Best Pre-Game Habits for Basketball Players

How to Warm Up Before a Basketball Game

Basketball requires a great deal of endurance, concentration, and strategic maneuvering. Being a great player means training your body and your mind. Regardless of what position you have on the court, you need to be able to move fast and have the mental energy to outsmart your opponents. In order to do everything at once and be a truly excellent player, you need to have a well-rounded pre-game strategy. The night and hours before a big game are crucial. With school letting out, players are getting ready to head off to summer basketball camp. Before you dive into a new summer, learn about the best pre-game habits that lead to success.

Preparing Your Body

Your first job is to take care of your body. That means getting plenty of sleep the night before, but not too much. You should aim for 8 to 9 hours. You also need to eat a healthy meal the night before and a nutritious breakfast the day of. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of protein from lean meats, veggies, fruit and whole grain carbs. Last but not least, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water the night before and the day of the big game.

As it gets closer to game time, you need to start stretching your muscles. Try to stretch every part of your arms and legs, your biggest assets on the court. By the end, your body should feel loose and strong.

Preparing Your Mind

Getting your mind in shape for the big game isn’t as straightforward as the physical part. You might listen to your favorite track on your iPod to get in the mood or have a team pow wow with your coach. Whether you’re alone or with your teammates or your coach, focus on the task at hand. Try to quiet the other thoughts in your brain that have nothing to do with basketball. Think about the role you’ll need to play on the court and how you can help your teammates. You might recall a previous match, including what went wrong and what you can do differently this time around.

Drills, Drills, Drills

In the final stretch before the game, your team and your coach should have a set list of pre-game drills. Goofing around on the court doing random shots isn’t the best approach. Doing drills is about treating your body like a machine. You shouldn’t be thinking about making a cool shot that will impress your friends. Your body should complete every step without a second thought. Whether you’re doing free throws, dribbling drills, or other exercises, repetition is key.

If you’re looking for a truly immersive summer basketball camp, check out the Kenny Smith Carolina Basketball Camp at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.