Performing the right pre-game basketball warm-up can be the difference between having a great game and struggling on the court. I am not a firm believer in using an exact routine before every game; but when I played in college and professionally, I always made sure I performed certain warm-ups before each game. Each player is different though, and the routine you perform should be your own.
First I would take shots right around the basket. I did this not only to get warmed up, but also to refresh myself on my shooting mechanics. It helps a shooter to see the ball go in a few times before playing a game. It helps you build confidence in your shot.
Once I was warmed up, I would go into a dynamic stretch to make sure I was ready to go at full speed without worrying about pulling something. It's important to take your time and focus on getting in good quality stretches. They will prevent injury and make you more explosive on the floor.
After stretching, I shot some more and worked on specific moves I might use in the game. I practiced moves at game speed and I would get fully locked in. Don't do this for too long though; you don't want to tire yourself out before the game. If you are a post player, you can work on different post moves, or on your mid-range shot. Work on whatever shots you will take in game situations.
Next, take a few minutes to work on ball handling to get your hands warmed up and ready to go.
Lastly, I took a few minutes to sit and think about the game and what I needed to do to be successful. Having the right mindset and visualizing what you are going to do helps. I recommend taking a couple of minutes before each game to get your mind right. Think about making the big shot or your team's game plan. This will help give you the confidence to execute what you've been visualizing once the ball goes up.
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