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New England Baptist Hospital DOES NOT have an emergency department or urgent care centers.


Basketball is one of the most popular sports for high school athletes. 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

Basketball requires constant movement with short periods of sprinting, jumping, and changing direction. Therefore, your training should mimic the sport’s 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, 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 minute 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.

Preventing Injuries

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

  • Warm up and stretch before you play.
  • Ensure your equipment, such as your shoes and mouth guard, fits properly.
  • Participate in a conditioning course to strengthen your muscles, particularly ones statistically prone to injury.
  • Consult with your coach or athletic trainer about ways to prevent overuse injuries like stress fractures and tendonitis.
  • Have a physical examination at the start of the season to make sure you’re healthy to play.

Common Injuries

Hand & Wrist

  • Jammed finger

Leg & Knee

Foot & Ankle

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%)

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.

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