Every basketball player goes through that tough a moment where your basketball game plateaued. Or even hit a rut in the season where you can’t seem to hit a shot and confidence is down. It’s a hard position to be in and I have been here many times. But since I have gotten older and more experienced, I have noticed that it’s due to two factors.
- Training routine
- Health of my body
My experience plateauing in basketball
In my youth basketball was the main thing in my life and I played everyday. Not one day went by without me having a basketball in my hand. Although being this way made me improve my skills, it was actually coming at a cost. During games my performance was always substandard, as I was always tired and sore. Me being the idiot, I couldn’t figure out why I struggled so much until I got older and started taking rest and recovery sessions seriously.
Including my physical tiredness I was also mentally drained. I was not enjoying basketball and training session was becoming more like a chore. I remember moping around the house, not motivated to do anything.I was super agitated too. Yes, basketball affects my mood. When I’m not enjoying the game I can be a very depressing person to be around.
Reason why my basketball game plateaued
The reason why my basketball game plateaued and I didn’t enjoy basketball was mainly due to doing the same old shooting drills over and over again. There were times when I didn’t have anyone to work with so I had no one really to measure myself against. Shooting jumpers is a great way to improve your shot but you can only do that so much before it gets boring. It was during these times my in game performance was very poor.
During the later years of my life I was riddled with injury and although I was pushing through the limitations these injuries caused, I was mentally not right to compete. A mix of physically being limited with the mental state of not wanting to compete, culminated in me walking away from the game a few times. I can deal with niggling injuries, however, the sting of them causing me to get my ass kicked was a direct hit on my confidence.
It’s clear that my poor performance on court and the lack of enjoyment for the game is due to two factors; training routine and the health of my body/ mind. Being the older and wiser basketball player that I am. I can confidently say that I know how to manage my body and tone down my training accordingly. I schedule my rest and recovery times and do a lot of massage therapy myself. Therapy such as stretching and rolling out using a spike ball or foam roller. For more information on how to plan a good rest and recovery session, read my article Planning rest and recovery time it’ll save you the anxiety I went through as a young basketball player.
Assess your training routine
How often do you assess your training routine? Do you even have one? A rule of thumb is to switch up your routine every 6 weeks so that your body doesn’t get used to the exercise and thus stimulate your mind.
To make a change or if in fact you do not have a routine, the best way to start is to record what you do week in week out. This is where a work out diary needs to be implemented. I’m not telling you to go out and buy a personal training diary, a simple book from a stationary supplier will do. Alternatively, you can download the NoBordersBasketball training diary which is FREE. You will have to sign up to the No Borders Basketball newsletter to get this.
The next step after recording your trainings is to have your coach review what you have been doing. Now make sure you have at least 4 weeks of data so that he can see patterns in your training. A coach or a trainer will be able to give you more informed advice with information in front of them.
My strength and conditioning coach made major changes to my training when he was getting me ready after my knee injury. When I got to Europe I was super sharp, just because he made the changes when he did. Remember, you can peak too early so it is important to peak at the right time. In season, not a month before.
How’s the health of body?
Are you like my younger self that doesn’t do any stretching or mobility work? If so, you need to change that no matter how young you are. The day will come where you wished you did. Stretching and mobility work will give you years extra on your basketball career. It also is a major factor in preventing injuries.
Rest, not laziness is key to staying fresh and not having your game plateau. Rest is taking time to work on recovery exercises and or taking time off basketball, a day or two a week, and doing something to refresh your mind and body. I speak at length at what good and bad recovery sessions are in my article Planning rest and recovery time. It is a must read for every athlete.
Overtraining is actually a thing! A lot of the symptoms of a player plateauing falls under the condition called overtraining. I discuss at length in the article Are you overtraining how to identify these symptoms and action to take to correct your training.
Basketball is an amazing sport and when you enjoy it the last thing you want to hear is that you should not be playing it as much. Managing your body and training routine is a very important thing if you want to have a long career in the sport. Hell, even being able to just play the game. Every basketball player will plateau at some point in their career but it all depends on you how long it will continue for.
Happy, but smart training!