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JumpUSA.com Tip: Participating in strength training and conditioning for basketball will help you be the best player possible, and could give you that extra edge to win a championship. Many coaches used to believe that weight training hurt your basketball skills. Basketball weight training, along with a good flexibility program will not only help your body resist injury (very important during the long season), but also allows you to be more explosive and gain the strength and stamina necessary for basketball's physical play. The goal of your strength and conditioning program should be two-fold: 1) Prevent injury 2) Improve athletic ability. Notice that "Enhance Basketball Performance" is not one of the goals listed for basketball weight training. This is because basketball performance is just that, basketball performance. In order for an athlete to improve his or her performance, they need to practice the skills required for basketball. Improving one's strength, speed, endurance and flexibility will not only set the stage for practice, but aid in preventing injury so one can make it through the entire season without getting hurt. Sport-specific training should be implemented during practice. Keep in mind it's not the strength that will improve performance, but the rather the strength when it is applied to practice that results in improved performance. Use weight lifting, conditioning and stretching to enhance athletic ability and prevent injury.