We caught up with authors Nolan McMonagle and Mike O’Halloran for a Q & A session to discuss their new MVP Offseason Workouts for Basketball e-book:
Sports Feel Good Stories (SFGS): Who should be using these basketball workouts?
Nolan McMonagle: The workout plans were designed for youth basketball players, ages 10 – 17 years old, who have played on a team before. It was designed for both boys and girls.
We specifically designed the plans so that just one player can complete them. But, recognizing it would be more fun to have a workout partner or two, the plans can also be completed with a small group. With enough hoops and space, a whole team could use the plans.
SFGS: How did you come up with the idea of providing guided workout plans for individual basketball players?
Mike O’Halloran: With many basketball parents we’ve encountered, there seemed to be a mindset: to improve a child’s basketball skills in the offseason, you have to get on the right AAU team! Players have to go to the best clinics and camps! Players need private coaching!
While Nolan and I see benefits from those activities, we knew that many basketball players, including NBA stars, have figured out the best way to advance your skills in the offseason is thru individual workouts. Players spend more time on the court and less in cars, it saves time and money, and the improvement in skills can be significant.
SFGS: What all is included with the workouts?
Nolan McMonagle: We’ve crafted 18 workout session plans that are 66 minutes in length. Each provides a description of the basketball activity and a time allotment for each exercise. An appendix provides illustrations and diagrams to help players understand each activity. Players can print out the workout session grids and bring the couple of sheets with them to the court or read the plan off of a smart phone.
Each workout includes an inspirational story that typically addresses a life lesson like the power of persistence, the importance of fundamentals and overcoming challenges. Also, an “MVP Tip” is included in each workout that provides an on-court tip. For example, one MVP Tip encourages players to anticipate that each shot will be missed so that they are in rebounding position.
We’ve also included a section on what coaches like and we deal with some off-court topics like the importance of goal setting, nutrition and getting the proper rest.
SFGS: What are the advantages of individual workouts?
Nolan McMonagle: The process of improving basketball skills typically involves a lot of repetitions to build muscle memory. Individual workouts enable you to get many reps without waiting so you can accomplish a lot in a little time. To keep it interesting for players, the plans call for switching activities rapidly.
Individual workouts enable players to focus on skills that their regular coach may not have as much time to devote to. With a focus on fundamentals, players who use these individual workouts are well prepared as they progress in their basketball careers. Being fundamentally sound in basketball will make a player an asset to any team.
By practicing on their own, players can work on improving their skills with no fear of immediate evaluation in a relaxed environment. Ball handling ability, offensive drives to the basket and shooting technique are just three areas that players typically show great improvement on as a result of individual workouts.
One more thing…going thru these workouts will get a player in shape. We’ve incorporated fitness, strength and conditioning into these plans. Being fit in basketball is important.
SFGS: What does a player need to be in a position to do these workouts?
Mike O’Halloran: About 90% of the basketball activities in these workouts can be accomplished with one basketball and a driveway court and hoop. However, we encourage players to have 2 basketballs for some 2 ball dribbling drills, 8 cones or post-it notes to mark spots on the court – heck, chalk would work, and one tennis ball for another dribbling drill. Optionally, it would be great to have a jump rope and 2 chairs for a couple of activities. We also encourage players to bring a water bottle right to the court to keep things moving.
SFGS: How long does it take to complete these workout plans?
Nolan McMonagle: The plans can be completed in 6 weeks – 3 times per week – or in 9 weeks – twice a week. Each workout plan is 66 minutes in length.
Mike O’Halloran: Players who are participating in another sport while completing these basketball workouts might find the 2X per week more agreeable to their schedule.
SFGS: Are you anticipating developing any future LeBron James or Kevin Durant’s as a result of these plans?
Mike O’Halloran: (Laughs) Well…time will tell. I will say this. Players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant go thru extensive offseason workouts. The best NBA players like them come back with new skills to add to their repertoire. Look at Kevin Love. He couldn’t always shoot the 3-pointer. Look at Dirk Nowitzki who seems to add a skill or two each offseason. Offseason workouts can really make a big difference.
Find out more about MVP Offseason Workouts for Basketball
See a sample of the workout below.
Sample MVP Offseason Workouts plan – Starts with an inspirational story
Then, the workout session plan is broken out into sections.
Excerpt on “What Coaches Like”