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Building Players In The Summer

Every summer, my goal is to help my players enhance their skills and overall performance. In today’s post, I’m going to share exactly how I help my players improve in the Spring and Summer.

I talk a lot about opportunities in my program. Every player has the same opportunity to become better, earn more playing time, and be a leader. It’s up to the individual to decide whether they want to take advantage of the opportunities in front of them.

The selling point I use with my players is the long line of players who came before them and put in the time and effort consistently. The players who have done this in the past have been our best shooters, ball handlers, and decision-makers.

Let’s take a look at the opportunities players have in my program.

April – May

4 Man Workouts

In Michigan, we are limited to four-player workouts when basketball season is finsihed and school is still in session.

We offer 4 player workouts each week. Each coach in my program offers a workout one day a week for roughly 45 – 60 minutes. Depending on the coach’s schedule there may be one or two sessions on a specific day.

Open Gyms

Open gyms in the Spring typically happen at the middle school level. As a smaller school, we have athletes who play multiple sports. This makes Spring open gyms hard to do since so many of our players participate in baseball, track, and golf. At the middle school level, there are less sports offered and more players looking to get in the gym. At both levels we have some kids play travel basketball too, so they are getting in the gym already.

June – July

Kids Camps

Our high school players often work our youth camps. This is a great way to build excitement in the program. It is also a great way for our players to build their skills. Demonstrating skills and helping kids learn is a great way to understand the game better and improve their skills.

If you’re new to running camp you can check out my Elementary Basketball Camp Packet or my Starting and Running A Basketball Camp From A-Z course and get everything you need.

High School Camp

We use our high school camp as a way to build our players’ skills and get ready for team camps. Over four days, we introduce players to our weight program, do skill-building drills, and break down into teams to learn our system and scrimmage.

Team Camp

After a week of camp, we are ready to play in team camps. The Varsity players participate in the most dates, while the freshman and JV teams get fewer dates to play. This is a great time to see some of our younger players move up a level and play. I don’t care too much about winning and losing in the summer, it’s all about building for the season ahead.

Bulldog Shootout

For most team camps we get a good number of our players, but when we host the Bulldog Shootout, we get almost every player in the program to show up. This is why I’ve organized the event. All three levels will be in the gym and get to play basketball. There aren’t any transportation issues or costs that hold players back. All they need to do is show up and be ready to play. 

Vertical Jump Training & Shooting Workouts

These two opportunities are offered all summer long in the mornings. If a player wants to get stronger, jump higher, and become a better shooter they can do it for free right at the high school. Players who put in the work see their vertical jump increase and shooting percentages go up. Players have improved so much that they earn all-conference and all-state selections. Others have been offered the opportunity to pay in college.

See how I teach shooting from the youth to varsity level in my Build Better Shooters Course.

Alumni Scrimmage / Open Gyms

In July, players can play in open gyms and participate in our Alumni Scrimmage. The Alumni Scrimmage is a great way to connect past players with current players.

If players can’t make workouts or have a conflict I do my best to keep them involved in the program and motivate them to improve. Here are a few ways I do this.

Elite Shooter Club Challenge

Our Elite Shooter Challenge is for any player in the program. I offer a middle school and high school version. At the high school level, players are challenged to make 3,000 jump shots and 1,000 free throws. I’m not interested in how many shots they put up as much as I am in how many shots they made.

Grab A Copy Of My Elite Shooting Club Shot Tracker

Shot Tracker Form

Shooting Workouts

Players are given Shooting Workouts to do on their own as well. They can use the shots to go towards their Elite Shooting Challenge or just use them to stay motivated and on top of their game. 

Vertical Jump Training

When I mention Weight Room Workouts, I receive some interest, but the mention of Vertical Jump Training sparks a much greater enthusiasm among players. Everyone wants to jump higher, yet not everyone is keen on lifting weights. The subtle name change has helped me get more players in the weight room. While we do implement specific exercises to enhance vertical jumping, many of these routines involve Olympic lifts, which create better overall athletes.

Vertical Jump Training is geared towards injury prevention, enhancing strength, and flexibility, and ultimately, boosting their jumping ability. Given that knee pain is a common issue among high school athletes, we devote considerable attention to strengthening the knees to mitigate the risk of injury or alleviate existing discomfort. Our workouts are a blend of weight training, in-gym jumping exercises, and plyometrics.

As you can see there is a mixture of individual skill development, strength training, and team development. If a player wants to improve in my program they have a lot of opportunities. The only thing holding them back is an excuse.

Access all of my courses and program-building resources inside the Coaching Lab.

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