Jordyn O’Shea, Personal Trainer at Assist PT and SEABL womens player for Kilsyth Cobras shares what helped her improve her on court performance.
Faster, Stronger, Quicker
The exact words I’d use to describe how I felt on court after completing strength and conditioning training. I was never extremely unfit as a player but until I began training in the gym and working on basketball specific movements, I never realised how good and efficient I could feel.
It was towards the end of pre season, after completing a 12 week strength and conditioning program with Assist PT trainer, Matt Shepherd, that I felt I was in best shape yet.
My cardio fitness had improved, I was quicker in bursts and could run out a game easier. At trainings I found it a lot easier to concentrate and stay focused for the full 2 hours and in return my decision making on the court began to improve. It’s a lot easier to read the game when you’re not spending half of it gasping for air or wondering when your next subs coming. But not only was it being able to run out games and trainings easier, I felt more efficient in all my movements.
Penetrating to the basket was coming to me more freely and I was able to keep ball handlers in front of me. My coach at the time even asked me what had changed and what I’d been doing differently. It wasn’t just feeling fit and good in games and trainings, each week I saw my weights increase in the gym and in return it gave me a new found confidence I was yet to achieve.
I had been playing in the SEABL team for 2 years before that, and coming into an already experienced team at 16, I didn’t feel as though I had the right to be telling or directing my team mates in what to do. It stayed this way for a few years and honestly is still something I am working on but feeling good about my body and health gave me a new confidence, confidence in my ability as a basketballer, which I hope then was infectious to my team mates around me.
When we think we want to improve as basketballers, our first thought is to do more basketball training. But what if we could improve our game fitness, efficiency in take off speed, vertical leap, strength to hold players back in a box out, increase range on our shot etc. through other forms of training? Yes it is important to get on court and continually practice your skills but at Assist PT we believe it is equally as important to condition our bodies appropriately.
Not only does a well conditioned body mean increased performance on the court, it also reduces risk of injury and it’s impossible to be a great player if you’re sitting on the bench injured. Basketball is extremely taxing on muscles and joints, there are lots of stop, start, jolting movements and ask anyone 25+ that has played the game all their life and I’m sure they’ll tell you their bodies don’t pull up as well as they used to.
If we can look after our bodies to prolong injury and increase strength, we will not only be better athletes now but better athletes longer. I have now continued to take myself through strength training sessions every week and I am still seeing improvements in my strength and in return I am becoming a better player. I feel good on the court. You always have your weeks where you’ll be tighter than others but my recovery has increased 10 fold.
I honestly believe strength training gives me an edge I wouldn’t have otherwise and if I can find that confidence in my body and my abilities through strength and conditioning training, it’d be stupid of me not to do it.
If someone said I can make you faster, stronger, quicker for only 60-90 minutes a week would you say no? I’m glad I didn’t!” Condition Beyond Game Ready is our motto here at Assist Personal Training.