In collaboration with basketball coach Connor Jean and Reid Ouse
1. Rest! “I find vital to a player’s success is their ability to rest. While I do hold more of an “old-school” mentality when it comes to hard work and fighting through adversity, it is also very important to understand when you need a break, not only physically but mentally. As a former college coach, we mandated that players were not allowed to touch a basketball for 10-14 days after the season. We understood the importance of taking a break to let your body physically recover, but we also stressed the importance of being mentally rested. We wanted to get the most out of our players, and we knew that if we told them they couldn’t play basketball for two weeks they would be hungry to get in the gym when it was time. That led to healthier players and better workouts” @coachouse
While this may sound more relevant to professional athletes, it is indeed relevant to younger ballers as well. Kids have a tight schedule from waking up early to go to school, doing their homework afterward and attending the basketball practice in the evening. It is crucial to not overload our kids with multiple tasks and a short nap before the practice can be a game-changer.
Furthermore, proper sleep boosts the child’s overall health and thus their performance on the court. To explain the importance of sleep we need to look at some scientific facts like the growth hormone.
The human growth hormone is an important part of the body’s endocrine system. Thanks to the growth hormone, sleep and exercise are inextricably linked to each other. This hormone is especially active during the growing child’s maturation.
HGH is released by the brain into the bloodstream during sleep, and its release is part of the repair and restoration function of sleep. It is one of the most important physiological factors that make kids get taller and grow. In addition, the human growth hormone promotes a healthy metabolism, it enhances your physical performance, and may even help you live longer.
Experts claim that approximately 75 percent of HGH is released during sleep. The fact speaks for itself so do make sure that your child gets at least good 8 hours sleep (preferably even longer!)
2. Maintain a good level of fitness. In addition to following a consistent sleep schedule, your kids should also exercise regularly in order to increase HGH release. Pulses of HGH are also released during the day and any exercise promotes quality sleep by expending your energy.
We suggest your kids stay in shape during the offseason. Basketball injury prevention begins in the off-season!
For most sports league athletes, this preseason training may be hard because of time constraints. But, even minor conditioning is better than none at all. Getting ready in advance is a key prevention factor.
“The weight room is so crucial for any sport to help you strengthen weak parts in your body. Over the years you put so much stress on the body and the joints that you want to do low impact things to train. A cycling class, water aerobics, yoga, swimming..etc. don’t always just be Attacking the weights and putting more strain on those joints!” @coachouse
3. Forget about junk food / Encourage Healthy food. The human growth hormone is also linked to what we eat. As for diet, you should think of HGH and sugar as the opposite. The higher the intake of high-sugar food and beverages, the lower the HGH levels. Kids should avoid foods high in sugar generally, especially before bed, if they want to avoid interrupting the natural production of HGH during sleep.
A healthy diet will also give them more energy throughout the day and decrease the likelihood of getting injured when playing basketball. What can you as a parent do to help your kids stay healthy is to limit sweets and junk food. Make sure your kid’s lunch box doesn’t have any high sugar foods.