In a face-paced and intense sport like basketball, a pre-game warm-up is a must for every player.

 

Importance of Pre Game Warm Up

Warm-up is usually a combination of stretching and physical activities:

Stretching can warm your muscles and loosen your joints, which will increase your mobility and flexibility, allowing you to move around the court and perform basketball moves without any hindrance.

Physical activities, on the other hand, such as sprinting or shooting are designed to increase your heart rate and body temperature gradually in order to prepare your body for the following game, which can reduce the risk of getting injured because of the high level of intensity.

Normally, you will have about 10 – 20 minutes to warm up before games. Every basketball player should have their own routine.

 

Building Your Own Pre Game Routine

Every basketball player should have their own pre-game warm-up routine since we all have different playing style and body type.

If you want some ideas on building your own routine, watch this video about how Stephen Curry does his pre-game routine.

 

Stretching

Here are the three muscle groups you should always stretch before games. In spite of that, you should stretch all your muscle groups.

  • Squatting Groin Stretch

First, you should loosen your groin muscles because tight groin muscles will limit your full range of motion which can affect your movements to a great extent.

1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and your toes pointing

2. Stand straight and keep your chest up, slowly lower your knees into a squat position.

3. Once your knees are at 90-degree angles, slowly open your hips by pushing your thighs outward. You should feel the tension on your groin.

4. Once you’ve reached furthest, hold that position for about 15 – 20 seconds.

5. Return into the starting position and rest for 30 seconds.

6. Do at least 2 – 3 sets.

 

  • Sitting Hamstring Stretch

Many of you may not know, apart from increasing mobility, having flexible hamstring can also increase your vertical and explosiveness.

1. Sit on the floor with both of your legs straight out.

2. Reach forward as far as possible towards your toes and keep your knees straight at the same time.

3. Once you’ve reached furthest, hold that position for about 15 – 20 seconds. You should feel the tension on your hamstring and the back of your thighs.

4. Return into the starting position and rest for 30 seconds.

5. Do at least 2 – 3 sets.

 

  • Standing Calf Stretch

Lastly, stretching calf muscles is of utmost importance to basketball players as tight calf muscles may lead to Achilles tendon tear or a great many of other injuries.

1. Face a wall and stand 12 inches away from it.

2. Extend one leg behind you, keeping both feet flat on the floor and your rear knee straight.

3. Lean toward the wall until you feel the tension in the calf muscle of the extended leg. (You can put your arms on the wall for support.)

4. Hold for 10 seconds.

5. Repeat with the other leg.

 

Dribbling

After stretching out, do some stationary dribble to get your fingers and arms to warm up. Here are some quick drills that you can do.

You can do it with either one hand or both hands depending on your ball-handling skills.

 

  • Pound Dribble

The pound dribble has 3 variations.

 

High Dribble

1. Dribble the ball with your left hand at about your shoulder height.

2. After 15 – 20 seconds, repeat with the other hand.

 

Regular Dribble

Dribble the ball with your left hand at about your waist height.

After 15 – 20 seconds, repeat with the other hand.

 

Low Dribble

Dribble the ball with your left hand at about your ankle height.

After 15 – 20 seconds, repeat with the other hand.

 

  • V dribble

The V dribble has 2 variations.

 

Front

1. Dribble the ball with your left-hand side to side in a “V” motion

2. After 15 – 20 seconds, repeat with the other hand.

 

Side

1. Dribble the ball with your left-hand forwards and backward in a “V” motion.

2. After 15 – 20 seconds, repeat with the other hand.

 

  • Figure 8 Dribble

1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

2. Stay low and dribble the ball around your pegs in a figure 8 motion.

3. After 15 – 20 seconds, repeat in the opposite direction.

 

Finishing

After dribbling, shoot some layups under the rim to improve your feel around the basket.

 

  • Mikan Drill

The Mikan drill has 3 variations.

 

Regular Layup

1. Start on the left side facing the backboard.

2. Shoot a regular layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 layups on each side alternatively.

 

Reverse Layup

1. Start on the left side facing towards the back of the backboard.

2. Shoot a reverse layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 reverse layups on each side alternatively.

 

Hook shot

1. Start on the left side facing the backboard.

2. Shoot a hook shot over the top of your head.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 hook shot on each side alternatively.

 

Shooting

For shooting, keep it simple. Instead of wandering around and shoot wherever you like, focus on the spots where you will be shooting during real games.

Regardless of what position you played on your team, you can always implement these 2 drills into your warm-up.

 

  • Catch and Shoot

The catch and shoot drill has 2 variations.

 

Mid Range

If you are a big man, try this variation.

1. Find a teammate.

2. Catch the pass from your teammate and shoot a mid-range shot.

3. Grab your rebound and pass it to your teammate.

4. Shoot alternatively and make 15 shots in total.

 

Three-Point

If you are a stretch four or a guard, try this variation.

1. Find a teammate.

2. Catch the pass from your teammate and shoot a three-point shot.

3. Grab your rebound and pass it to your teammate.

4. Shoot alternatively and make 15 shots in total.

 

One Dribble Pull Up

1. The one-dribble pull up is similar to the catch and shoot.

2. After you catch the pass from your teammates.

3. Instead of shooting the ball right away, use a shot fake.

4. Then, take one dribble towards the basket and shoot the pull up jumper.

5. Grab your rebound and pass it to your teammate.

6. Shoot alternatively and make 15 shots in total.

 

Free Throw

Last but not least, free throws.

Although free throw is the easiest shot in basketball, the percentage of it often decides which team is going to win during close game situations. So, it is also the most important shot in basketball.

 

  • Plus Minus Drill

1. At first, you have 0 points.

2. If you make a free throw, you get 1 point.

3. If you miss one, you lose 2 points.

4. End the drill when you get 5 points.

 

Conclusion

A good pre-game warm-up session should cover all 5 things I’ve just mentioned. If you can do it properly, you will be more ready and prepared for the game.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I’m happy to help you out.

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