Ever wonder what scares every basketball player in the world the most? The answer is simple. This often serves as a major plot point in countless ‘what if’ stories in sports history — basketball injuries.
Why Basketball Injuries Should Be Prevented?
In a blink of an eye, a single injury can turn any athlete’s dream run into a nightmare. Truth be told, it has been one of the menacing culprits behind a career cut short or an abrupt physical decline in the realm of basketball. Not to mention, the trauma that these injuries cause could haunt a player for months and even years on end.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many have put a premium on injury prevention. While some strokes of ill luck are inevitable in such a wear-and-tear field, most of the common basketball injuries can be prevented. Here’s how basketball players and teams do it:
Prioritize stretching and warming up
Before storming the court for a casual training session or a team game, a basketball player should first hit the sidelines and focus on stretching and warming up. This is definitely an integral part of your pre-game routine.
For one, doing so will improve your flexibility and reduce stress on your muscles. It will also allow you to activate the full range of motion of your joints, which proves to be beneficial in such a start-and-stop nature of the game. All in all, being able to stretch and warm-up prepares the body for intense, physical action on the hardcourt.
Stretching out muscles may seem like a waste of energy at first, but your efforts contribute to your longevity as an athlete. For that reason, never neglect to warm up your engine before the game, so you can go full-throttle on the court without much worry for basketball injuries.
Wear the proper gear
The toll on your body when running up and down the court while coming into contact with other players is quite demanding. In order to lessen the strain and decrease the risk of basketball injuries, it is important to equip yourself with the right equipment.
It all starts with reliable footwear. Getting a hand on a comfortable pair of basketball shoes that has solid traction, ankle support, and a close fit is a step in the right direction. In turn, this will help protect your ankle from harm, which is one of the most common injuries in the sport.
For protection around the knee area, it is advisable to wear a knee sleeve or a knee pad, depending on the purpose. The former helps increase stability while the latter cushions impact of knee-to-knee contact. When it comes to protecting the face from physical contact, you might prefer wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard for your teeth and safety glasses for your eyes.
Give time for rest and recovery
It is not easy to compete on a high-level on a regular basis. Even the most elite and well-conditioned players will eventually feel the effects of the tough grind during an ongoing season, showing signs of fatigue. This, in turn, puts immense pressure on muscles which could eventually lead to damage, if left unattended. For that reason, a time without any physical activity and proper sleep should be allotted.
While in a state of rest, the body gets to recuperate from the hustle-and-bustle of basketball and the strength training that goes along with it. Muscles will be repaired and strengthened, and energy will be revitalized. By doing so, an athlete can perform on a high level once more without having to worry about getting hurt due to muscle fatigue and restlessness.
To put things in perspective, if the body is the engine that goes full-throttle on the court, then the time for rest and recovery is when it refuels the tank with energy and works on the necessary repairs.
Follow a strength and conditioning regimen
When the frame of an athlete could not handle the physical demands of the sport, injuries can also take place. That is the reason why having a good level of fitness and maintaining it for the long haul are important. So, the work you put inside the weight room matters.
Mostly done during the off-season, teams put their focus on strengthening the bodies of their players through the condition. As an athlete, this will not only benefit your game’s growth and development, but it will also build up your ability to withstand muscle fatigue that may lead to injuries. Aside from the muscular portion of your body, you should also prioritize cardiovascular exercises to improve endurance which prevents uncoordinated movements on the court that may cause self-inflicted harm.
Increase your water intake
Drinking water may seem like a basic thing to do for athletes to recuperate lost energy and body fluid. The thing is, dehydration has been found out to play a significant role in an athlete’s athletic performance.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, even mild dehydration can prevent the body from cooling itself down. They suggest consuming 24 ounces of non-caffeinated drinks 2 hours before exercises. Then, it should be followed with 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before the drill.
During the training period, it is recommended to drink 8 ounces of water every 20 mins to properly compensate for the lost body liquid.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
The fast-paced action of basketball means that injuries are inevitable. However, this should not mean that you will not take extra precautions and let basketball injuries come when they want to.
Since injuries can have severe and long-lasting effects on an athlete, practicing these simple steps on a daily basis will lessen the likelihood of suffering from the worst basketball injuries.
Remember, you can only play a good game when you are in your best condition. So, avoid getting hurt and stay healthy.