You put a lot into working on your game and pushing your body to the limit. There is only so much you can push before your body starts to give out. It is important for ball players, and athletes in general, to take care of their bodies so they are able to perform at the highest level. It is like maintaining a car -- you don’t want your Lambo stalling out on the track. Here are some simple things to do that your body will definitely appreciate you for:
1. Cool down
When you finish putting up 1,000 half court shots in a day and benching your new max of five plates, your body is in a state of overload and it has to cool-down. When you cool-down your body returns to a state of rest. This is good for you because it reduces your heart rate and avoids buildup of lactic acid, which causes soreness. Some good ways to cool off are: ice baths, light jogging, or even some yoga.
2. Stay hydrated!
Drink water! I know this seems like a no-brainer and you all are probably thinking, “Obviously you have to drink water”. But you would be surprised just how many people don’t get their recommended daily intake of water (½ a gallon), and that is for someone not participating in intense workouts. This is something that’ll help your body and in turn will help your performance on the court.
My last tip for you all is to always stretch! Attempt to do it before and after you workout or game because it helps the muscles get into a state of exercise. When you stretch it is like a wake-up call to your muscles letting them know that you are about to put them to work. It keeps the muscle flexible, strong, and healthy.
These tips will help your muscles stay in better conditions and help you avoid injuries.
Note from Coach Manny: These notes are all important for every athlete to know. Without proper preparation in these categories, injuries or more likely to occur. If you know you have a game or practice, try stretching, and hydrating the night before as well to feel extra prepared. Preparation for your body is just as necessary as preparing your mind for games. If you're expected to know plays, why shouldn't you be expected to have prepared your body?