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Should I always train for basketball as hard and as fast as I can?

No. Continuous high intensity training takes a toll on your body and could lead to injury.  Although power exercises (like box jumps, medicine ball drills, and kettle bells) and max strength exercises may be important to athletic performance, it also important to work on balance, coordination, and stability.  Spending 4-6 weeks doing high intensity training followed by 4-6 weeks of stability and endurance training gives your body a chance to recover while working on another essential part of your performance.
Mike Elliott
Fitness
You most definitely should not train as hard and fast as you can at all times.  Basketball is just as much about being able to slow down and stabilize, as it is about creating force, changing directions, and jumping.  Often times, injuries occur when players are unable to properly decelerate and control their movements.  For this reason, you must train through the entire muscle contraction spectrum of movement. This means that when designing a training program, it is a great idea to spend 2 to 4 weeks correcting any movement dysfunctions that your NASM Certified Personal Trainer has identified.  This is followed by about 4 weeks of stability training, then 4-6 weeks of strength and endurance training.  After these phases have been properly completed, you can add power, agility, and speed exercises that allow you to train hard and fast.  It is important to note, however, that you will still train to challenge stability, endurance, and strength during the days you are not working on power, agility, and speed.

You should always challenge yourself when you do any workout however the challenge needs to be variable. Sometimes speed, sometimes stamina, sometimes load, sometimes explosiveness. If your program doesn't vary itself you will ultimately be completely non-productive or injured. All elements of your basketball training should fall within a larger organized program. This program should not only improve you as a basketball player but make you stronger, give you much greater stamina, increase your balance, core capability and ultimately power.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.