Basketball season is officially over for Division II teams and summer is right around the corner. 

After completing pre-season workouts, and then going through the season, now comes the off-season. 

Off-season is a very weird word for what exactly it means. The word off means moving away from but off-season is the exact opposite. 

After the season ends most athletes take a week or two of letting their bodies recover from the long season, and constantly pounding their feet against the hardwood. 

They take some time to get away from basketball and focus on school and other things. Many people even try to stay as far away from a basketball or a gym as they can so they don’t feel tempted. 

Players try to fall out of loving the game for that time being. But right when those couple weeks are up, bang… the real grind begins. 

Constant hours in the gym and the weight room are what most summers consist of for basketball players.

 After the season most players get evaluated by their coaches, and or evaluate themselves and what exactly they can improve on or anything else and they take those skills and tips and repetitively work on their game and grow as a player.

There is no off-season for real athletes. Yeah of course there will be some players who relax and shoot in the gym every now and then, but they aren’t great players, and that is what can separate good from great. Hard work pays off more than talent ever will.

“The off-season is what I live for. Yeah sure, the games are fun, and traveling is fun but, the work you put in during the off-season is what prepares you for the season,” said Kinzer Lambert, a junior basketball player. “Every shot, every rep, every day counts. I aim to better my game day by day, because I want to be the best player I can be and outwork anyone.” 

 Most players are fighting for playing time and want to be on the court most of the games, so it pushes them to work hard and excel in every aspect of their game. It’s very important that you take care of your body throughout this off-season as well. 

There is a lot of things that can hurt your body, whether that be nutrition, training, or playing pickup basketball with random guys. 

“It’s tough. Having to come right out of season and start training again for the next season, but that is what makes you a better player,” said Lions center sophomore Cam Martin. “You have to love the game and be willing to give your all, even when you don’t want to.” 

The off-season isn’t for everyone. It tests how hard you are willing to work, and how far you are willing to go.

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