Physical preparation and fitness


Coach Wooden would often talk about the three (3) primary elements to winning basketball

  1. Conditioning
  2. Understanding the Team Concept
  3. Mastering the fundamentals of the game


It is no accident that # 1 on the list is conditioning. Nothing good-and I mean NOTHING-happens without great conditioning, defined here as “physical preparation and fitness”.


Put directly and honestly, your son or daughter essentially has no chance for competitive success without outstanding conditioning.  NOTE: the cornerstone of MOTIVATION is integral to great conditioning. Players who are in great shape do not need to be pushed to do the work.  As hard as the work is, as much as it can actually physically HURT, motivated players–kids who want to succeed–will do this work on their own.


While this block discusses physical fitness and conditioning, a player’s ability to lead a balanced life, with healthy choices and a with a constant eye on good and moral choices, the connection of conditioning ON and OFF the court throughout one’s life is easily made.


Our 3 Skill levels for conditioning in our Pyramid of Skills are for Beginners, Intermediate players and Advanced players.

  • Beginning players–enjoy running.  Begin to learn to run hard even when tired.  Does not lose interest given the difficulty of basketball’s rigors, begins to learn that RUNNING FAST and RUNNING HARD are totally different things.  (In other words–everyone is not fast BUT everyone can run hard)
  • Intermediate players–always runs hard even when tired. Begins weight training (generally around ages 13/14), understands conditioning is a constant focus IN SEASON and OUT OF SEASON, begins t connect the dots with conditioning and sleep, study and dietary habits.
  • Advanced players–understands there is no such thing as an advanced player who is in average or poor condition, embraces the work, creates a schedule/routine of conditioning, learns to conserve energy when needed in tough games, understands that DIET, SLEEP, SOCIAL CHOICES are all part of great conditioning



Basics does NOT SUBSCRIBE to the current model of travel, competition and CONSTANT play as youngsters develop in any sport.  We know that emphasizing skills and school and appropriate adult modeling for these kids MUST COME FIRST.  If you are interested in learning the Basics methodology for your program, your school district or your child, you are encouraged to explore the web site, the Pyramid of Skill, or to CALL or EMAIL with any questions.  616 402-1600   Thank you