Whether specialized or recreational, basketball training takes players to the next level February 14, 2017 — by Neil Rao Permalink As the last of the rains sprinkled on the outdoor school basketball courts last April, all but one girl who had been playing ran to their cars. The remaining player, senior shooting guard Aryana Goodarzi, masterfully dribbled the ball between her feet and through various patterns of cones. At the end of her routine, she swished in shots from all around the 3-point line. Having played basketball for seven years, Goodarzi is one of the most recognizable faces on the court in the varsity team. She attributes much of her success to the guidance she had from her current basketball trainer who helps motivate her on and off the court, said Goodarzi. Hoping to join a Division 1 basketball school this coming fall, Goodarzi credits her athletic success to her intense training sessions. Goodarzi trains year-round, sometimes even six hours a day during her off-season. On top of her daily on-court trainings, Goodarzi also lifts weights, has track workouts and practices with an outside team as part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Aside from working one-on-one with her trainer, during the school season, she practices two hours most days with her teammates. Currently, she is focusing on improving her foot speed through the use of ladder training exercises. Similar to Goodarzi, junior power forward Neal Iyengar, a key player on the varsity boys’ team, is also frequently working on improving his skills and stamina for when he is on the court. “I express my love for basketball through dedication and time on the court,” Iyengar said. “I believe you can only improve through continued effort and experience and only through more playing can I do this.” Although Iyengar does not have a personal basketball trainer like Goodarzi, he believes that with enough training with his friends during tutorials and after school, he can get more “realistic experiences” he can continue to improve his game. Despite the two players’ different approaches to training, both believe in the need to keep pushing themselves. “Although it is paramount to have a great skillset that can only be increased through training, it is also important to use those skills in game,” Iyengar said.