We are going to temporarily jump away from physical preperation and dive into some technical parts of the game. The reason is, if you are not skilled at the fundamentals of the game, even the best strength and conditioning coach in the world wouldn’t be able to get where you want to be.
Very very few people work on their game. They think they can just show up and play pick up and their game will naturally get better, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise that if you don’t put in the necessary work on your own, there is very low ceiling for you. Now just a quick disclaimer there are guys out there like Jamal Crawford, who JJ Reddick claims has never done a ballhandling drill in his life, and is one of the best ballhandlers in the leaugue. Trust me those people do exist but we have to ask “Are they good because they don’t work on their ballhandling, or are they good IN SPITE of not working on their skills?”
So if you are already working on your skills on a regular basis (3-5 times per week) how do you ensure that your time on court pays off when it matters most? (Game time)
In my opinion this is the way you do it. First figure out what type of player you are (Shooter, slasher, playmaker etc) and build your workouts around that. Play to your strengths. That doesn’t mean that we never work on our weakenesses, but we want to build our game around our strengths. Secondly, pick a skill that you want to master (Say it is a one dribble pull up) You would work on that skill until it becomes second nature to you (We call this REPPING the skill) and it takes along time and can be boring and tedious.
Once you feel like you have an effective grasp of the skill, you now must put increcrimental pressure on yourself so that it transfers into the game. You would start with a dummy defender guarding you (Preferably somone around the same speed and height as you) and there job is to stay with you and put a hand up. This will give your brain the confidence to shoot while there is someone else there. Slowly this will become 1 on 1 LIVE where the defender is trying to block yout shot.
After you get used to 1 on 1 we want to incorporate other players into the mix which may come help side to try and stop you. Then once you get used to that, you want to break basketball down into a smaller game (3 On 3) where there are more people who could effect the flow of the game. Also, you may need to make a counter move from one defender to the next. Again, not quite full court basketball, but there are now more variables that are being thrown at you that you may need to counter.
Finally once you have done that finally you can go 5 on 5 LIVE and try out the new stuff that you have been working on.
So as you can see it takes a lot of work to take a particular skill and do it second nature in game time situatuon. Usually people just work on it themselves and then expect it to work when it is game time. As we can all see, there is a process to learning skills and it takes a lot of time and practice.
Good luck with this guys, have fun.