Basketball demands bursts of explosive movement from the athlete (linear and lateral) followed by the ability to recover between each bout. The most important aspect, and one that's commonly overlooked, is this ability to recover. Athletes that stay on the court into the fourth quarter are the ones that are conditioned to withstand fatigue or have the ability to more effectively manage their energy and recovery process. If you want to maintain your A-game through to the final buzzer, it's critical to develop your energy systems appropriately. We've taken a three-prong approach that attacks the following energy systems:

Aerobic Capacity

Aerobic capacity refers to the capacity of the cardio-respiratory system. Essentially, aerobic capacity is a measure of how efficiently the body is able to use oxygen during a period of time, and in this case, during a game of basketball. Developing your aerobic capacity improves their efficiency to utilize oxygen from the blood.

Alactic Power

The alactic energy system (creatine / ATC-PC) is incredibly powerful. The bodies energy currency is ATP and the alactic energy system is able to create ATP very quickly to produce very explosive movements. Training your alactic power output will improve just how efficient you can be during that 6-12 seconds in which the alactic energy system is utilized.

Alactic Capacity

In addition to improving your "alactic power," maximizing your alactic capacity promotes the increased storage of the phosphate creatine. In doing so, you're able to produce repetitive bouts of high intensity movements. NEXT: Your training prescription for serious stamina >> [pagebreak]

Training Prescription

Shuttle Sprints: Alactic Power

Perform a 30-yard shuttle and complete each sprint within a 6-10s time frame. If a 30 yard shuttle takes more or less time than 6-10s change the length of the sprint appropriately. You should attempt to perform 2, 15-yard (half-length of a basketball court) sprints and change direction at the half court line. Note: The shuttle sprints should be performed with maximal intensity and have a complete rest interval. Keep the recovery time between 60-90s. The volume should be kept between 8-12 sprints.

30-yard Shuttle Sprint

1. Start on the baseline of a standard basketball court 2. Place your feet in a 2-point stance (staggered) and stay on the balls of your feet 3. Sprint to half court (maintain forward body lean) 4. When changing direction get the hips low, one hand touches baseline, shins pointed in the direction you want to go, feet shoulder width, all the weight on the inside foot (skater stop), and perform a cross-over movement to start the second sprint of the shuttle

Tempo Runs: Aerobic Capacity

The tempo method will improve restoration and will prepare your body for the next training session. Tempo method will improve aerobic fitness and work capacity. Therefore it will speed up recovery and improve speed mechanics. The tempo run will be performed at 75% of maximal intensity for 10-15s. The recovery time will be 30-60s between each tempo run. The volume will be between 10-20 sets. This method focuses on improving your aerobic capacity and increases your recovery time. Tempo Method 1. Start on the baseline of a standard basketball court 2. Put your feet in a 2-point stance (staggered) and on the balls of your feet 3. Sprint the length of the court @ 75% of maximal intensity 4. Then perform a lateral shuffle the length of the baseline (width of the court) @ 75% of maximal intensity 5. Then back-peddle the length of the court @ 75% of maximal intensity

Lateral Shuffle: Alactic Capacity

Each shuffle will be performed for 10-15s with a complete rest period of 30-90s. The volume guideline is 10-20 sets. Attempt to complete as many shuffles as you can within the 10-15s time frame. 1. Start with the both feet outside the paint on a standard basketball court 2. Start the lane shuffle in the athletic position > Feet shoulder width, soft and springy (on the balls of your foot) > Knees slightly bent and rotated outward > Hips back (Hip hinge) > Back arched > Arms back and aligned with the torso 3. Perform the lateral shuffle by staying in the athletic position and pushing off the balls of your feet (not sliding your feet) 4. Keep the hips back and knees slight bent and outward throughout the entire movement 5. Make sure both feet are outside the paint before changing direction Greg Robins NASM-CPT, RKC & Jamie Smith C.S.C.S. are trainers with Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA.