Meet the Trainer: Ben Vaneria
I'm obsessed with scoring the basketball. I always have been and I'm fairly certain that I always will be.
Coming up through the youth basketball program in Barnstable, I was fortunate to receive coaching on the fundamentals of the game and also attended some terrific camps to reinforce these principles. My local career culminated with being named captain for the Barnstable Red Raiders. I helped lead the school to the state tournament by averaging 18 points per game and shooting 86 percent from the free-throw line.
It wasn't until I arrived at Centre College in Kentucky that I learned just how little I knew about the game. I was overwhelmed by the mental and physical demands of college basketball and quickly found myself at the end of the bench.
During the off-season between my freshman and sophomore seasons, I was introduced to the concept of individual skill development workouts. Early in the mornings before class, a coach would put me through 40-minute shooting workouts where I'd make upwards of 500 shots with game-type intensity. I had never been exposed to this type of workout. My game went through the roof and I quickly earned a spot in the rotation.
I now serve as a criminal prosecutor here on Cape Cod. In addition, over the past two years, I have begun introducing the current Barnstable players to the concept of individual skill development workouts. It has been extremely gratifying to watch several of the players experience tremendous improvement. It has been equally disappointing to observe a handful of hardworking players fail to experience success because they did not possess the requisite foundation of offensive skills and their weakness were quickly exposed at the varsity level.
My hope moving forward is to intervene at a younger age and help dedicated kids establish foundations for greater success at the higher levels.