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Hoopfest advice—four keys to better street basketball tournament success

Serious athletes know they can do a variety of things to maximize their performance and reduce the chances of injury when playing basketball in outdoor events such as Spokane Hoopfest.. Here are simple practices that are easily overlooked but are absolutely key to being your best:

Keep those muscles loose. Make sure that heavily worked muscles are flexible and malleable before vigorous athletic activities. Stretching the right way can make all the difference in your game, preparing your body for the various challenges at hand. But too many athletes are doing it wrong. When you think of stretching, do you think of static stretching? That’s when you stretch one muscle or stretch in one position for thirty seconds or more. Static stretching has its place, but it can actually hinder performance if done directly before athletic activities. By static stretching you are actually decreasing blood flow within your tissue, causing a build up of lactic acid. Over time you are actually causing damage to and decreasing your explosive power and muscle strength. Instead, try dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching, or stretching while moving, is recommended because (here is a link to one article about it - http://www.bodyscapesfitness.com/the-benefits-of-dynamic-stretching-vs-static-stretching/  Try using a foam roller! Foam rollers are a great substitute for a massage and an excellent way to increase blood flow in your muscles; here is an article advocating for foam rolling - http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-tips/foam-rolling-total-body-benefits Athletic trainers agree - they would see far fewer injuries if athletes took the time to properly warm up their muscles.

Drink water. You’ve heard it a million times, right? But why is it so important? Water gives your cells the ability to function properly. Dehydration minimizes the amount of blood in your body, which (as a side effect) makes your heart work harder to pump oxygen-rich cells through your body. Water also helps your body maintain homeostasis (balanced body temperature). Dehydration in athletes decreases the capacity to perform at a high level athletically and is generally bad for you.

Ice, ice, baby. To cool down after a game it is important to ice. Ice should be an athlete’s best friend. Ice will reduce inflammation in different muscle groups as well as decrease the swelling in the given area. It is recommended to ice the sore/inflamed area(s) for 15 minutes. 

Watch out for the contours of the court when shooting.  Because streets are designed to drain water, there is a significant difference between shots at the top of the key and shots on the baseline. Make adjustments to the arc of your ball and plan to shoot higher and farther as the street travels downward.

    

Overall, these simple tips can help you elevate your game and maintain a good level of play even during street basketball. NBC Camps are dedicated to helping each athlete achieve their greatest potential, both on and off the court.

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