Recently, a colleague of mine, Nick Tumminelo (a brilliant trainer in Baltimore and owner of Performance University), posted this on his Facebook page:
"Do you know the difference between training and workout out? Training is when you have a progressive plan with measurable goals and continual challenges. Working out is anything that makes you sweaty and tired but not necessarily better because it lacks consistency, direction and specificity."
I couldn't agree more. This concept is so applicable to your preseason training program because it lays the foundation for your success this season. Picture a pyramid. A wide base (foundation) yields a higher peak. Your strength and conditioning foundation gives you the ability to perform your basketball skills at a higher level, perform them with more efficiency, and perform them for the entire game (without letting fatigue play a factor).
That is why the best players and the best teams are in the best shape!
I am certainly a staunch believer in working hard. Intensity and consistency are the keys to success in anything... especially training. But you have to be working towards something to make it effective. You have to have a plan. You have to have goals. You have to make progress towards those goals every workout.
Working out just to workout, with no direction, will give you mediocre results at best. Puddles of sweat and aching muscles are only valuable if they are taking you closer to where you are trying to go.
Don't just work hard. Work smart.
On that note, getting stronger and more explosive is important for basketball. But nothing is more essential than moving efficiently on the court. Here are a variety of drills I use with my players on a daily basis to promote proper footwork, jumping/landing mechanics, as well as strengthen and increase the functional mobility of the ankles and feet: