Interview with Under 18s Derby Trailblazers Coach Lee Fitchett.
This week I caught up with one of my former teammates, Lee Fitchett. I played with Lee during my time with Derby Trailblazers between 2009 and 2011 in the National Basketball League. Lee got started in basketball at age 13 playing National League and stopped playing at 28. As well as playing for Derby, Lee also played for the University of Worcester. He is a level 2 qualified basketball coach and now coaches Under 18 men’s national league at Derby Trailblazers. I thought I would grab a quick chat with him to get his thoughts on how strength and conditioning has changed over the years.
1) How important would you say strength and conditioning is for basketball?
Strength I believe is player specific. Although conditioning plays a pivotal part in the sport.
2) Do you think strength and conditioning is an area that players neglect?
Players do neglect it, although I don’t feel that some realise the benefits. Our academy here in Derby has an S+C session every week, monitored by a trained trainer.
3) If you could turn back the clock to your younger self, is strength and conditioning an area you would have spent more time on?
I would have spent more time on strength for sure. I was always in shape, so conditioning was great, strength not so much.
4) Have you seen a change in players physical conditioning over the years? If so in what way?
Yes...players in today’s game (especially further up the age groups) are a lot bigger and stronger than when I used to play.
5) If you could play one on one with any player (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Reggie Miller in a 3 point contest...that’s what I do lol
6) When you were playing what did a normal week of training look like for you?
Depends where...Uni of Worcester we trained every day, morning and afternoon, with gym sessions too. Back him in Derby, trained twice a week (sometimes with D1) but left to own devices for S+C.
7) Do you think there is a link between strength and conditioning and injury prevention?
I don’t believe so personally, as I was always in good shape and I still struggled with injuries. Mainly ankle.
8) What has been your best moment in basketball?
Coaching my under 16 boys to the National Cup Final in Manchester, to then get beaten by NASSA by 30 in the final. Being there and having that experience was amazing from a coaching standpoint.
9) Finally, what advice would you give young players looking to be the best players they can?
My advice is to ask coaches for extra individual sessions and ask questions in general. I wish there were as much opportunity to go overseas back in my day than there is now, so grasp every opportunity you get to put up extra shots and get in the gym and start lifting.
Thanks, Lee, for your time and insight. I am sure my readers will find what you have to say interesting and helpful. All the best with your future endeavours and keep in touch. Thanks to everyone for reading and don’t forget to subscribe so you can stay up to date with new articles, interviews and workouts. If you would like to feature get in touch!