How to Prepare for a Basketball Match: 14 Steps

Table of contents:

How to Prepare for a Basketball Match: 14 Steps
How to Prepare for a Basketball Match: 14 Steps

Basketball is a demanding sport that requires a certain level of physical and mental preparation; It is also necessary to have a high degree of organization and time management skills. The more prepared you are for the match, the better your performance will be.


Part 1 of 3: Prepare for the Previous Night

Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 1
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 1

Step 1. Eat high carbohydrate but low fat meals throughout the day and evening leading up to the match

Basketball is an intense and tiring sport that requires a lot of energy and stamina; the first source of these energies is represented by carbohydrates. For this reason, the meals you eat 12-15 hours before should contain a large dose of these nutrients, be low in fat, and should be easy to digest.

  • Opt for a high-carb, low-fat dinner, such as lean meat (chicken or fish), potatoes, pasta with sauce, and / or bread.
  • On match day, eat a simple but filling breakfast; Consider eating bagels, skim milk cereal, whole fruit, pancakes, waffles, and / or oats.
  • Make sure your lunch is light; you could eat low-fat wholegrain sandwiches made with lean cuts of meat or pasta, a salad and / or whole fruit.
  • This is not the time for new gastronomic experiments, as you may have gastric problems; instead try to always eat the same things before each meeting.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 2
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 2

Step 2. Hydrate the body

During training and games, the body sweats, reducing water supplies. To maintain peak performance, you need to hydrate; instead of only drinking when you are thirsty, try to sip water throughout the day.

  • As an athlete, you should consume at least 2 liters of water every day.
  • You should also drink another 500ml for every hour of exercise.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 3
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 3

Step 3. Prepare the bag

Before going to bed, gather and put everything you need for the game in your sports bag. Insert the uniform, warm-up suit, shoes and socks; don't forget the underwear, braces and protections you might need during the meeting. Add a bottle of water, sports drinks, and snacks to consume before the game.

Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 4
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 4

Step 4. Prepare the transfer in advance

As a player it is your responsibility to arrive at the venue on time. In addition to knowing where the game will be held, you also need to figure out how to get there; when you know this detail, you can easily organize the trip. If you don't know where and when to play, ask the manager, teammates or search for this information.

  • The "coach" is not required to make sure that all players know where and when the match is being held; if you don't know, don't wait for someone to tell you, just ask! If you are unable to contact the manager or a teammate, consult the website of the school, club or league where you play.
  • When you know these details in advance, you can ask for a day off at work with some advance notice or let the teachers know that you will miss a day of class.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 5
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 5

Step 5. Get 8-9 hours of sleep

To play the best you can, you need to rest well during the night before the game (and before each training session); in general, you need to sleep 8-9 hours and you need to organize yourself to guarantee this "recharge" period.

  • If you have an important assignment or test at school, start studying a week early to avoid finding yourself doing the "small hours" on books the night before the meeting. Record all school commitments in your diary and go through it every day to make sure you keep pace or are ahead of schedule.
  • If you have other responsibilities and chores to do at home, get them done early so you can go to bed early.
  • When you are in bed, put away your cell phone, computer and tablet.

Part 2 of 3: Dressing and Preparing for the Match

Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 6
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 6

Step 1. Consult the coach

When you arrive at the sports hall, inform the coach and the team of your presence; in this way, you avoid the coach having to ask himself if he can add you to the starting lineup or consider you for the match. If you appear out of nowhere, the "mister" might think (rightly) that you didn't come to play.

  • Forgetting this detail means watching the game from the bench or playing less than usual.
  • It is your responsibility to find the coach, it is not he who has to look for you.
  • If you are late, call or text.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 7
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 7

Step 2. Dress for the game

After notifying your arrival, go to the locker room; remove everyday clothes, shoes, jewelry and put them in the sports bag. Put on your underwear, any protective gear and then your uniform, warm-up suit, socks, braces and shoes.

  • If you've been injured or need special treatment, take a moment to visit the athletic massage therapist.
  • Store all valuables in your purse and in a locker room security locker.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 8
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 8

Step 3. Fill the water bottle

During the game the body sweats a lot and becomes dehydrated; to recover lost fluids, you must drink throughout the meeting. Take an empty bottle and fill it at a drinking water fountain or bring a ready-made one from home.

