All professional sports people put themselves through grueling training programs so that they can reach the top of their profession. In the NBA, however, the athletes have it harder than most.
This is a seriously testing competition, simply because the action is packed into such a tight schedule. Pro basketball teams in the US play no fewer than 82 games in the regular season and the calendar demands multiple match ups in a week.
Injuries can derail a side’s progress, so how do the players work to minimize any absences from the court?
The Need for Peak Performance
The NBA is a global brand which attracts the best players in the sport. Multiple revenue sources are in place, including TV broadcasting deals, merchandising and a host of sportsbooks providing NBA odds throughout the regular and postseason.
There is no room for poor performances in this division, so it is imperative for players to have an effective fitness routine. Here’s an idea as to what those athletes put themselves through.
The Ultimate Test
Basketball challenges so many aspects of human performance. There is the obvious need for speed across the court, while agility is also put under pressure. Hand – eye coordination is vital, while players also work on their mental strength in modern day sport.
It’s an all-round package and the work out that players undertake has to take that into account.
Off Season Overview
The hard effort begins in the off season. Players will have a brief period of downtime after a long campaign, before they are back in business. For around an hour each day, they will undergo a series of hamstring curls, high knee runs and jumping jacks.
It’s an all-round regime designed to develop strength and conditioning while they are away from the court. This can be a vulnerable period for a player and any prolonged period of inactivity can lead to unnecessary injury.
Strength and Stamina
Players need high levels of stamina in order to be able to compete at the top level. There is a great deal of standing around in basketball, before the need to sprint into action. The lengthy games mean that stamina is key to staying alert and being ready to make that crucial match-winning intervention.
NBA athletes will, therefore, pay a lot of attention to cardiovascular work. At home or in the gym, some of the best cardio workouts will include sessions on the exercise bike, the treadmill or the rowing machine. Swimming is also a great way to build that stamina.
All of these routines and more will be undertaken by NBA players during the off season and right through the regular campaign.
Players will also need to practice across the calendar year. This helps to hone their skills, but it will also address any fitness issues. Shooting for up to an hour will aim to build that crucial hand eye coordination while building up confidence.
A gentle, inter-roster game will also help with speed and agility. Every coach in the NBA will build practice into their players’ training regime.
Diet plays a much bigger role in an athlete’s preparation than it may have done in the past. Basketball players are no exception, and they will be careful about what goes into their bodies.
There’s no great mystery when it comes to an athlete’s diet. In terms of what to avoid, they will all look to steer clear of junk food and fizzy drinks. They’ll also look to take on board a high level of carbohydrates, together with a good balance of fats and protein.
A typical day in an NBA player’s meal routine might involve a high proportion of eggs and meat. Essentially, they are looking to take on board around 2,000 to 4,500 calories per day as part of their overall fitness regime.
Taking it to the Max
Some of the most successful athletes in the history of the NBA have employed some seriously extreme workouts. They will not be for everyone, but it’s certain that these routines have helped them to take their game to the next level.
CJ McCollum of the New York Pelicans likes to undertake his jumping while holding some seriously heavy kettlebells. Kenneth Faried, the man known as Animal for his high octane energy, earned that nickname thanks to his intense routine.
Faried’s warm up might have been seen as a full workout for some athletes. He endured 20 minutes of interval training followed by four rotations of medium intensity with one of high intensity. ‘Animal’ would then launch into his full routine.
Every individual is different and, over time, NBA athletes will devise a specific workout that works for them. At a basic level, they will adhere to the essentials that are listed here, as they develop a platform that helps them to reach the top.