South Africa's basketball community

Day 6: Warming up your body and mind

By on September 6, 2010 in Resources

This article is part of the series “30 days to being a better basketball player“.

"Pregame stretch" by B. Tse, via flickr

"Pregame stretch" by B. Tse, via flickr

If you’re anything like me, you prefer skipping warmups and heading straight into the action.

But before you do that, hold on a second and think about how important warming up and stretching is. There are some well-documented benefits that you shouldn’t underestimate – here are just a few:

  • enhanced muscle speed and strength
  • improved blood flow, therefore more oxygen available to the muscles
  • improved flexibility and range of motion

Warm-up sessions should be looked at as part of any practice session, and you should find exercises that stretch and cover all the movements for basketball.

Here are some examples of warm-ups you could use:

  • Jog – Jog slowly around the gym for about five minutes just to get your temperature up a bit. You want to get to the point where you’re breaking a slight sweat.
  • Skip – Skipping drills help you develop the bouncing skills you need to get your feet up and off the ground quickly. Invest about 3-4 minutes on skipping.
  • Back kick – Kick your feet up high toward your back as you move backward at a slow, comfortable pace.
  • Pivots – Start with three players in line. Have the first player dribble a few hard dribbles, stop quickly, turn and pass to the next player in line. The passing player charges the players receiving the pass and then goes to the end of the line. The receiver now does the drill.

You can find more of these good examples in “Effective basketball warm-up drills” or in “Basketball warming up advice“.

The time spent warming up and stretching is also a good time to clear your mind of distractions and focus on the upcoming practice or game. Use the time wisely!

So next time you’re about to jump straight into playing, remember to be good to your body and mind. By being disciplined and making a good warm-up session a regular part of your routine, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a more finely tuned body, and your game will benefit too.

"Paul Pierce does a mean stretch" by Lorianne DiSabato, via flickr

"Paul Pierce does a mean stretch" by Lorianne DiSabato, via flickr

Tags: , , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.