  • Aim to consume 120-240ml of water every 15 minutes while exercising.
  • You can alternate water with sports drinks that provide more valuable electrolytes.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 9
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 9

Step 4. Gather with the rest of the team in the locker room

Before starting the warm-up, most coaches hold a meeting to discuss game strategy. Typically, he also gives a short inspirational speech and reminds players of the ins and outs of a winning team.

  • During the match he explains the strategy of the match, announces the starting lineup and / or the program of substitutions.
  • To motivate players and improve their concentration, they may also recall past successes.

Part 3 of 3: Warm Up Mentally and Physically

Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 10
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 10

Step 1. Mentally prepare for the game

Although the athletic form of a basketball player is essential to face matches, it is equally useful for the mind to be "in shape". Since everyone faces difficulties differently, there is no "right" way to get into the right state of mind for the game. The general techniques you can use that may suit your needs are:

  • Relax your body and mind. When you are emotionally calm, your muscles are also less contracted; you can use meditation to get rid of negative and / or stressful thoughts. Before the meeting, find a quiet place to sit; when you have taken a comfortable position close your eyes and focus only on your breathing for the next 10-20 minutes. When thoughts appear in your mind, become aware of them and let them go.
  • Stop thinking too much. Don't focus on the biomechanics of shooting for a shot during the match, just shoot! You can commit to improving your technique during training.
  • Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Fear triggers anxiety which in turn causes the body to contract and causes the mind to evaluate each decision twice; instead of focusing on possible failures, work hard to accept them - know that everyone, even professional players, misses shots and loses games.
  • Enter a "state of grace". It is a combination of psychophysical conditions in which anything you do works well; for this to happen you have to clear your mind and focus only on the immediate task. This mental condition is easier to achieve if you keep up with your homework, work commitments, or household responsibilities; when you manage your time well, you can focus solely on the match instead of thinking about everything you need to do after the final siren.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 11
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 11

Step 2. Do some jogging and stretching to warm up your muscles

A light run followed by a few stretches prepares your body for the physical exertion you face. You can dedicate yourself to this part of the warm-up independently or with the rest of the team, in a small auxiliary gym or in the hallways of the building.

  • Run for 5-10 minutes. At this stage you should only sweat a little.
  • When the muscles are relaxed thanks to jogging, stretch them. Basic stretching involves:

    Great dorsal muscle stretch: stand 60-90cm from a wall and place your hands. Leaning forward, bring your right foot about 30 cm from the wall and lower your head into your arms; bring your right foot forward and lift your head. Repeat for the left side

  • Hamstring Swing: Stand upright with one foot in front of the other. Lean forward and place one hand on each side of the front foot; straighten its leg by lifting the pelvis. As you bring your pelvis back down, bend your front leg. Repeat the sequence 10 times for each limb.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 12
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 12

Step 3. Try the dynamic warm-up before entering the court

Just before the game starts, you and your teammates should complete a series of these exercises, which are designed to raise body temperature and loosen all joints. You should do them in the gym or in the corridors, giving yourself a few moments of rest between one and the other. Here are some examples:

  • Knee raises: While running, walking, or hopping, bring your knees to your chest without bending forward or bending your torso at the hips.
  • Kick: Quickly bend your knees trying to bring your heels towards your butt as you run, walk, or hop.
  • Slides: Take the defensive posture - knees bent, sit out, chest forward and arms up - and move around the room by sliding in all directions.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 13
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 13

Step 4. Swap passes, do ball control drills and shots on the pitch

After running with your teammates, the coach and his assistant supervise a series of exercises and warm-up throws specially selected by them and which the whole team must complete. Eg:

  • Attack and defense exercises;
  • Ball control exercises (for point guards);
  • Shooting exercises, including underhand, three-point and free-range exercises.
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 14
Prepare for a Basketball Game Step 14

Step 5. Get the latest game instructions

Once the warm-up is complete, you must meet with your teammates and the coach near the bench or in the locker room. When you are all grouped, the "mister" gives the last instructions and communicates some small changes in strategy; he could also say a few words of encouragement, at the end of which everyone puts their hands in the center shouting and encouraging each other.

  • Listen to all the coach's instructions.
  • Don't argue with him.


  • Ask the coach what are the fundamentals where you need to improve.
  • Listen to music that energizes you.
  • Make a few shots before the game to familiarize yourself with the new pitch.
  • Talk to trusted friends before the game as they can help you calm down.