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 bluntly 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.


See Basics primary benchmarks for conditioning at the 3 levels addressed in our Pyramid of Skills

  • 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.  (IE–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
  • 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, understands that DIET, SLEEP, SOCIAL CHOICES are all part of great conditioning