09/15/2011 - 11:55
The Road After Recovery
by Josh Howard

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer. I've been spending the summer working out and being a dad, splitting time between Dallas, where my son is, and Winston-Salem where some of my other family is.

When I'm down in Texas, I've been working out at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney with some NFL players, just doing some one-on-one stuff. When I'm in North Carolina, it's just a lot of individual stuff.

The best part is, I'm not recovering from an injury anymore. Through my workouts I think I've gotten my knee back to 100 percent, finally, which is a great feeling. It's pretty much back to normal. Now it's just working on the basketball aspect of it and maintaining my size and my weight.

My knee is healed so this summer, I was able to put on two basketball camps while also working on my own basketball skills.

My workouts have involved mostly basketball skill work. I'm working on making quick decisions as far as my cuts and stuff like that, just getting back to the old rhythm of basketball. The focus is on improving my decision-making on the court.

I'm also working on my jump shot a bit. With all these penetrating point guards we have out there nowadays, a lot of times I just have to wait for the shot to come to me. I want to be able to knock that shot down with ease.

I love to play defense, but there isn't much you can do individually to improve in that area. I think it's more of a communication thing and a matter of just getting out there and knowing your teammates. You have to know which guys know how to defend certain players. At the end of day, you have to be physical, but you also have to know what guys like to do on the offensive end to try and beat them to their moves. That's more of a mental thing.

I'm in the gym three days a week for about two hours per day. Sometimes I'll do a fourth day in the pool, swimming laps and doing cardio workouts, just to maintain the shape I'm in.

All these workouts, to me, are just about being ready for the season because you never know. The lockout could end tomorrow. We've been wondering for the last couple of months and you never know. You have to be ready for anything.

This summer, I also got a chance to get out and do some work with my foundation in both Dallas and Winson-Salem, putting on our annual Celebrity Weekends in both cities.

The first celebrity weekend was in Dallas, just a little while after the Mavericks won the title. It was exciting to be around the community after that. I felt like I was almost a part of the Dallas championship.

I still have strong support from the Dallas community as if I were a part of the team winning the title. It was great to be able to drive off that for the foundation work. I think everybody had an excellent time.

I was pretty surprised with the way my camp went this year. A lot of the kids who started with the camp are getting older now and they're beginning to understand that there are more important things out there besides basketball. We try every summer to teach life skills too and now the older kids are coming in with the mindset that they will learn the game and also learn life skills. So it was very exciting to see that.

At the end of the Dallas weekend, we had some great athletes out for our celebrity basketball game.

I had Terrell Owens come in and coach the team that I played on since he couldn't play with his injury. I've known Terrell since he first came to Dallas and played for the Cowboys. I met him then and we've been friends since.

We've been talking a lot recently since we share the same injury, with him tearing his ACL. I let him know that it's a tough road, but you can get over it. He's a strong-willed guy when it comes to his body and sports, so I know he'll get back to normal. It's just tough to see a fellow athlete go through that. A lot of people don't realize with an injury like that, it ends people's careers sometimes. Just to fight back through that, it takes a lot, but it's possible.

Looking back on my injury, I think, as an athlete, you're always aware that injuries happen, but you really never expect them to happen to you. I always mentally prepare myself for things to happen and thankfully I prepared myself well.

I'm just looking to get back out there on the court now. I'm feeling good and I'm looking forward to signing with a team once the lockout ends. I just want to have a good time playing the game that I've always loved.












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