One of the most common questions I get this time of year, from both players and coaches, has to do with working out over Christmas break. There is not a “one size fits all” answer.

There are several questions you need to ask when putting a plan in place:

  • How long are you off from school?
  • Do you have any games over the break (holiday tournament)?
  • When is your first game of the New Year?
  • How many days will you practice over the break?
  • Will the practices be long and intense?
  • How are you feeling (fatigued & banged up or rested & healthy)?

The answers to these questions will dictate what you should do.

At DeMatha, we have a longer than normal break from games. So we want to use that time as wisely as possible. Here is our tentative schedule:
Thursday, 12/16 – Final exams, no practice
Friday, 12/17 – Final exams, 2 hour afternoon practice
Saturday, 12/18 – 2 hour morning practice followed by a full body strength workout
Sunday, 12/19 – OFF
Monday, 12/20 – Final exams, no practice
Tuesday, 12/21* – Final exams, 2 hour afternoon practice followed by a full body strength workout   
Wednesday, 12/22 – 2 hour practice
Thursday, 12/23 – TBA (totally dependent on the quality & effort of Tuesday/Wednesday’s practice)
Friday, 12/24 & Saturday, 12/25 – OFF
Sunday, 12/26 – Travel to Portland, OR to play in the Nike Les Schwab Invitational
Monday, 12/27 to Thursday, 12/30 – Shootaround each morning, game each evening
Friday, 12/31 – Travel home from Portland, OR
Saturday, 1/1 & Sunday, 1/2 – OFF
Monday, 1/3 – 2 hour practice followed by a brief upper body strength workout
Tuesday, 1/4 – First game of the New Year!
*On the evening of the 21st we will have our annual DeMatha Basketball Holiday Party with players, coaches, and families.
Over the course of this two week period, we will continually remind our players to get as much rest as possible, to eat as well as they can, and to get re-focused and re-energized on accomplishing our three major goals in 2011:
1.    Win the WCAC Championship
2.    Win the DC City Championship
3.    Win a National Championship
We also encourage our players to make their friends and family a high priority around the holidays. 
Basketball is very important at DeMatha, but nothing is more important than spending quality time with the people you care about.
On a similar note, I want to wish you and your family and wonderful holiday season. I sincerely appreciate your support and look forward to serving you in 2011.
As a token of my appreciation, I would like to offer you a ‘$10 off coupon’ for the Stronger Team Shop ( You can use it on any of our DVDs or downloadable workout programs!
Just email me at and I will happily send it to you!
Train hard. Train smart. Have fun.
Alan Stein