With the NBA season already underway, men and women’s college and high-school basketball teams around the country are gearing up for a season of their own. Right around mid-November, teams from across the U.S. will host their first official tip-off for the 2018-2019 basketball season. But before you race to the top of the key, Sport Court of Pittsburgh is sharing some tips for getting you mentally and physically prepared for the season ahead.
Practice endurance. Basketball is a game of endurance. Run conditioning drills like “baseline” sprints. Start at the baseline, run to the first free-throw line, touching the line. Run back to the baseline, continue now to half-court, touch half-court and return to the baseline. Continue this drill to the opposite free-throw line and again return to your starting point. End the first set by running from one baseline to the other. Repeat 9 more times. This will get you hear pumping and condition your body for game-time.
Train at Home. You don’t need a personal gym or gym membership to train your upper and lower body. Push-ups are a great way to work on your arms, shoulders and chest, while lunges and explosive jumps can work your calves, quads and glutes. There are plenty of ways to train at home, just search online or talk your coach or trainer.
Practice shooting and dribbling. If you have access to a basketball hoop, do what the professionals do and spend as much time on the court as possible. Practicing your shot is very important – especially those free-throws. Do some lay-ups, take bank shots from every angle and be sure to practice shots from the foul-line since these freebies might be the deciding factor of a winning game.
Get into a zone. The game of basketball is just as much about physical endurance as it is mental stamina. Practice staying in the present. Don’t focus on the past and don’t look too far into the future. Basketball games change course much too quickly to stay anywhere else then in “the now”. Forget about the missed 3-pointer and don’t anticipate a foul-shot. Stay focused and react to the game as it is happening.
Take advantage of your school’s facilities. There is no doubt your school has some sort of workout facility. They may also host open-gym night. Take advantage of all the things your Athletic Department has to offer. Even talk to trainers about strength conditioning tips. Not only is a great way to practice, it’s a great way to socialize with teammates.
Dress properly. Wear mesh basketball shorts and loose fitting, light t-shirts on the court, but be sure to bring warm active-wear to go home. Sweating is inevitable, so you want to be able to sweat freely on the court, but you don’t want to walk outside into the wintry weather dripping wet. Most Athletic Departments offer school-gear for students. Take advantage of your school’s apparel options.
Wear good shoes. Basketball shoes should consist of shock-absorbing material, offer ankle support, and allow you to move laterally. Like any sport, it’s important you wear the right shoes to prevent injury.
Drink lots of water. Always stay hydrated by drinking water and sports drinks designed to balance out your electrolytes. You’ll lose a lot of water on the court, stay hydrated by replenishing as often as necessary.