The Midwest City (Okla.) boys basketball program owns four 6A state titles over the last 14 seasons. This year, the No. 13 Bombers are looking to revise the program’s history book, and their undefeated (21-0) mark shows the team is off to a good start.
Solid team chemistry and sharp shooters aren’t the only strengths that will help the Bombers make a run at another state title, as coach Dewayne Bradley points out.
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The Bombers spent the preseason building endurance and speed. Below, Bradley shares why that's mattered.
Basketball is a game of explosiveness and speed. What’s the purpose of building endurance, too?
What separates us is that we’re able to sustain our speed and play hard for a long period of time because our lung capacity is pretty good. While you have to have speed and quickness, you also have to have muscle endurance.
Tell us how your players built their endurance.
They ran a timed mile once a week for eight weeks leading up to the start of the season. Our guards had to run under six minutes — most ran between 5 and 5:15 minutes — and the posts had to run a 6:15-minute mile. If they weren’t able to run within the specified time, they had to run another mile or run up the stadium bleachers.
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What else did your players do to improve endurance?
I took the team to Mount Scott, which is about an hour and a half away in Lawton. I dropped them off at the bottom of the mountain, and they had run 2.6 miles to the top. The fastest player ran in 18 minutes. It’s a challenge, but they enjoy it.
How did your players train to develop their speed?
They ran sprints on the tennis court, which is a black top and the surface is a little bit softer. They’d run suicides back and forth for different dimensions and distances to mimic how they’d play in a game. For instance, you may have to run 10 feet and then get back on defense 20 feet away. I’d time them, too, and whoever ran the slowest had to run more.
What was the most intense drill the team performed to build speed?
The 5-60. It’s a timed running drill on the basketball court. In two groups, players sprint from baseline to baseline, running five down and back in 60 seconds. Then, four down and back in 48 seconds followed by three in 36 seconds. For the final sprint, I’d only give them 10 seconds. The drill simulates a game situation, so the team also performs this during the season if we don’t play for a few days.