Every year we start practice with the JV girls and have 3 types of girls:
- Those that are near or in basketball shape (likely travel soccer players).
- Those that are nowhere near basketball shape (athletes of other sports).
- Those that had no idea what they were getting into (either non-athletes or beginners to non-recreational sports)!
Basketball is a sport that requires many quick and explosive movements (such as changing of directions, burst sprints, slides, jumps, dropping low into defensive/offensive position, and physical contact). On top of that, these movements are done in a relatively confined area and with very little rest.
This kind of intense aerobic activity is surprising to some people. Especially for those that have played in P.E. or in a recreation league, the amount of conditioning required to play at the Junior High level is higher. We don’t condition to be mean, but to better train our athletes to play competitively. Out-of-shape players get destroyed and embarrassed, and aside from hurting our chances of winning, it also crushes players’ confidence. We don’t want either of those, so immediate exhaustion and pain are necessary.
Your girls are guaranteed to be exhausted this week. If they have been sick, let us know, or if they are feeling sick do the same. They may experience a change in eating habits, too, and likely crash at 7:30! For those athletes that are well-trained, they may be okay, but most of our players won’t.
When we train the girls, we are doing so in a controlled and well designed and researched environment. We actually do fewer sprints than most teams, and run very little. Most of our conditioning takes place in agility drills, skill drills, and small-sided games and instruction that requires more movement than usual.
The product of this training is simple: our girls become tremendous athletes that other teams are scared to play and we play ferociously all over the floor. These are things that not only put us in a position to win immediately, but prepares the girls for high school, and allows them to better learn, then execute the skills we are instructing.