Basketball Injuries Can Keep You from Playing Your Best. Here are some great tips to keep you in the game and to help you avoid injuries.
Basketball season can be grueling….4-5 months, hours upon hours of practices, a schedule full of hard fought games against rivals, stressful situations where you feel like the world depends on whether you make this foul shot, not to mention trying to get some extra shooting practice whenever possible. It is absolutely essential that players take steps to avoid performance deterioration throughout the season, so they can ensure they are running with the team and not riding the pine. Here are six helpful reminders to help your basketball lover stay in the game this season:
(1) Don’t Neglect the Before and After: Dynamic stretching prior to practices and games and a period of cool down including prolonged held stretches post-workout are essential to keeping those muscles and ligaments limber and healthy. Put a reminder on your calendar to allow time for this both before and after you play.
(2) You Are What You Eat: Neglecting your diet could play a major role in your energy level. Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-balanced diet! General guidelines suggest 25% protein, 60% carbohydrates (fruits and veggies fit in here) and 15% fats. Aim for 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day if possible. (larger meals require a lot of energy to digest, therefore leaving less energy for the hardwood)
(3) Water is your friend: Although sports drinks claim to be the end-all-be-all, the truth is they carry a lot of excess sugars that aren’t necessary. In moderation, no problem, however, water is best to keep you ready to play. Aim for 8-10 twelve ounce glasses of water daily.
(4) Maintain Your Muscle: Although you won’t be completing intense strength training sessions during the season, it is important to continue some strengthening exercises to ensure you don’t lose muscle throughout the season. Utilizing your own body weight or simple hand weights is your best bet and ensure you allow 2 days rest between weight sessions.
(5) Sleeping rocks: 5am wake-up calls for school are not uncommon. However, ensuring players get enough sleep will help ensure solid performance on the court. 7-8 hours should suffice for most, with younger players 16 and under frequently requiring a little more. If you want to soar with the eagles, you can’t hoot with the owls!
(6) Maintain Conditioning When Injured: If you do suffer an injury, talk to your health care providers about what you can continue to do in order to maintain some degree of conditioning. Better yet, contact a qualified physical therapist first for an evaluation (No, you don’t need a physician’s referral!). As highly trained musculoskeletal experts, PTs will usually be able to tell you what’s going on at the initial evaluation and will be able to start your rehabilitation program right away. In addition, he or she will be able to advise you about what you can and cannot continue to do. This quick access to care will often decrease wait time and help you get back to the court most quickly.
Hopefully these tips will help parents and players alike be smart throughout the season to ensure lots of playing time and less down time! If you ever have a question about an injury or pain you are having, please call our office for a quick phone consultation with a physical therapist. We can answer your questions, or refer you to someone who can if it is beyond the scope of our expertise. Good luck this season to all baskeball players. Stay healthy and play hard!