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Preparing for College Basketball: Master the Basics

Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter 4.12 features an interview with Stanford University’s men’s basketball strength & conditioning coach Keith D’Amelio, who previously worked with the Toronto Raptors. D’Amelio is a featured speaker at the 2nd Annual Boston Hockey Summit and Basketball Symposium which takes place on Saturday, May 22nd and May 23rd at Northeastern University. Below is an excerpt of the interview.

BM: As a college strength coach, what are the greatest athletic deficiencies that you see in players as they matriculate from high school to college? Put another way, now that the season has concluded, what is the biggest thing that a high school senior could do from now until day one of college to prepare athletically for the next level?

D’Amelio: The biggest thing that I have noticed is that these kids simply do not have the fundamentals of movement down. Having spent the last 8 years in the NBA I knew that the overall talent level would not be the same but I did not realize that the athletes would have such poor movement abilities. Some of these kids simply do not know proper running mechanics. I am talking very simple things, like having never been taught the cross over or the proper foot position to make their lateral movement that much more effective.

The biggest thing a High School athlete can do as they prepare for the next level of play is in regards to getting the proper mechanics of movement down pat and also their ability to decelerate. That is one of the biggest things missing in most athletes’ training. Everyone focuses on the speed component and getting fast. The game of basketball requires very little top-end speed. What is does require is a tremendous ability to decelerate your body (under control) and to then produce force going in another direction. Another small thing that can make a huge difference in enhancing one’s basketball athleticism is in developing change of speeds. For the offensive player this is a huge advantage that he has over the defensive player, if he can develop the ability to change speeds (which I think can be taught and enhanced) he can do some special things on the court.

For the remainder of the interview, subscribe to the Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters. For more information on the 2nd Annual Boston Hockey Summit and Basketball Symposium, visit its web site.

Below is a video that includes some core exercises, including the Bird Dog, which are mentioned in the extended interview.

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