The need for a proper warmup routine, training staff, and equipment has never been higher. Sports-related injuries continue to be a hot topic among parents, so it’s important to take any and all precautions necessary when preparing for the youth basketball season.
While injuries are inevitable, the good news is there are a variety of things you can do starting today to prevent injury. Since our body is still developing throughout our teen years, limiting these injuries as much as possible will be in the best interest of any player, coach, or parent.
If you’re looking to stay healthy this upcoming season so you can play in tournaments when the season’s done, there will be three main things you can do starting immediately — invest in equipment, get a proper warmup routine, and maintain your diet. With these three things, you’ll put your body in the best position to play at a high level without disruption.
There’s a variety of equipment that you can invest in to not only help your game, but help you stay free of injuries. Some equipment can be complex, while others can be as simple as a clothing accessory.
Protective equipment you can wear during the youth basketball season or practices include mouth guards, ankle braces, knee braces, wrist tape, arm sleeves, face masks if you’re prone to facial injuries, and goggles to protect the eyes. Having proper shoes will also be key to staying healthy.
You can also invest in recovery equipment like electric massagers, ice tubs, and heated pads. Adding a recovery routine to your post-practice and post-game plans will help your body get the rest it needs after strenuous physical activity.
Stretching & Warm Ups
Nothing will help you prevent injury like stretching will! First and foremost, you’ll want to get a little warmup in. This can be a simple shootaround, a few laps around the court in a light jog, or just some jumping jacks and push ups. When you stretch cold muscles, you run the risk of pulling a muscle.
When you get to the stretching, make sure you hold each pose for at least 15 seconds and up to 30 seconds. Try your best to stay still when holding a pose and avoid swaying or bouncing. Remember to breathe, relax, and always ease up if you start to feel pain.
Diet & Nutrition
Lastly, you’ll want to focus on your diet and nutrition. Believe it or not, the food you eat will play a large role in your ability to prevent injury and recover during the youth basketball season. A majority of children in the United States don’t get enough food or the right food, which explains the massive increase in sports-related injuries.
In order to keep up with the best, you have to stretch like the best. You have to prepare like the best. You have to warm up like the best. You have to eat like the best. It takes a lot more than most people think, but it’s all worth it if you truly love the game.