Now you are probably wondering why I would ruin your basketball book with talk about conditioning and nutrition, right?
Well, in order for you to be a complete athlete, you need to make sure your body has the fuel it needs to make sure it can shoot, pass, rebound and run up and down the floor.
You will only become a better player, by making your body better. You need nutrient to be sharper and energetic – basketball is a physically demanding sport, and it requires not just the moves on the court, but the moves at the kitchen table as well.
Why is nutrition important?
Your body uses food as fuel. You need to make sure the body has the fuel to burn, otherwise you are going to be tired and useless on the basketball court. It also makes sure your muscles have the energy they need to do things like jump and dribble and shoot.
I’m not going to spend a whole bunch of time putting you on the athletes best diet, but I thought it would do you as a basketball player some good to understand that your body needs to be well-nourished in order to compete at optimum level.
For a basketball player, you need to have a long term energy source in order to make it through the game. You are expending an enormous amount of energy to run up and down the court and take the tremendous punishment you do, fighting for rebounds and dribbling around opponents.
Before you play, and even when you are practicing, have a good meal at breakfast and at lunch to ensure you have a good store of energy.
I know many athletes have a tough time eating right before a game, but make sure that your body has stored enough nutrients to carry you through right to the end. It’s also important for practicing, because if you get tired while you practice, you will get lazy and start doing things in your technique that aren’t very sound, and you can start to develop bad habits.
One of the most important things to remember when you are playing or practicing is to consume water, or a sports drink like Gatorade. If you don’t have water, it short circuits your brain, making the quick decisions you need to make on the court, very difficult. Consuming water also helps your body to use the food you have eaten as energy.
Everybody hates running lines to get into shape, and doing laps around the gym to build up your cardiovascular shape. But, it doesn’t hurt to take that aspect of your game seriously.
I can guarantee you that if you take as much time getting into shape as you would shooting, or practicing your dribbling, you will be better than 75 per cent of the people on the floor. We’ve all seen it, the majority of players only do what they have to do in order to make the coach happy.
Take your conditioning seriously and when the last five minutes of the second half come up, you are still going to have gas left in the tank while everyone else on the court is sucking wind.
You will most certainly give yourself an advantage by making sure that your fitness level is above everyone else’s. It is probably the least enjoyed part of the game that can probably have the biggest impact overall.
Here are a few basketball related drills you can do to keep your fitness level at its highest.
- With a ball, at a jog you can go from one end of the court to the other bouncing the ball and making lay ups. Do this for 15 minutes and you will likely have jogged the equivalent of a couple of miles. That’s not bad to keep your heart pumping and your practice on the lay up at its best.
- Do lines. And don’t just do them half court or at half speed. Do the full court and do them full speed. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by just doing what you have to do.
- Jump rope. It not only will help your vertical in the long run, but it increases your fitness level considerably and helps with your balance. Boxing is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet, and they spend an awful lot of time jumping rope because of all of the benefits.
Take the time to get fit and it will pay dividends in your basketball game.