Whether you’re a long-time basketball player or just beginning to play the sport, it’s essential that you are protecting your body as much as possible by putting the least amount of stress on it. In basketball, this often involves paying close attention to how you position your lower body.
A Brampton physiotherapist can assist you in learning the best techniques to use while you play the game. In addition, the following tips will allow you to focus on your form as you work on your shooting technique to help ensure improved overall health and movement.
Close your gait
Basketball players often learn that standing with their feet shoulder width apart will allow them to make the most effective shots, but this isn’t the most practical advice. That’s because when you stand in this position, it becomes very easy to widen your stance. This puts pressure on your knees and can throw you off balance.
Instead, pay attention to your gait. Your gait refers to your manner of walking, including the positioning of your feet after you take a couple of steps. You can determine your typical gait by taking a couple of steps in the way that you would if you were not on the court and observing the width and positioning of your feet.
Then, you can use this knowledge to inform the gait to use when you play. Your gait is individual to you as a player and should be the starting point for your jump shot.
Pay attention to your brake
After making your shot, you should land with your feet in either a narrower or wider stance than where you started. This helps you maintain your balance.
In the world of professional basketball, many players finish their shots in a narrower stance, while numerous others finish their shots in a wider stance. Still others demonstrate a somewhat inconsistent pattern in the stance they use when they land. What’s most important to maintaining your balance—and therefore, improving your shooting—is that you land in a different place than where you started the shot.
Practicing landing—or braking—in a narrow stance can be useful for younger players or those newer to basketball because it tends to feel like a more natural movement for players with less experience. As you grow more experienced with your basketball skills, you may find yourself gravitating toward braking in a wider stance.
Practice exercises to improve your balance and stability
When you’re off the court, you’ll likely find it useful to practice exercises that mimic on-court plays and aid in improving your balance. If you’re working toward having better balance when going up for a rebound or jump shot, squats are a practical exercise to incorporate into your off-the-court routine.
Lunges are another incredibly useful exercise to add to your regimen and will prepare you to execute key plays during a game. Specifically, they simulate the first-step action that you frequently make on the court.
If you’d like to go beyond these tips and learn more about proper body functioning and specific exercises that can be tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle, consult a Brampton physiotherapist at Paramount Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic for an assessment.