Common Basketball Injury

Did you know one of the most common injuries in basketball is also one of the most annoying injuries out there? You guessed it — a jammed finger. We’ve all done it, probably more than once.

A jammed finger is usually caused when the finger is hyper-extended or bent backwards at the joint. This type of injury is common among basketball players and other athletes who use their hands extensively. Despite the amount of pain felt when you get a jammed finger, this type of injury is not usually serious and can be treated in a matter of days with the correct treatment.

Typical basketball finger injuries occur when catching a pass and the basketball pops the top of your finger. Another way is, jumping for a rebound and your finger smashing in to the bottom or side of the basketball.

Here are some tips on how to treat and care for a jammed finger:

Ice it!

  • Most of the pain felt in a jammed finger is usually due to the pressure caused by the increased blood flow to the injured joint. That’s why you feel that throbbing and warm sensation. Applying ice or anything with a cooling effect to this area will help constrict the local blood vessels and reduce pressure to the finger injury.
  • Icing the joint will also help numb the nerves in this area and produce an anesthetizing effect. When you ice the injury, place a thin towel or a piece of fabric between the ice pack and your skin in order to prevent any ice burns. Apply the ice pack for fifteen minute intervals for about 45 minutes until the swelling subsides and the pain reduces.

Wrap it!

  • Doing this will keep the joint steady while at the same time countering the pressure caused by the increased blood flow to the injured finger. You must however, ensure that the wrap does not completely cut off blood flow to the injured area, since the joint needs blood and nutrients in order to heal properly.

Splint it!

  • You can also tape the jammed finger against an uninjured one. This is commonly known as buddy splinting or buddy taping. This type of splinting will allow for some degree of mobility to the injured finger will keeping it safe.

Drills to Jump Higher

Every basketball player dreams of being able to jump high enough to slam dunk that ball straight down into the net for the final winning basket. But it’s crazy hard to be able to get that kind of height… no matter how good of a player you are!

Here are a few drills and exercises you can try at home to help your “vertical”. Try some of them out and see if you don’t get more height in your jumps!

Tuck Jumps: Exercise coaches agree that the tuck jump is one of the best workouts for building strength and power. When combined with other training, it helps get your heart rate up and helps build muscle endurance. Tuck jumps help target the major muscle groups in your thigh, including the quads and hamstrings. They are also great for your abs as the motion of pulling your knees to your chest puts this workout on double duty. Be sure to really drive off the ground and focus on getting a high, powerful jump rather than going through the motions if you want to see the best results.

Here’s how to do it:
* Start with feet apart and chest up
* Drop your butt back and down
* Drive up with your arms and push off the floor
* Lift your knees towards your chest
* Bend your knees when landing to lessen impact

Superman: This exercise has a cool name and looks like you’re flying and is great for strengthening your core and lower back. Though most people only think of legs when they think of jumping, these central muscle groups are also important. Even more so in basketball when you’re often jumping at strange angles to get a rebound or go around a defender.

Here’s how to do it:
* Lie face down with arms and legs extended
* Start by raising one arm and the opposite leg into the air. Switch limbs and repeat
* Next, raise both arms. Then raise both legs. Repeat
* Finally, raise all four limbs simultaneously and hold for two seconds
* Clench glutes and abs during exercise

Bent Knee Hip FlexionHip flexors are some of the most ignored muscles in the body until something goes wrong with them. While they may get a workout from some other exercises, this is one that focuses on them directly. Keeping your hip flexors strong will help ensure you can continue working out with full intensity. Meanwhile, strong hip flexors will allow you to take a bump on the court without fearing injury. Bent knee hip flexion is also a great exercise for your range of motion in the hip and also increases stability.

Here’s how to do it:
* Lie on your back with your legs flat
* One at a time, draw your knee up towards your chest
* Push your hands against your knee to add resistance
* Draw knee as far back as possible
* Lower leg back to the flat position

Off-the-court Training

Not all training happens on the court. It shouldn’t surprise us at all that some of the greatest basketball players have remained students of the game. They’re always looking for any edge that might give them an advantage over their competition.

Kobe Bryant was notorious for watching hours of film on a regular basis throughout his NBA career. His grandfather would regularly send him videotapes of NBA legends in their prime. He would watch and them model his game after Hall of Famers like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, among others. LeBron James has often stated that on his days off he watches every NBA game, paying close attention to every detail.

While watching films of others can really help your own game, there are some things to be aware of:

* Do not fall into the trap of strictly watching film of individual players.

* Be sure to also watch film of the best teams to ever do it as well.

Films of solid teamwork show how the individual players are selfless and tenacious, sacrificing for each other and sharing the basketball.

We can all learn a ton from watching championship-level basketball and especially those greats who learned the true value of teamwork!

Small Group and Shooting Gun Training

It has been a crazy spring and summer and we know you’re ready for something a little more normal — so are we!

We hope that during these past few months you’ve been able to stay healthy and safe with your families. We’re excited to let you know Hoops has worked hard to bring basketball back into your life!

We’ve got strong, safe protocols in place so that we can train hard like we were before Covid. We are constantly staying up to speed with state guidelines to give you the safest and smartest options during this time.

Check out our different training options here, and watch how we’re using our Shooting Gun in small group training here!

Overcoming Sports Fears

Many young athletes thrive within the culture of team sports, and in turn, their performance improves. They love every part of it — from the pre-game anticipation and rituals to the post-game celebrations.

But, what about the kids who don’t thrive right away? What if they love the game, but worry about skill level or injuries? What if your daughter loves practice, but struggles with game night anxiety? What if your son worries about letting his coach or parents down?

Sports come with stress, both on and off the court. Sometimes, that stress can grow into anxiety and fear, keeping kids from enjoying activities to the fullest. It might even hold your child back from trying something new or sticking with a sport through the season. Here are some tips for helping young players overcome common sports fears.

  1. What if I make a mistake? That’s almost every kid’s fear. It’s our job as parents and coaches to make sure they know that EVERYONE makes mistakes — we just need to learn and move on. Share some of your mistakes with your child. This teaches them it’s okay, just part of the game, and there’s life after the mistake!
  2. I don’t want to disappoint anyone! First of all, make sure you aren’t adding to this stress by reliving your own sports dreams through your child. You need to reassure them you love and support them, no matter how the game turns out!
  3. I’m scared I’ll get hurt! Fear of getting hurt can make your child tentative on the court. Practice safe methods of training and remind them of the correct way they’ve been taught.

Your words and actions can make all the difference for your child!