Preparation is essential to success. But where to start? Is it hard? See below and no!
-Written by Joseph Campbell on June 11th, 2019
Whether preparing for next week’s game, next season’s trials, or a variety of high performance/talent identification/skill development camps it is of utmost importance to maintain a competitive edge through finely tuning your body and mind. But where to start? Is it hard? See below and no!
1. Stay fit: there’s never a good time to fall off. Push ups in your bedroom, squats in the kitchen, skipping rope in the driveway or even jogging with Mum/Dad/sister/brother/friend – these simple things make fitness a lifestyle. You don’t have to get ready when you stay ready.
2. Visualize your performance: practice seeing in your mind’s eye what you want to do on the court. This is a not-so-secret ingredient to success. Practice this process as often as possible. Run through offensive plays as thoughts first. Anticipate defensive rotations using your imagination while being driven to the game/trial/camp. Once you’re in action, opportunities will be taken as a trained reaction versus being assessed for the first time in the moment. This may sound trippy, but it has been tried
and tested at all levels of competition around the world. “See” it as a thought, react to your opponents’
intent and watch your value rise.
3. Load management: sometimes we taper (decreasing stress as we approach an event) or peak (increasing stimuli) depending on our preference and other game/life related factors. Monitoring physical output in the lead up to training/games/camps increases proprioception (awareness of self in any given environment) and gets us in tune to our body. You may need to discuss in a bit more detail with your parents and coaches, especially if you’re carrying any injuries. Of course, team-based prep is important, but if you are not your healthiest, the team suffers.
4. Food intake: what you eat determines your short- and long-term ability to use, store and re-supply energy. Food affects your ability to focus, especially when fatigued. We’ve always kept it simple when it comes to nutrition: eat what you know is right. If you’re not confident in your food selection just have a simple conversation with STARplex staff and we’ll refer you to the right person (also within STARplex). Don’t rely on a team manager to supply water or treats – have those fruits and vegetables ready. Eat heartily, but not excessively. Hydrate with water only often. Carbs are your friend. Protein supports muscle function. Fat is like oil in the engine. Eat well so you don’t have to eat better late.
5. Network: it’s never too early to understand the magnitude of relationships. Playing with your friends is fun, thanking the coach for your selection/invitation exudes confidence, and knowing some coordinators pays off when things do not go as planned. Ask someone you look up to be your mentor. Understand selection criteria. If you’re a 5’2’’ guard and coach is looking for a big man, selection may not be imminent. Doesn’t mean you don’t have game, just not the right fit for a certain team at a certain time. Handle yourself with respect and class. Watch as people treat you with respect and class. Your manners, your word and your off-court character reveal more than you know.
The five considerations above are not comprehensive, but they do get you moving in the right direction. We could easily discuss expectations being the root of many meltdowns. On the other hand, transparent expectations clear the air and increases buy-in. You will play how you behave. When we get tired we revert back to our training and core values. So know why you’re doing it and we’ll show you how to get it done!
Contact Ricky Simpson ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Joseph Campbell ( email@example.com ) for additional information and insight.s
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