athletic Pendulum Training, Joe Defranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards.

Talk to your schools track sprinting coach about speed training. That should help tons also. Maybe even get your kids to join the track team.

although Mid distance 800M-1mile is probably the best for them to run since that is closer to what they need for basketball (endurance and speed/power)

Talk to your schools distance/cross country coach also. consider incoporating the training that seems to simulate the needs of a basketball game. Don’t worry about being perfect, you obviously are wise enough to see what seems good for basketball especially since you didn’t think that your trainers plan was very good for your and your athletes goals!

GL :smiley: