You might know Lonzo Ball as the person who has worked so hard to get himself to the place where he is now. He began working out when he was just 4 years old and did a pull-up. At 12, he was already sprinting up and down a hill. It was when he reached Chino Hills High School in California he became unstoppable.
He is a fresher at UCLA and has now grown up by many positions to be No. 2 in the country. It is quite true that wherever he has been, he has earned himself a great name, however, the whole credit goes to his father and his views on how to train for basketball.
Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, has climbed the stairs of success by working hard. When he was young, he played for his college at Washington State and Cal State LA. After he got out of college, it was the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets. Now that his play days have come to an end, he has focused his attention on his sons- Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo to help them turn into basketball sensations. “I started introducing my boys [to working out] when they were 4 or 5 years old, doing Pull-Ups and Dips and hanging on the bars for fun,” LaVar said, “They were into it because they would see who could do one, and then the other one would try and do two, and as they got older, they’d say ‘Dad, let me go in there, I can do them by myself.’ It was like a competition thing for all of them. When you’re a young kid hanging out with your pops, it’s a game. It’s not, ‘Oh we have to go work out again?”
Beginning of the Training
When the boys reached 12 years of age, LaVar decided to add some free weights to their exercises. Military Press and Bench Press were a few of the main exercises that they have been doing since the beginning. They worked out with free weights for five days a week at home which did not include the sprint exercises.
About the basketball training, LaVar says,
“If you play the game three to four minutes hard with no fouls, that’s how you get teams tired,” he explained.
“Sometimes you just let them go, let them score, just so you can throw it down the court and run the other way. They can’t take their players out of the game unless you call a timeout. That’s how we would do it. Teams would play their hearts out in the first half, and then after that, they were done. It’s not even about what my boys can do as far as shooting and layups and all that, it’s just the conditioning that was so high.”
LaVar explains the function of free weights so early in their training process. He wanted to make his sons being able to pass full court and hit 3s from anywhere in the court, no matter where they are standing. As for the sprints, which was another key factor in their training, the father-cum-coach just wanted them to run as fast as they could in the game. But the most questionable factor is the frequency, that is, five days a week, to which he says that he wants to make sure that his sons would otherwise never be overworked.
“If you play a bigger team, and they’re bigger and faster than you, the only thing you can do is wear them out and be more skilled,” LaVar explained the logic. “My boys can keep going like batteries. And then the skill was to be able to shoot from 20-30 feet out. Let’s say, you shoot 30 out of 40 2-pointers. But we can shoot 30 out of 80 3-pointers. We gon’ whoop your ass.”
It’s all about the efforts and hard work that has been put by both the father and sons that they have reached such a strong footing. Placing confidence in his sons, LeVar said, “I know what kind of work my boys put in. I also know what type of players they are and what they can bring to the game,” LaVar said.
“That’s why everybody was shocked when I told them UCLA was going to win the NCAA championship. It’s not a joke, it’s for real. I’m not sending my boys to UCLA just to say, ‘Yo, he goes to UCLA.’ I know what they can bring to the table, and the fact that they’re 9-0, everybody is shocked. I’ve been watching them play like this for a long time.”
While LiAngelo and LaMelo still train with their father each day like they used to, Lonzo joins them occasionally when he has a break at the UCLA. Looking at the success of each it is quite clear that LeVar’s efforts are finally moving up. He says,
“All three of my boys will be one and done. This year, I gave them the best passer and the best playmaker. He’s going to be gone, and guess what, I’m going to bring you the best scorer ever, which is LiAngelo. I’m going to let you rest for a year, and then I’m going to bring you the ultimate one, you ain’t seen before, which is LaMelo. He’s a mixture of Lonzo and LiAngelo. Watch the show, it’s about to begin.”
That’s pretty much how Lonzo and his brothers work out and train throughout the week. The training consists of very basic exercises, but the efforts and consistency are remarkable.