Basketball is one of the most widely played sports in the world. Initially, instead of the basketball that we see today, the sport was played with a soccer ball. Moreover, peach baskets were used for making shots; however, with time, it evolved, and string baskets that we see today were introduced.
Today, basketball is played internationally, producing many big names. That being said, becoming a professional basketball player is a challenging task as you have to keep yourself in shape.
If you plan on starting a full-time career as a professional, read on to learn the best tips for staying healthy and fit for basketball players.
1. Warmup Before Intense Workouts
Before starting your intense basketball training, you must warm up your muscles if you don’t want to deal with a soaring body the next day. Moreover, it also reduces the risk of injury and increases the body’s temperature by boosting blood flow. As a result, the cardiovascular system is also revved up.
Common warmup exercises include jumping jacks, lunges, pushups, arm circles, and squats. It is essential to stretch your muscles after finishing the workout. Some of the most common post-training stretches include lunge and reach stretch, lacrosse ball foot massage, foam roller, bodyweight hangs, and assisted hamstring stretch.
2. Exercise Whenever Possible
While your basketball coach may have planned multiple training sessions for the team, it doesn’t hurt to practice independently. It is easy to put off training for later, but you need to go the extra mile to be the best. Try to exercise in your free time to boost your stamina and learn new techniques. If you have any weak areas, work on overcoming those areas when you get the time. Team training sessions help improve collaborative effort, but you also need to improve yourself individually.
3. Get Sufficient Sleep
Basketball players need to train intensively; however, that doesn’t mean you don’t get any rest. To perform your level-best, you need adequate sleep every day. Try not to stay up too late and aim to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every day.
A well-rested body can perform better during workout sessions and actual games. It is especially important to sleep well the night before a big game. It may make you nervous, but not getting sufficient sleep can adversely affect your performance.
4. Hydrate Yourself
Hydration is an essential part of staying healthy and fit. This is especially important for basketball players who sweat during exercises, training, and games. You need to recover the water you lost to keep your muscles in shape. It is recommended to consume at least 0.5 ounces of water per pound of body weight. Basketball players should strictly avoid coffee as it dehydrates the body. Instead, it would help if you opted for sports drinks that replenish the body’s electrolytes and keep you hydrated.
Consider getting a big water bottle and keep it filled all the time so that you get to drink more water every day.
5. Eat Smaller Portions
Diet control is probably the most challenging part of becoming an athlete. You have to monitor what you eat carefully and follow different diet plans. But the best method to maintain a healthy weight is to eat your food in small portions. You can eat more frequently instead of starving yourself, but you have to limit the food to small portions. It is important to have breakfast every day to keep yourself energized. No matter which diet plan you follow, never skip out on breakfast.
If you feel you have a bit of extra fat, you can try investing in fat burners. Coffee is one of the most effective fat burners you can
find naturally, but some premade products such as protein shake also help.
6. Work on Quality Rather Than Quantity
There is so much to do when you’re training your body for the next big game that many players tend to focus on quantity. However, in contrast to doing the same things over and over incorrectly or inefficiently, it is better to repeat the exercises correctly in limited quantity. You can focus on improving the quality rather than completing a target number of reps.
Repeating the same thing without improvement does not help make you a better player. If you want to work on your skill, focus on overcoming your weak spots.
7. Take Breaks
While it is important to make the most of your time and utilize it to train effectively, you must also periodically give yourself a break. Overworking your muscles can adversely affect your performance and even lead to injuries.
Try to take a break in between workouts and training sessions. Nothing too excessive; a small 10 to 15-minute break is enough. During this time, allow your body to relax and do nothing else. Focus on yourself and if you feel something is wrong with your body, get yourself checked immediately. Often, players tend to overlook small signals that their body sends, which can sometimes lead to permanent damage.
8. Learn to Coordinate with the Team
Basketball is not a one-person show. You can only win matches with collaborative team effort, and the best way to win more matches is by learning teamwork. Make sure you spend enough time with your teammates to understand how each player functions.
It is essential to learn to collaborate with the other players to boost the team’s performance. Try to practice with your team whenever you do get the chance. It also allows you to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team members. In a match, you can help them overcome their weaknesses and use their strengths to make up for your own shortcomings.
Each team in a basketball game has five players, which means there are 10 players on the court. But the 10 players put on an amazing show for the spectators and always make the sport look almost effortless. But basketball players go through excessive training and put in a lot of hard work to succeed. If you want to become one of the top players, refer to the top eight health and fitness tips mentioned above.