It may not be known, but basketball is a fall sport. Well, at least it may seem like it for out of season basketball players. While football, soccer and cross country take the limelight of fall sports, you can find these guys pouring sweat on the track, in the weight room or on the court.
The basketball conditioning is a three month program starting in September and ending during buffer week, which is mid-November. It consists of lifting and speed camp, along with open gyms and full-speed league games. The work ethic of the Lancers in the fall is far from laid back. A main reason for this hard work is the knowledge that it will bring the team together on and off the court before the season even begins. With two games every Sunday, they hope to learn each other’s playing style and build chemistry, which is necessary to have going into the season.
“We have the advantage of playing extra time with our teammates to get used to playing as a team,” junior Cory Perkins said.
Besides the fall games, players hope to see the training, lifting and speed work have an impact on the season.
“I think we have a huge edge because no other school has the opportunity to do this,” senior Alex Schoegler said.
What is done in the off season can reflect in season; that is the mentality the team is taking in with them. The conditioning is high intensity week in and week out, and very rigorous.
“It’s been really tough because the coaches know our team has a lot of potential in the next few years so they really want to push us to get everything out of us,” Perkins said.
The week begins with every Monday and Wednesday in the weight room with Head Coach Shawn Hair. The players work through reps of different types of lifts targeting muscles required in basketball.
“They help us get tougher and just have more explosion on the court,” Schoegler said. “Coach Hair really emphasizes explosion.”
On Mondays, the lifting session is based on bench press, squats and curls. The players do 10 sets of 10 for each lift, switching the type of lift after each set. On Wednesdays they do different types of auxiliary lifts and core workouts. The auxiliary lifts include three sets of 10 dumbbell bench, flies, rows and lateral pulls. Then they move on to core workouts, such as flutters, leg lifts, dumbbell curls, dumbbell push-ups, hammer curls, tricep extensions and lunges.
“You know by the end of the workout it’s going to be hard to walk to your car,” Perkins said.
It’s no different on the track. On Tuesdays and Thursdays a trained professional puts the players through a speed camp program called ARC. The program mirrors the mind-set in the weight room: explosion. The workouts concentrate on repetition of sprints the body isn’t comfortable with, keeping players thinking about their form and pushing through the pain.
“We just started the speed camp, but running around the track for the past couple of weeks has been tough,” Schoegler said. “The first day of the new conditioning was really intense and worked our leg muscles out pretty hard.”
Every Monday and Thursday, the players also have a chance to go to open gym and work on their game. Players work on shooting for about a half an hour, then go into scrimmage.
Every Sunday, the team takes the court at Rockhurst College and plays two games against other JV and Varsity teams from around the area. The games are full speed and high intensity. Although the teams are not allowed to have coaches, players step up to get everyone going. Schoegler has stepped up as a leader in training and on the court.
“As a senior, I feel the need to push everyone to get better,” Schoegler said.
This is where the players really get a feel for what they will see in the winter. It helps them get back into real game situations and see the competition they will be playing against. The pre-season training really gets players thinking about the season early. With the work ethic being put in on the court and in the weight room, they are hoping for success.