Strategies for preventing basketball injuries are similar to those in most sports. Here we explain some top tips for avoiding basketball injuries.
1 – Warm-up
Yes, you must hear this so often it gets boring. But a warm-up is a vital part of injury prevention in every sport. It also helps to prepare you mentally and physically.
- Warm-ups should get the heart rate up to increase the flow of blood around the body, in preparation for more strenuous activity. It should also warm and stretch your muscles to ensure they are working to their optimum. Cold, inflexible muscles are more likely to tear.
- A warm-up should consist of a minimum of 5 minutes of cardio, and pulse-raising exercises such as jogging, cycling, skipping etc.
- This should be followed by dynamic stretches. These have more recently replaced static stretches. They include drills such as running with high knees, heels to bum and Cariocas. This should be performed for between 5 and 20 minutes, with movements gradually becoming larger and faster. This is preferable to static stretching as it keeps the body warmer and heart rate higher, and more resembles the type of movements which are required in most sports.
- Wearing the right kind of protective equipment is vital to avoiding injury in basketball.
- Elbow and knee pads are the most common form of protective wear as are padded shorts.
- Resting is an important part of any athlete’s training program! Physiological changes in the cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular systems in our bodies, occur when we are at rest.
- Overtraining often results in injuries due to fatigue causing poor technique and overuse-type injuries. If you feel at all unwell, tired or in pain, you should rest until better.
- In order to play at the higher levels of any sport, training is vitally important.
- Training not only the cardiovascular and muscular systems but also techniques and tactics.
Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition is important. A bad diet will prevent you from recovering from training sessions making you more prone to injury. A balanced diet is what you should aim for:
- Carbohydrate is important for refuelling muscles
- Protein rebuilds muscles
- If you become dehydrated then less blood will flow through muscles. The muscles will be more prone to injury
- Vitamins and minerals are required for a number of reasons related to recovery
Much of what is discussed above should be part of your sporting routine. A biomechanical analysis can help identify possible injury risks. Orthotic devices can help. Also, an assessment from a sports therapist or specialist can identify weak areas and possible injury risks. A course of exercises specific to your needs can give you the best chance of avoiding injury.