The training and development industry is becoming a large facet of basketball. It can be a major tool for players to have someone help them increase their skill set and grow as a player. However, sometimes it can be inhibiting, detrimental, and a major waste of time and money.
As someone that falls under this umbrella, my goal is to give players what I wish I had as a younger player and AVOID what wasted my time and money.
Here are 3 important questions players and parents should ask when considering their work with a basketball trainer/development coach:
What are you retaining?
I think there are some players and parents, especially those who invest so much money into the game of basketball, that miss this fact: YOU DON’T NEED A TRAINER TO GET BETTER. Take this with a grain of salt though, because here’s the key point- a trainer should be helping you get better FASTER and MORE EFFECTIVELY. When we understand things from this perspective, it changes the question: What are you retaining and learning from these workouts? If the answer is nothing and it is all about sweat and “reps”, why do you need the trainer?
If a trainer is not teaching you, helping you make adjustments, and helping you understand and leave with something that will benefit you, you are wasting your time and money.
What are you taking away for the other 95%?
Similar to the last question that you should be asking, this one focuses heavily on the “reps reps reps” mentality that too many have when it comes to workouts with trainers. If you are working with a trainer and consider it the sole source of your development, you will never be as good as you could be. If you do the math, for a youth player (younger than college level), one workout with a trainer is essentially 5% of your free time in the week. 5% is not nearly enough time to truly improve how most want to. Understanding this, it creates the question: Am I able to take away anything to apply to the rest of my own time working on basketball? If the answer is no, then the training is contributing no more than the single hour spent in the gym. What are you taking away and able to use to get better as a player?
How is it translating?
I think this is the most important question of all when it comes to basketball development. Far too many players waste their time, energy, and money working with trainers, only to have none of it show results in the game. This isn’t because the player and trainer are not working hard during their workout… It is because they are not working on things that matter and would help the player get better/succeed in an actual basketball game. It is crucial for players to understand HOW they need to PLAY, what will actually HELP them succeed, and what they need to work on for this to happen.