Cap's Corner - 7/19/10

Cap's Corner by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

What did you do to mentally and physically rest for the off season?

KAJ: For the off season, I would try to take some time off — usually about two weeks. During that time, I wouldn’t do anything related to basketball. When my R&R was over, I would start a training regimen that would get me ready for the upcoming season. I would time it so that I would be at a peak when it was time to go to training camp.

What did you do to stay in shape during the off-season?

KAJ: My training regimen consisted of three elements. The first was cardiovascular training. So I would run, jump rope, ride a bike or swim to get my cardiovascular work done. The second element was strength training on the Nautilus machines or by using free weights. The last aspect of my training regimen was flexibility training. For that, I practiced yoga, which is a very thorough way to maintain one’s flexibility.

Did you make an off-season plan for improving your game?

KAJ: I would choose certain aspects of my game, say free throws or rebounding technique or ball handling, and I would take 20 minutes to focus on that certain aspect of the game and improve it. I would do this in the couple of weeks right before camp started.

Given your skills and talent level, you never had to fight for a roster spot; did you ever think about what it would have been like to come into the league as a free agent or lower draft pick?

KAJ: I never thought about what I would need to do to try to make a team: my skills were always in demand.

Did you ever speak to other players to try to recruit them to sign with your team?

KAJ: I never tried to talk to a player into signing with my team. It seemed to me that most ballplayers would try to play for a franchise like the Lakers.