The Benefits of Off Season Training: Why You Should & What You Can Gain

The Benefits of Off Season Basketball Training: Why You Should & What You Can Gain

Now the basketball season is over it’s time to get focused on your future! As I am sure you have heard before, preparation is always the key to SUCCESS. Now is the time to really think about what you want to achieve for next season. A really well put together off season training program will help you achieve whatever you set your mind to achieving. The main goal is that you improve and are ready for next basketball season. 


Here you can access the most up-to-date college basketball openings from college coaches looking for players to fill roster spots


The off-season is a period of time, it’s a prefect window of opportunity, where an athlete is not participating competitively and can focus on recovery and what needs to be worked on for next year. This downtime is an opportunity to workout harder in the weight-room and work on what needs to be done to gain the competitive edge for next season. It is sometimes referred to as the period between the end of the in-season and about 6 weeks prior to the start of the next competitive year.


Yes, it certainly is. Off season training is the most important phase of any sport-specific conditioning plan. It is important because it will help you to recover physically and mentally (something that is very much needed at the end of any season). Off season training can be used as a time frame to address physical imbalances that often come as a result of playing competitive basketball.


As a basketball player you should take your off season training very seriously. Why? Because training at the same level of volume and intensity as you did in-season is detrimental to your progress as a player. If you don’t change your training up, the continuous training at the same level/volume/intensity can (and, more often than not, will) lead to over-training and mental burnout. The goal of off season training is to get the right balance of recovery while still achieving increases in your strength and size. As well as this, you also want to be able to maintain maybe even develop your fitness level. Additionally to all this, a good, solid off season training program will focus on addressing imbalances to help prevent acute and/or long term chronic injuries which should  be important to anyone who is looking to have a long and successful basketball career.

Also, if you are looking to expand your game and you want to focus on switching your position off season training is you opportunity to really focus on this if your wanting to do any of the following:

Transition from playing:

    • Forward to guard
    • Center to wing
    • Shooting guard to point guard

Off season training is about improving you as an individual and adding moves to your individual skill set. This time is not about improving the team, so as a player you should take full advantage of this.

Things you might want to focus on:

    • Becoming a 3-point shooter
    • Increasing ball handling skills
    • Adding post moves


An excellent, comprehensive off season training program will look slightly different for each basketball player as every individual has unique and specific things that need to be focused on. However, all will have the same fundamental aspects which all basketball can and should do to keep their body in elite condition. Let’s take a look at what this includes:

    • Weight training – focusing on building strength and size, working on weaker muscle groups & imbalances
    • Flexibility training – to alleviate stiffness, dynamic to be done before weights, static stretches done daily
    • Focusing on improving foundation movement patterns, this includes maintaining good posture, correcting posture if needed
    • Improving athletic fundamental movement patterns such as: jumping, landing, decelerating, accelerating, squatting, hinging at the hip, pushing and pulling – in order to improve your overall athleticism.
    • Cardio conditioning training (this type of conditioning work for your aerobic system in the off-season provides you with a base for the higher-intensity demands that are to come in the pre-season and competition games)
    • Improvement on all of your basketball skills

It is important to know that you can’t just build these qualities in the middle of a basketball season. Instead, you must focus on the time you have in off season training, to build these qualities so that their benefits will be shown and you can use them during the competitive season. Always remember that with each off season training phase, you are establishing and building a base for your future as a basketball player. This is especially important if you plan to continue basketball after college and progress into a professional career.


One on the most basic and main focuses of an off season training program should be to improve your full body strength.  Improvement in your strength creates the potential for you to: sprint faster, jump higher and throw harder during the the competitive season.

Here are some pointers to focus on when following an off season training program:

    • Maximal loads must be done in good form – this is required for strength to develop
    • Appropriate rest time between sets – this is necessary for maximum loads to be handled in good form
    • Biggest results come from these exercises – squats on the squat rack, presses standing on two feet, and pulls from the floor with deadlifts and cleans

The above exercises are the weight training exercises that have the most carryover into sport. They train the entire muscular-skeletal system which in turn, allows you to handle the most weight you can, on a regular basis. You can see significant gain in size and strength by doing these exercises because these all these muscle groups, working together like this, are highly trainable.

Only when you have trained with these exercise to their fullest potential and have 100% technically mastered these few exercises, should you even consider adding any new or more complex exercises. You just don’t need to. Don’t rush, take your time, and do everything the right way and you will see results without putting yourself at high risk for an injury.


Remember, strength is the foundation of all other athletic qualities. So when focusing on your off season training it is where your focus must be. Basketball players who are serious about development and take full advantage of the off season to train, will, add value to their game. No doubt.


Here you can access the most up-to-date college basketball openings from college coaches looking for players to fill roster spots