However, a coach should only provide specific programs for a player if they have expertise in that area. Most coaches do not have the relevant expertise.

Coaches that do not have the expertise need to seek assistance from appropriately qualified coaches in the area of strength and conditioning. The coach should meet with the expert to make sure that they have a good understanding of the game of basketball and the player’s position, so that they can devise an appropriate programme.

The coach needs to work with the expert and in particular should discuss:

  • The player’s schedule – when the season starts/finishes and the on-court training load the player will have at the various stages of the programme;
  • The player’s workload – the coach may need to reduce the player’s workload at peak times for strength and conditioning development;
  • Incorporating strength and conditioning in practice – whether this is done by the expert coming to training or simply giving instruction to the coach;
  • The minutes that the athlete will play during the season as their conditioning programme in particular may need to be varied – for example a player that plays only a few minutes each game requires a conditioning programme that keeps the “game conditioning”.

Although players may have separate programs, it is often worthwhile for them to train with other team mates, as this can help with their level of motivation and can also encourage team mates to “bond”. The coach should be prepared (particularly in the pre-season) to make allowance in the on-court schedule to assist players to complete the other aspects of their training.

Some particular advantages of an individualised programme are:

  • It can be tailored specifically to the needs of each player, taking into account their current level of “fitness”, the role they play within the team and the style of play used by the coach;
  • Each player will have different flexibility and joint mobility (which will reflect their genetics or any history of injury/ rehabilitation), and exercises can be selected both to improve factors as appropriate whilst taking into account those limitations;
  • It can be incorporated into “sport specific” movements;
  • It can set goals that are both set against objective “norms” (where data is available) and goals that are relative to each athlete. The latter goals will often be regarded by the athlete as more realistic and attainable;
  • The plan will reflect the level of experience and competence of each athlete. For example, athletes are often best avoiding the use of weights machines until they have mastered the basic techniques and have developed the necessary strength to be able to use the machines.