Getting ready to ball
Across the world, pre-game warm-ups are an ever-present part of every basketball game, and they have become quite the spectacle in the NBA due to the players’ awe-inspiring skill and dedication. Fans turn up at the arena hours before the game just to catch a glimpse of these stars at work. Here are some reasons why you should turn up early for your match to get some work in.
Warming up: Modern players are aware of the importance of stretching and utilize tools such as resistance bands and exercise balls to get their muscles loose. More importantly however, you can take part in ‘dynamic warm-ups’ that mimic game conditions through drills such as the three-man weave and defensive shuffles.
Acclimatization: If you are playing away from home, you will need some time to get used to the court. The floor, arena lighting and rims may all be different, and it never hurts to get some practice in before the match begins, so that you can make any necessary adjustments.
Repetition: Hours and hours of practice have gone into building up your muscle memory, for instance in shooting the ball or pulling off dribble moves. When you turn up for the game though, your muscles may be a bit cold and it can take some time for your muscle memory to become ‘activated’. You can do so by starting from easy shots, which can be a confidence-booster too.
Focus: Before the game begins and the crowd builds up, you have some quiet time to yourself to get into game mode. By concentrating on your practice routine, you can clear your mind and work up the requisite competitiveness for maximal performance. Some players prefer to work through their usual rituals, while others may like to have a little more fun to get hyped up for the game.