A Midseason Checklist for Basketball Players

Playing well and competing during the basketball season is the reason you put in so much time over the spring, summer, and fall working on your game, lifting weights, and running sprints.

Regardless of how things go for you and your team, you have to keep in mind that it is a long season. If you get off to a rough start, don't throw in the towel, there is plenty of time to turn things around. And if you start off hot, don't get cocky or complacent as staying on top is one of the hardest things to do in sports.

Here are some midseason tips to playing your best for the remainder of the year:

  • Get rest whenever you can, your body and mind needs it! Try and get to bed early both one and two nights before a game and take naps when possible. While the offseason regiment is tough, there is nothing harder on your body than in-season practices, games, and travel.
  • Eat well and stay hydrated. Your body is a machine and needs to be properly fueled. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast EVERY morning and try to eat a light snack an hour or so before practice. You should aim to eat quality pre-game meal about 3-4 hours before tip-off. This will ensure you are well fueled without making you feel full and lethargic. You should eat something with adequate carbs and protein (pasta or rice and chicken). Also, you body does EVERYTHING better when hydrated, so drink water constantly.
  • Warm-up and stretch properly before all practices and games. Hopefully your team has a standardized warm-up, but if not, you need to make sure you do! This will ensure your body is ready to compete and help reduce the likelihood of injury. If you do get a nagging injury of any sort, seek professional advice immediately to make sure something little doesn't turn into something big.
  • Continue to strength train during the season. Strength is an attribute that is quickly diminished. In as little as three weeks you begin to lose strength if you don't lift weights. So if you don't lift weights at all during the season, you will be physically at your weakest come playoff time. That makes no sense. All you need to maintain strength is one or two brief (yet intense) lifts during the season, working all major muscle groups.
  • Get in extra shots before or after practice and before games. Shooting is all about rhythm and repetition. The more "game like" shots you can take in practice and before games, the more "automatic" you will be when you play. Same for ball handling.
  • Be a good teammate. Do the little things to help your teammates and be very positive and enthusiastic, even when things aren't going so well. The teams that play well together and care about each other... win. Period.

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