Saturday August 18 2018
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Basketball: Proper Conditioning

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The most important thing any player – at any level, and at any sport – can do to improve their game is to become a well-conditioned athlete. As players grow and move on to higher levels of basketball, they always find that the number of excellent athletes increases greatly with each level of play.

Conditioning is one of the most important factors in a good basketball player. The stronger, faster and more conditioned basketballs players are, the better they will generally play.

A great drill to work on conditioning is to simply move with the ball continuously for 15 minutes or so. Dribble, shoot, rebound, whatever…don't stop moving for the time allotted. It does not necessarily matter how quickly the player moves for the first week or two – eventually they will find a comfortable pace. Once that happens, increase the time spent in motion. Do this every day, and increase moving time about five minutes a week after the first two-four weeks.

Push-up, sit-ups, and other various strengthening exercises are great as well, and don't forget stretching. Stretching allows for a more complete range of motion in athletes – crucial to basketball players, who must twist and turn on a dime.

If you are not tired after practicing or playing, you have not pushed yourself enough. The best players almost always practice harder than other players. Remember, the old coaching adage is true: you WILL play the way you practice.

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Matt Niskanen tied the game and Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner with just 1:07 left in regulation, lifting Washington over the Penguins 4-3 in Game 3 at PPG Paints Arena Tuesday night.
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