Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks, Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets are NBA All-Stars and three of the top players in the league. Each is committed to working extremely hard in the offseason.
Alan Stein of StrongerTeam.com posed the question to all three of them: What does a typical day in your offseason consist of?
Here was their responses:
- I wake up at 8 a.m.
- I eat breakfast, usually Granola and fruit.
- I warm up, stretch, foam roll, do corrective exercises, core work, and lift heavy.
- I go right to the court.
- I start with inside work: jump hooks, baby hooks, short jumpers, and Mikan drill.
- Then I move to perimeter stuff: ball handling series, face-up moves, game shooting.
- I finish around noon (3-plus hours of intense work).
- I don't play 5 on 5 in the off-season, but rather focus on my individual development.
- I follow this schedule 5-6 days per week.
- I wake up at 8:30 a.m.
- I eat a light breakfast.
- I start my workout at 10 a.m.
- I start with a ball handling series, working hard on my off-hand.
- I then go through a comprehensive stretching series.
- Then I do 1.5 hours of intense game-like shooting (500+ makes).
- Then I head to the weight room.
- I lift legs/core twice a week and upper twice a week. I lift heavy.
- I don't play much 5-on-5 in the offseason.
- I work out 4-5 days per week.
- I wake up at 8 a.m.
- I eat breakfast.
- I start with my strength training.
- Most of my focus is on core strength and stability. I do a lot of body weight stuff.
- I also focus on quickness and agility and proper movement.
- For cardio I do a lot of biking and swimming to give my joints a break.
- Then I go to shooting. I intentionally shoot from spots I don't shoot well from in games.
- I record shots/makes and compare to last year's numbers. I must improve!
- Then I do a finishing series: working on floaters, runners, power lay-ups, Euro-steps.
- Then I do ball handling drills.
- I try to play 5-on-5 three times per week.
- I work out 5-6 times per week.
I think it is very important to highlight that all three of these NBA All-Stars wake up early, eat breakfast, and are dedicated to their strength and conditioning and on-court basketball development.
Everyone one of these brilliant men constantly stressed the importance of working hard. But what does it mean to "work hard"?
By my own personal definition, hard work is the conscious choice to leave your comfort zone. To push past what you are capable of doing. It is giving as much as you have at that moment. When things get uncomfortable, do you back down or do you push ahead? The great ones work hard consistently. Anyone can work hard occasionally. Working hard is a learned characteristic and a trait each of us has 100 percent control over.
Working hard is a choice.