Basketball Safety, Drills, and Resources
Basketball is a thrilling and inspiring sport. The chase to the basket, a successful interception, and that satisfying dunk are all fun parts of one of America's favorite pastimes. Basketball may not require a helmet like football or lacrosse, but injuries can and do happen. To reach peak performance, aspiring basketball players should run drills and training exercises at home and with their friends on the court.
Basketball Safety Tips
Staying safe while playing basketball is totally doable with the right gear and careful attention. Even athletes who normally wear glasses can stay on the court with the right protective eyewear; talk to your eye doctor to get a pair of prescription sports goggles made. And even if your league doesn't require you to wear a mouth guard, a mouth guard can protect you from a bruised jaw and broken teeth.
Well-fitting sneakers with ankle support are a must for basketball players. With abrupt turns in the middle of the court, the wrong type of sneaker can lead to a season-ending ankle injury. Replace sneakers when they get too small. Don't keep wearing basketball sneakers if the soles are worn out: Hardwood basketball courts have smooth, polished floors, and it's easy to slip and fall without traction. Also, remember that running sneakers are not basketball sneakers. Basketball sneakers have more ankle support than running sneakers.
Players who have hit puberty should wear appropriate clothing to support sensitive areas. For boys, this means wearing an athletic supporter. Girls should wear a sports bra.
Before practices and games, stretch your muscles. If you are injured during a game, follow the RICE method for minor complaints. RICE stands for "rest, ice, compression, elevation." Don't play against your doctor's advice: No game is so important that a player's health should be put at risk.
- More Basketball Safety Advice
- Preventing Basketball Injuries
- The Importance of Basketball Safety
- Why Stretching Before Basketball Is Important
- Choosing the Right Basketball Shoes
- Dealing With Common Basketball Injuries
- An Explanation of the RICE Method for Minor Injuries
- The Best Basketball Flooring
Training and Drills
Training and drills improve basketball skills and teach players how to work together as a team. No matter how talented any one player is, basketball is about teamwork. Every player should be confident passing the ball, dribbling, and shooting. Different types of shots include layups, jump shots, three-pointers, and dunks.
Stopping the other team from scoring is just as important as making baskets. Running a zone defense is a useful skill for a team to master. The opposite of a zone defense is a man-to-man defense. In a man-to-man defense, each player guards another player and follows them. In a zone defense, each player is responsible for a certain area of the court.
Basketball is a running sport. Conditioning exercises should be aimed at building stamina and fitness. Each basketball quarter may be only 12 or 15 minutes long, but the game is high-intensity, with very little time for a breather between possessions.
There are fun drills that coaches can use to teach young basketball players how to intercept the ball in a full-court press. Repeated drills can make basketball skills instinctual in players. Draw up simple plays that everyone on the team can understand; complicated plays are easy to forget.
Basketball requires quick thinking in tough situations. But with enough practice and training, players will be able to fight their way out of a double-team and make it to the basket or pass the ball to an open player.
- Basic Basketball Defense Drills for Beginners
- Motion Offense Drills
- Running a Full-Court Press
- Youth Basketball Layup Drill
- Basketball Shooting Drills
- Basketball Conditioning Drills
- Basketball Dunk Drill
- Ring of Fire Dribbling and Passing Exercise
More Basketball Resources
Avoid negativity during basketball practices and games. It's not the NBA (yet), so it's OK to lose. Parents should set good examples for their children by demonstrating good sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship means accepting the calls of the referee and congratulating the other team after a loss. Insults and cursing have no place on the basketball court.
Sometimes, a player may be injured during a basketball game. Parents and coaches should recognize the signs of a concussion and follow the correct concussion protocol. It's always more important to protect a player's health than to a win a game.