Your ability to stay healthy is imperative to the success of your basketball career. Regardless of the level of your skill set or athleticism, you aren’t very effective from the sideline. You are also unable work towards becoming a better basketball player.
According to the NATA, 22% of male high school basketball players sustained one injury each year that resulted in time away from the sport. A majority of these injuries occur in the lower body, specifically in the ankle or foot. If your team has 12 players on the roster, chances are 2-3 of them will sit out for a portion of the season with an injury. Let’s examine what the major causes of these injuries are and what you can do to avoid them.
Stay injury-free by training properly year-round. At IBSA Basketball, our athletes work to get strong and stay healthy with year round programs.
The first factor is physical fitness
A properly executed, long-term strength training program results in “[muscles and tendons] that are more resilient to the stresses and impact forces sustained in athletic activities” (coachad.com). Basketball is a very demanding sport with the stresses of cutting, jumping, and contact with both the floor and other players. As you can see below, Lebron lands hard after being hit during a dunk. Without resilient muscles and tendons, this type of landing may have meant serious injury; instead, he is able to continue play shortly after. Your off-season training must properly strengthen your muscles and tendons to allow for the absorption of those forces without injury.
The next factor is fatigue
In high school basketball players, 59% of game-related injuries occurred in the 2nd half of the game when fatigue is higher (NATA). Results of another study on the effects of fatigue on multi-joint movements suggested that, “with fatigue, movement organization was similar to that of a rigid system” (Forestier, et all). In other words, you are no longer able to move your joints in the most optimal positions, subjecting yourself to a higher risk of injury. Developing an increased resistance to fatigue through increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance capacities will play a role in decreasing the risk of injury in late game situations.
Training plays a significant role
Training helps prevent or mitigate the damage from “freak injuries” – which are often unavoidable. As mentioned, strength training will enhance the ability of your muscles and tendons to absorb force and the strength of these structures also allow you to heal faster. Your bones also receive a benefit from strength training. Strength training signals your bones to increase in density, making you resilient to fractures as well. Therefore, when injury does occur, a foundation of strength training prevents the injury from being as severe, while helping you get back on the court as fast as possible.
Remember, you can’t help your team or improve your skills if you are sidelined with an injury. Seek out a well-organized strength training program from a professional so your body can be stronger and more resilient for the upcoming season.