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Whether you are an avid basketball player or someone trying basketball for the first time, the game is physical and injuries are rather common. While most injuries are minor, there are some that can be quite serious. If you are the type of player who loves to play hard and get physical, there’s a chance you may suffer from some type of injury. In fact, according to the National Basketball Association (NBA), players miss an average of 26 games per season due to injury or illness.

What kinds of Injuries happen in basketball?

There are particular injuries that are very common in the game of basketball. Most players experience these kinds of injuries, especially later in their careers. These are, of course, lower body injuries including joint and muscular tears. The most common basketball injuries include sprains and strains, twisted ankles, and fractures.

The most prevalent of these are ankle and knee sprains. While these vary in severity, they are very problematic due to how long they can keep a player off the court. They can also escalate to more severe issues in those areas as well.

In terms of the muscles and ligaments, these injuries are by far more severe than most and can leave you out of commission for far longer than you’d like. An almost career-ending injury in this category would be an ACL tear or Achilles tendon tear.  These are extremely serious injuries that can be career-ending if not treated quickly (and take up to 2 years to fully heal). They occur when the knee joint is twisted, causing the ligaments within it to tear. This usually happens when you pivot on one leg, running full speed and planting your foot in place. It’s very common for NBA players who play power forward or center position because they have so much mass behind them that any kind of sudden stop will cause them to fall forward onto their hands or knees.

Here are some ways that even the best players use to avoid injuries and stay in the game:

Stretching

Just like with any sport proper stretching goes a long way. Stretching helps to decrease your risk of injury as well as helps your joints move through their full range of motion. It also prepares your body for competition. It is important to warm up and stretch before every game, practice, and workout. Warming up and stretching are essential because they help prevent injuries. Warm-ups increase blood flow to the muscles and joints, which helps reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. Stretching increases flexibility, which can prevent overuse injuries such as tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) or pulled muscles.

There are many different types of stretching, so it is important to know which ones are best for you. Dynamic and static stretching are two common types of stretches that can be done before or after workouts. Dynamic stretching increases your body temperature and heart rate, which helps prepare it for physical activity. Some of the best players in the world like LeBron James include pilates and yoga in their training because of the added benefits.

Staying Hydrated

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sports drinks throughout the day. Hydration helps with injury prevention in sports by keeping your joints lubricated and your muscles flexible. When you’re dehydrated, the body has to work harder to get oxygen into your system, which means it’s not as efficient at recovering from a workout. That can mean soreness and fatigue the next day or even longer.

Adding to that, dehydration can lead to cramping, which is a common issue for athletes. Cramping is when your muscles become tight and painful, often due to not drinking enough water. You should aim for drinking about three liters of fluids (12 cups) per day. This includes plain water, sports drinks (like Gatorade), juices, and even milk (dairy and non-dairy).

Proper Training

Proper training can easily mitigate a majority of the risk associated with playing basketball. It pushes your body so that it’s able to perform under the physical stress of in-game situations. A variety of training regiments include plyometrics, jumping drills, etc. in order to train your joints and muscles to perform better and last longer. When training, use proper form. A lot of injuries come from improper form, so be sure to focus on your technique. If you’re new to the sport, ask a professional for some tips on how to improve your game.

Consider cross training with weights or resistance bands at least three times a week. This helps build muscle mass that protects bones from injury when you fall or hit something with force (like in basketball). If you have a history of knee injuries, it’s important to stay active and build up your leg muscles. If you don’t have any experience with basketball, consider starting with something that doesn’t require running or jumping such as swimming if you want to get in shape for basketball.

There are numerous ways for players to improve their game. The key is finding a training regimen that works best for them by focusing on what they need most help with. If you are a beginner, it is best to start with the basics. For example, if you have trouble catching and throwing the ball, then focus on those skills first. If you want to improve your shooting ability, then practice shooting at a basket until it becomes second nature.

Preparation and Gear

Most people often overlook proper preparation, but it can help immensely. You should only wear proper basketball performance shoes when playing basketball and make sure the court itself is clean and free of obstruction. This also means you must wear proper attire such as a t-shirt and athletic shorts. 

  • Wear the right shoes: Your shoes are one of the most important parts of your basketball gear. You need a pair that provides good support and cushioning, as well as traction so you don’t slip on the court.
  • Make sure your shoes fit properly: The wrong size can lead to injuries such as ankle sprains or foot problems. And remember that shoe size varies with different brands, so it’s important to try on several pairs before choosing one.
  • Wear a mouth guard: Mouth guards are recommended for all basketball players, especially those who play competitively. They protect your teeth from being knocked out or broken during games, while also keeping your lips from getting cut on another player’s braces.

Basketball is one of many great sports that people play and is beloved around the world but it is prone to causing injuries. Hopefully, using these tips, you can enjoy it without having to worry about possible injuries.

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