High School Basketball Injury Prevention
The fast pace of high school basketball games can be thrilling to watch, but the speed of the sport can also result in a wide range of injuries. We have tips to help your high school basketball athlete enjoy an injury-free season.
Packed bleachers, enthusiastic cheers, and the squeak of rubber soles against polished wood floors usher in the excitement of the high school basketball season. Because we want your child’s basketball season to be injury-free, we’ve got some tips to minimize risks for your young basketball player.
- Maintain fitness through summer months with exercise that incorporates aerobic activity, strength training, and flexibility. If children stay active during the summer, they’ll be better conditioned to participate in fall sports.
- Take time to warm up before playing. Research shows that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Five minutes of aerobic activity like jumping jacks, running, or walking, followed by a few gentle stretches, will reduce risk of injury.
- Stay hydrated. Generally, players should drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid two hours before exercise, and another 8 ounces of water right before exercise to avoid performance-damaging dehydration. A cup of water every 20 minutes during exercise is also recommended.
- Practice proper technique. When your child understands and plays his or her position, uses proper passing and scoring techniques, and respects the rules of sportsmanship, the risk of collision-related injury is reduced.
- Proper equipment is a must. Basketball players should wear snug, non-skid basketball shoes, ankle supports, protective knee and elbow pads, and a mouth guard. Players wearing glasses should have lenses constructed with non-shattering safety glass.
- Ensure a safe environment. Indoor courts should be clean, free of debris, and offer good traction. Baskets and boundary lines should be a safe distance from walls, bleachers, water fountains, and other structures. Basket goal posts and the walls behind them should be padded.
In the event that injury does occur, confirm that your child’s coach is prepared to respond. All coaches should be knowledgeable about first aid for minor injuries and have a plan to access medical assistance for more serious injuries.
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