A peek behind the curtain of a couple KU summer training sessions
It seems certain that everyone around here would agree that Kansas basketball coach Bill Self is one of the best coaches in the game and his assistants, Norm Roberts, Kurtis Townsend and Jerrance Howard, are also talented coaches with a ton of experience and more than a few motivational tricks up their sleeves.
But NCAA rules and the summer structure limit the time those four can spend working with their players, leaving Self’s Jayhawks to fend for themselves for much of the summer when it comes to really improving their games during the offseason.
Strength coach Andrea Hudy plays a huge role in that department, as well, and she gets much more time to work on strength training and general conditioning than the coaches get to work on basketball stuff. But the players still have to put in a ton of their own time — in both areas — in order to elevate their games and prepare for the new roles and challenges that lie ahead.
That’s where personal trainers enter the picture and, for a couple of KU guards this summer, that’s where 90/10 Training: Create Future entered the picture. A basketball, speed and agility training company based out of Ottawa, 90/10 Training recently spent some serious time working with KU guards Marcus Garrett and Sam Cunliffe. They documented the work they did in a couple of YouTube videos and, as you’ll see by watching them, the work they do is pretty tedious stuff that is absolutely essential for individual improvement at this level.
Sure, scouting report and understanding schemes and sets and the general culture of Kansas basketball are important. But without mastering these types of skills, and improving them year after year, it’s hard for players to become a real factor at this level.
90/10 Training also did work this summer with K-State players Cartier Diarra and Xavier Sneed, as well as a bunch of former high school standouts from the Lawrence and Kansas City area, both boys and girls.
Self and his assistants do spend some time in the offseason working with their players on individual skills. Last week, Self explained that, of the four hours a week that they are allowed to work with the current Jayhawks, about half of that time is spent on team stuff and the other half is individual work.
But that’s just four hours a week. And a lot of what’s done in those four hours is designed to make sure that all 16 Jayhawks are on the same page and ready for when things really get rolling with boot camp and practices after school starts in August.
That leaves plenty of time for these guys to do some more individual work on their own, stuff beyond the shooting drills and post moves that the KU coaches run through with them over and over until they’re done to satisfaction.
Just watching these videos gives you a better understanding of what these players are both willing and required to do to be able to crack the rotation at Kansas.
Garrett was able to do it as a freshman and he had many more good moments than bad. Cunliffe is still trying to find his way into the mix and he has worked harder on all aspects of his game so far this summer than he ever has in his life.
You’ll see that in these videos. And, while these are just a couple of examples from a couple of KU players, you should remember that just about every player on the current KU roster is doing some variety of these drills and skills workouts throughout the summer, as well, to make sure they're ready for what promises to be a wildly competitive season in 2018-19.