Quicker, Faster, Stronger

April 27, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Despite the University of Iowa men’s basketball team’s season coming to a close three weeks ago, training for the 2013-14 season began this week.

The 2013 NIT runners-up are in the middle of a two-week period in which the student-athletes lift four times per week and have individual basketball workouts twice a week.

Junior-to-be Aaron White is looking forward to the off-season conditioning.

“It is a long season and you need to build strength in the off-season,” said White, a third team All-Big Ten performer. “I’ve been meeting with the coaches off-and-on and have also met with a nutritionist. I started a diet two weeks ago; I want to gain muscle, lose body fat, and get quicker, faster and stronger.”

Strength and conditioning coach Bill Maxwell visited with the coaching staff and athletic trainer Brad Floy to map out the best strength and conditioning plan for each individual.

“We frequently discuss the team’s needs within the year so my guidelines for off-season training have already been formulated when the season ends,” said Maxwell. “Coach McCaffery reviews these guidelines and offers basic thoughts about the past year in relation to where we need to go for the next season.”

Iowa’s season ended April 4 with 25 victories, which was the longest season in program history. Maxwell said it was important that the guys take some time away from the court to recharge their batteries leading into the conditioning sessions.

“The season is 24 weeks long when playing into April, and it takes a toll on the body — psychologically and physically,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell says that the culture for improving and achieving success is in a great spot due to the leadership from McCaffery.

“Coach McCaffery likes the team atmosphere and many lifts last year were team oriented,” said Maxwell. “The culture has improved to where our players are motivated and really want to improve upon last year’s success. We are able to train in smaller groups this spring and spend more time teaching. Our players have a strong bond and work ethic, which allows us to be more specialized while being confident everyone is working at a championship level.”

In addition to the lifting sessions, the players are getting a couple basketball sessions in each week to help hone some of their skills.

“We’re looking to improve individual skill sets with an emphasis on the offensive end like shooting, ball handling, passing and dribbling during these sessions,” said assistant coach Sherman Dillard. “What we hope to do is give them a base of some things that they can work out on their own. With limited time, you try to give them the drills that you want them to work on their own.”

Once school is dismissed for the spring and the student-athletes return in June for summer workouts, Maxwell said the guys will look to improve their strength and power.

“We’ll train four days a week with the beginning of each workout focused on improving mobility,” said Maxwell. “The next portion is speed and agility drills, followed by explosive lifts and strength lifts. Improved strength and power builds confidence to execute basketball skills at a higher level.”