Getting In Shape
Especially in women’s basketball, it is critical that players get in shape and stay in shape. Female athletes who are well conditioned have a significant advantage over their opponents. Part of this advantage is physical and part of it is mental. In any case, it provides athletes with an edge.
Being in shape is more than just running and lifting. Proper conditioning also requires a certain lifestyle. Athletes must get proper rest and nutrition in order to be in the best physical condition. Not only will this help athletes in their sports, but it will help create good habits that they can carry on into their lives. It is difficult to convince athletes to always take care of their bodies. Many of them have a sense of invincibility that comes from their enhanced athletic ability in comparison to the average person. However, the increased stress placed on their bodies must be balanced by the athlete’s attention to how they care for themselves.
Athletes who are not fatigued are less prone to mental mistakes. Fatigue makes athletes unable to focus on the task at hand because all their energy is being used to get up and down the court. They aren’t able to focus on executing fundamentals. Being in better shape than your opponent also gives athletes a sense of pride. They sense this fatigue and can turn up the intensity to wear out their opponents.
In addition to this advantage, proper training is critical to injury prevention. Training the body properly strengthens muscles and ligaments and provides more strength to withstand forces that can result in injury. A focus on an increase in core stability and strength will increase the athletes ability to absorb contact and remain balanced. A balanced athlete is less susceptible to injury. This balance can only be trained through proper conditioning.
Keeping the body in shape must also carry on during the season. It is not enough to prepare in the off-season. In-season conditioning is just as important to maintain strength through the season. A loss of strength and conditioning increases the chances of injury as the season progresses.