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Basketball

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Basketball is one of the most popular sports for high school athletes, as both men and women play. While basketball has grown today to be an international sport that amateurs and professionals alike enjoy, injuries are still prevalent among players.

Get Fit Tips from the NEBH Sports Performance Team
Preventing Injuries
Common Injuries
Injury Statistics

Get Fit Tips from the NEBH Sports Performance Team 

Basketball requires constant movement with short periods of sprinting, jumping and changing of direction. Therefore, your training should mimic the sports demands. Even though you need a base of aerobic endurance, this does not mean that you should just jog or bike at a slow and steady pace for an extended period of time. NEBH Athletic Trainers recommend basketball players train using bouts of high intensity, short duration intervals followed by longer periods of lower intensity work. 

  • Consider a running program that consists of a 5 minute warm up followed by several rounds of 10-30 seconds of faster paced running and, then slower jogs for 1-2 minutes of recovery. 

  • For strength training, try creating a circuit of 2-3 exercises, and do 3-4 sets of each. Allow yourself a brief 1 min rest only at the end of each set of your group of exercise.  This will allow your body to use its anaerobic energy systems for those quick fast breaks, while staying fresh out on the court until the end of the game.

Three main takeaways:

  • Train with bouts of easy and harder intervals.

  • You jump and run with your glutes, so train and strengthen your hips and glutes.

  • Keep your muscles flexible. Stretch after each workout.

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Preventing Injuries

To help prevent injury, make sure you practice these general safety tips:

  1. Warm up and stretch before you play.

  2. Ensure your equipment, such as your shoes and mouth guard, fits properly.

  3. Participate in a conditioning course to strengthen your muscles, particularly ones statistically prone to injury.

  4. Consult with your coach or athletic trainer about ways to prevent overuse injuries like stress fractures and tendonitis.

  5. Have a physical examination at the start of the season to make sure you’re healthy to play.

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Common Injuries 

Hand & Wrist
    • Jammed finger

Leg & Knee
    • ACL tear
    • MCL injury
    • Meniscal tear
    • Muscle strain or pull
    • Patellar tendonitis
    • Stress fracture

Foot & Ankle
    • Achilies' tendonitis
    • Ankle sprain
    • Foot fracture
    • Stress fracture

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Injury Statistics1

High school basketball players are injured at a rate of 1.94 per 1,000 athlete exposures. Of the injuries observed, the most common injuries were:
    • Ankle/foot (39.7%)
    • Knee (14.7%)
    • Head/Face (13.6%)
    • Arm/Hand (9.6%)
    • Hip/Thigh/Upper leg (8.4%)

The most diagnosed injuries were:
    • Ligament sprains (44.0%)
    • Muscle/tendon strains (17.7)
    • Contusions (8.6%)
    • Concussions (7.0%)

While injuries are likely to occur when playing contact sports, you can help mitigate the risks by taking preventative measures. Know the causes and symptoms of injuries most common to basketball, and contact a doctor immediately if you do sustain an injury.

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Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.


Statistics according to a 2008 study by Borowski et al in the American Journal of Sports Medicine