Finally, lockdown is over, and everyone is starting to jump back on the court again and from a personal note it has been an absolute joy playing and seeing the smiling faces of our players as they run up and down the court again after 6-7weeks.
However, to the common baller this return to hoops comes with plenty of excitement and anticipation but perhaps not enough consideration for risks involved.
The good news – the mind is well rested ready to tackle what’s to come in the next 20weeks.
The bad news – 6 weeks off is plenty of time for your body to drift out of “Basketball shape”.
You see there is a basic rule in the fitness world: “use it or lose it” and what you may not know is that when you take off a prolonged period of time, in which your body is not receiving the usual stimulus that basketball gives you (such as the demands of cutting, jumping and change of direction movements)….. yes you become rested, but your body loses the adaptations that it went through to sustain your game level performance.
So, when you decide to jump back into it going back to back trainings and workouts on back to back days without considering what you are doing there is an increased risk of injury that comes with it. Your body is not used to / strong enough anymore to handle the level of output you may have been doing prior to lockdown – regardless of the home workouts you may have been doing; these would have maintained a good base level but this will not hold up to high performance court standards.
A great way to start is with casual scrimmages. No better way to hit to the body with the right stimuli than getting back on the court in a setting in which you can start pulling those moves at a pace that suits you!
Tie in a gradual approach back to your S&C training focusing primarily on stability and eccentric strength movements to re-establish your ability to control your cylinder and decelerate safely before working to get your power back.
Be sure to work for 2-3 days in a row depending on how the body feels but then you must REST. Adaptations occur during rest periods of 24-48hours so if you truly want your body to fast track back to good form you must challenge it with Basketball and your S&C, but then allow your muscles to undergo those adaptations.
Ramp things up as you go being sure to schedule rest days between intervals of 2-3days. Get back into your demanding team trainings and individual workouts and you’ll find yourself heading in the right direction.
Lastly, this is a given, lockdown or no lockdown but, I would place importance on warm up and post workout recovery protocols. Many athletes have spent more hours sitting than they ever have in the last 6weeks, and this can shorten those hip flexors and place more stress on the lower back among other adaptations to inactivity.
Before you go running, cutting and jumping you have to pre-activate the muscles that have been switched off a lot and establish blood flow to all those areas that make you go! Post work-out you must be putting the right nutrients into the body and getting quality sleep!
Wishing everyone a safe and happy return to Basketball! - Coach Zac