Re: Getting Game Back Up To Par & Regaining Confidence/Swagger
This is a good question. I'm betting we've all been there, whether it's due to inactivity or injury. And while it may not be the answer you're looking for, consistently playing basketball is probably the only sure fire way to avoid "losing touch". It's sort of a use-it-or-lose-it situation.
However, if taking time off of basketball is unavoidable, I think there are some things that can help lighten the effects. When I can't play for a while, I try to keep my basketball assets up and running. That means, while it might not be a game, I'll still try to find a time to work on my ballhandling somewhere (in my garage, on my bathroom floor, etc.). Or I'll try to find a spot to do cardio. Or lift weights. Or anything else that may attribute to my effectiveness on the court.
When I do find myself back on the basketball court after a long layoff, the last thing I probably want to do is just get out on the court and go right off the bat in a game of five-on-five. Instead, I'll definitely work through my own ballhandling drills prior, concentrating on pounding the ball and re-developing a feel. I'll also try to warm-up and push myself in other facets prior to jumping into a full game.
When the time comes for the real game to begin, I constantly remind myself to push, push, push. Unfortunately, if one is not playing consistently, it will be nearly impossible to remain in game shape. As such, when returning to the game, we face the task of pushing ourselves to the limit (and beyond). In short, it sucks. I try to go full speed in all facets. This means my energy will wane quickly and it'll likely feel like my speed decreases by 50% during extended plays without stoppage. But it's important to keep moving.
What's the most common thing for a player to neglect when they're out of shape? Getting back on defense, trailing or filling on fast breaks, doing the little things. I have to force myself to do those things at full speed (which again, is often depleted speed if I'm especially worn). But all that goes to redeveloping a feel on the court and re-building our game shape. Once the game shape is rebuilt, the "feel" for the game will shortly return.