It's the holiday season and most student-athletes have a break from school.
Here are four suggestions that will help basketball players make the most of this time:
Time to Play
For many middle school and high school teams, this is a very exciting time of year. There are tournaments where teams get to play multiple games in a short 2-3 day span. Many teams get to play non-conference games, and even compete against out-of-state schools. These games are great preparation for end of the year conference and state tournaments.
Since players are not in school for most of the day, and even if you are playing in a tournament, this is a great time to work on your game. Try to get in extra shots a couple of hours before games. My suggestion is to make 100 of your go-to shot. Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more! Shoot every day of your holiday break. Younger players should look for a winter break basketball camp.
Sharpen Academic Skills
Read something everyday. Practice math everyday. Keep your brain engaged in the skills you will use when you return to school. Do this for at least 30 minutes each day. Just read the sports section of the newspaper. Calculate how much money a pro making 25 million per year makes per game. Have fun (Yes, I said have fun!) working on reading and math, the two most important skills needed for academic success.
Take Time to Rest
Let your mind and body rest during the winter break. Because you are not spending six hours or more in class everyday, you have plenty of time to sharpen academic skills, work on shooting and play tournament games. Even with all of that, you will still have time to sleep later in the morning or take a nap during the day.
There is a classic holiday song that says "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and it most certainly can be. Participate in holiday traditions, and indulge in special holiday meals. If you can, help kids who are less fortunate, and elderly people who live alone. Finally, make sure to enjoy the holidays by doing the absolute most important thing in life -- spend as much time as possible with family and friends.