The upcoming summer brings many joys—warmer temperatures, beaches, and basketball sessions with family and friends! The squeak of shoes against the ground, the sound of the ball hitting inside the net, and sweaty afternoons are what we are all excited about. However, before hitting the court, make sure you have enough preparation to maximize your basketball sessions. After all, we don’t want to suffer any form of injury, right?
In this article, we have rounded up some guides to help you prepare before a basketball practice or game. So, before you pack your gym sacks, grab your water bottle, and head to the court, pause for a while and give this a read. If you want to know more, make sure to scroll further!
Get proper rest before the practice
Treat any basketball practice like a game. Give your body its much-needed rest. You can’t perform well if you are feeling sluggish or tired. Incomplete hours of sleep can lead to disorientation and fatigue. Keep in mind that basketball is a demanding and intense sport, so you should bank on enough energy and endurance before your practice day.
Before anything else, ensure that your body is well-hydrated before any game. Being thirsty is an indicator of dehydration, so make sure to drink as soon as you feel the urge to drink. Being dehydrated keeps your head in the game, helps you think clearly, and makes great decisions in the game.
If staying hydrated and proper rest are ways to prepare for your physical well-being, being grateful is a way to prepare you mentally. Researches posit that high levels of gratitude enable people to solve problems better. If you messed up in the court, don’t self-punish. If you miss a 3-point shot, don’t be discouraged. And if you make a mistake, take responsibility and take it as a lesson. You see, the key to excelling in the game is proper practice, tons of mistakes, and self-discipline. With your mind at ease and your body well-rested, you are bound to excel during the practice.
Eyes on the hoop, not on your coach
If you are practicing with your team and your coach, chances are you’re anxious to impress your coach on the court. If you walk into the court with impressing your coach as your ultimate goal, you will likely fail. Instead, keep your head in the game. Allow yourself to make mistakes because practice allows more room for them. The best way to impress your coach? Just be yourself and give your 100% to the team. It’s that easy!
If you want, you can also bring your own basketball at practice if there aren’t enough in the gym or court. You can then use your own basketball to practice on your own during breaks or free time at practice. To know how to purchase the best basketballs, you can read our Guide to Selecting the Right Basketball.
This is a given must-do—stretch your muscles before hitting the court. Warm-up properly prior to practice and always allow cool-down periods. Proper warm-up increases your resistance to injuries such as rotator cuff tendinitis, Achilles tendinitis, and patellar tendinitis, also referred to as jumper’s knee.
These are three stretches that give you a good start:
Rotating stomach and side stretch
Lie face down, keep your hips on the ground, and slowly rise up by straightening your arms. Bend one arm slowly and then rotate your shoulder towards the ground. Do it on both sides.
Squatting leg-out groin and adductor stretch
Spread your feet apart, keeping one leg straight with toes facing forward, and then bend the other leg and turn your toes out to the other side. Lower your groin slowly and rest your hands on your bent knee or the ground.
Single heel-drop calf and Achilles stretch
Get an elevated object and stand on there. Or if you don’t have any equipment, place the ball on one foot. Bend your knee slightly, letting your heel drop on the ground.
Allow yourself to be nervous before getting in the game
You’re feeling nervous? It only means you care about the practice! Before you step into the court, deal with your nervousness first. Stop overthinking and instead focus on the game. Stop being afraid of failure—it only causes anxiety which can cause your body to tenses up. Remind yourself that even the most professional basketball players miss shots too, so you’re not alone! Get in the zone and play to your heart’s content. Being in the zone helps you achieve your goals easier.