If you are a basketball coach, you have most likely encountered the same myriad of excuses as to why basketball players feel that they should not or cannot lift weights. The conversation usually starts like this:
Coach: Okay guys, we will meet in the weight room today at 3 pm to lift.
This is the point in the conversation where you see the many faces that young athletes give when they do not want to do something.
Then the excuses begin to flow like a steady stream of water from the tap.
Player: Coach, I cannot lift because:
· I don’t want to ruin my shot (this is the # 1 reason).
· I have an orthodontist appointment (by the way, this generation of athletes will have the greatest teeth the planet has ever seen because I get this one a lot)
· I don’t want to be sore for the game tomorrow.
· I have an AAU game.
· I have a summer/fall league game.
· My (fill in the body part) is bothering me.
· My other coach told me not to.
· I’m already strong enough for the game of basketball.
· Basketball players don’t lift.
· I don’t like to lift.
· I will be in the city that day.
· I will be at the beach that day.
These are just a few of the countless excuses that I have heard throughout my years of coaching as to why a young athlete cannot or will not lift. The fact of the matter is that lifting is as much a part of the game of basketball as running, jumping, dribbling, passing, and shooting. In order to be able to compete at the higher levels of basketball, a player must incorporate some sort of lifting program into their weekly regimen. Lifting weights or any other form of strength and conditioning will enable the player to run faster and jump higher, and what basketball player would not want that. Furthermore, strength training will give you the size and strength to take on opponents who at one point were physically superior to you. Being able to successfully compete against once superior opponents will give you and your teammates not only a physical edge, but a mental edge as well.
There is also something to be said for completing difficult workouts as a team. My team has become accustomed to training together and it has worked towards uniting them as teammates and friends. They have endured outdoor workouts during the hot summer months or the cold temperatures of the late fall. They have also woken up early and completed workouts at 7 am and they have done all of this as a collective whole. In doing so, they push each other to be better; picking up guys when they are down and forcing each other to work harder for the greater good of the team. The strength training has made us a stronger unit, thereby allowing us to be more successful against higher levels of competition
However, what if you are not interested in playing the game of basketball at a higher level? Should you still work out with the team? Absolutely! Not only will working out with your team grant you memories that will last a lifetime, but a proper strength and conditioning routine will provide you with multiple health benefits for years to come. In all honesty, is there any better value than this? Succeeding in life (the ultimate game) is more important than anything else we really do. Being healthy will not guarantee success but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
So next time one of your players tells you he cannot lift because… you can tell him that him that he is missing out on an opportunity to better himself and more importantly, his team.