Basketball is one of the most famous sports in the world with more than 2 billion fans. As per estimates, over 400 million people play basketball at school, college and university levels. Basketball has produced several legendary players such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, etc who are one of the highest earning sports persons. Basketball requires a mix of physical and mental strength in players for them to succeed. Enduring a tough game of basketball requires players to be in good shape from both a physical and mental perspective. This blog talks about some conditional drills that can be of help to basketball players.
Also Read: How to prepare your child for sports season
While engaging in any physical activity, it is always advisable to start with some stretching exercises. These exercises help in warming up your body, loosening up your stiff muscles, improving flexibility and infusing fresh energy into the players’ bodies. Some of the most popularly followed stretching exercises are:
– Squats. Stand with your feet spread as much as your shoulder width. Hold your hands straight in front of your chest in a clasping (or open) position. Bend keeping your back straight, pushing your hips back such that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Repeat 10-15 times as per your comfort.
– High Knees. Stand with your feet spread as much as your hip width. Keeping a straight posture, lift your one knee to the chest. Rapidly switch and do the same with your other leg. Repeat 10-15 times as per your comfort.
– Leg Swings. Stand straight and swing your leg forward and backward 10 – 15 times. Switch legs and do the same with the other leg.
– Lunges. Stand straight and take a forward lunge with your right leg such that your heel lands first. Then lower your body such that the thigh of your right leg is parallel to the ground and the thigh of your left leg is perpendicular to the ground. Repeat the same 10 to 15 times. Then switch legs and repeat.
– Arm Circles. Stand with your feet spread as much as your shoulder width. Extend your arms to the side such that they are parallel to the floor. Move your arms forming circles gradually increasing the size of the circle. Repeat 10-15 times.
– Standing toe taps. Stand with your feet spread as much as your hip width. Keeping your hand straight stretched in front of you parallel to the floor. Lift your left leg and touch your toe to your stretched-out hand. Repeat 10-15 times with each leg.
– Jumping Jacks. Stand in a straight attention position. Jump while spreading your legs and arms to the sides and bringing them back to your sides when you land. Try to make sure your hands touch each other over your head while you stretch.
– Head Circles. Stand straight and rotate your head around your neck forming a circle 10 times clockwise and then 10 times anti-clockwise.
– Hip circles. Stand with your feet together. Put your hands on your waist and rotate your hips forming circles. Repeat clockwise and anti-clockwise rotations 10 times each.
– Shoulder Stretch. Stand with your feet spread as much as your shoulder width. Raise your right arm in front of your chest parallel to the floor. Using the crest of your left hand stretch your hand by 90 degrees towards your chest. Switch arms and repeat 10 times for each.
– Toe Touch. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your toes pointing outward. Without bending your knee, try to touch your toes with your hands. Hold for 10 seconds. Then repeat 10 times.
– Ankle Stretch. Stand straight with your hands on your waist. Lift your right leg to a 30-degree angle and rotate your feet to form a clockwise circular movement. Repeat 10 times anti-clockwise and then switch legs and repeat. You can take support of a wall if you find a problem in holding the balance.
– Quadriceps Stretch. Stand straight with your feet together. Bend your right leg backwards and try to hold your feet with your right hand. Repeat 10 times for each leg.
– Knee to chest. Stand straight and lift your knee with your hands and touch your knee to your chest. Repeat 10 times, switch legs and repeat.
– Side Bend. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands by your sides. Bend your torso sideways and try to touch your hands to the floor. Repeat 10 times for both sides.
Gently run from sideline to sideline counting the number of times you cross the court. Take a one-minute break.
Start from the baseline and sprint towards the half-line and back as fast as you can. Repeat 10 times.
Start from the baseline and sprint towards the opposite baseline and back as fast as you can. Repeat 5 times.
Start from the baseline and run towards the free throw line, touch the free throw line and sprint back to the baseline. Then sprint to the half line, tap the half line and run back to the baseline. Next run to the farther free throw line, tap the line and run back to the baseline. Finally, run to the opposite baseline, tap the baseline and run back.
Jump Ladder Drill
Start with both legs in the first box. Jump so that both feet land in the next box and so on.
Hop Ladder Drill
Lay down the rope ladder in the court. Start with both feet inside the first box. Jump so that the right foot lands outside the next box. Jump again such that both feet land in the next box. Jump again like last time but with the left leg outside the next box.
Start from the baseline and dribble to the opposite basket and perform a layup, scoring with your right hand. Repeat this time with your left hand. Do this for 2-3 minutes.
This drill can be done with your team. The team stands in a line at the half line. The first player runs towards the basket and takes a layup but intentionally rebounds the ball off the backboard. The second player needs to start running soon after the first player such that he/she catches the rebound and again rebounds the ball off the backboard for the third player to catch and repeat.