Basketball is a physical game that requires athletes to be in good physical condition. The combination of agility, balance, speed and strength make it a tough physical contest that can be hard on the body. After all, you’re ducking, dodging, twisting and turning on a hardwood floor for 40 minutes, and this can be more taxing than playing a whole 90 minutes of football!
But the silly season brings with it the inevitable risk of losing our match fitness. And, why not? There’s so much fun to be had at this time of year. Between Christmas to New Years and work breakups it’s safe to say no one can be blamed for letting go of a little of that hard work done throughout a big year.
But it doesn’t have to be so consequential, especially as there are some relatively cruisy ways to maintain your physical fitness in between the revelry!
With this in mind, here are a few handy tips for keeping matchfit during the silly season:
1. Take some time to rest
One of the best ways to prepare for a new year of indoor basketball NZ is to rest up – you’ve earned it. Yes, it may sound contradictory, but if you’ve spent the whole gruelling it out on the court and in the gym then it’s important to give your body a little time to relax. And this is the best time of the year because you’ll likely have a week or two off work to genuinely kick back and take it easy. Once you feel your body has rested enough then you can definitely get back into your exercise, starting with…
2. Getting down to your local court
Heading to your local court is one of the best ways to keep matchfit whilst picking up your technique. Whether it’s an indoor court or your local park, a little practice before you get back involved with your team is the best way to get a headstart before your first match. You can work on everything from your balance to dribbling, jump shot and passing, all the while getting a great cardio workout that will prep you for the year ahead.
3. Get into the gym
There’s a reason why so many New Zealanders are found in the gym after Christmas – they want to work off all that indulgence! And, for avid ballers, this is also important if you want to prep yourself for the season ahead. You may have had a few beers over the silly season, maybe scoffed half of the leftover Christmas pud – that’s all good! Who hasn’t?
But, when it comes to getting yourself back to peak performance it might be a good idea to get back into the gym before the season starts. You’ll work the pud off in no time and before you know it you’ll be back at your top athleticism for another season on the court.
4. Work on the fundamentals
There are numerous fitness fundamentals in basketball: agility, balance, flexibility, reflex and strength – work on these fundamentals. Set some time aside in the week to work on these core elements to being a great baller.
Exercises to consider include:
- Lateral jumps & shuttle runs for agility
- Balance walks & single-leg squats for balance
- Stretching exercises for flexibility
- Side shuffles & solo wall bounces for reflexes
- Push-ups, planks & squats for strength
These simple tips are sure to keep you matchfit in time for your big return to the court. Take some time to rest and recover before getting back into it – your body and sport game will thank you for it!