As basketball parents we are used to cheering our kids on in one of the fastest-paced sports around which means there’s always a risk of injury. The best way to keep them injury free is to know how to pre-plan and prepare for the practice or game. Here are some tips on keeping our kids safe:

  • Make sure your athlete has a pre-season physical examination and follow your doctor’s recommendations for basketball injury prevention;
  • Hydrate adequately before, during and after each practice or game. Remember that waiting until you are thirsty is often too late to hydrate properly;
  • Pay attention to environmental recommendations, especially in relation to excessively hot and humid weather, to help avoid heat illness;
  • Maintain proper fitness – especially stretching before practice or game. It may seem unnecessary but injury rates are higher in athletes who have not adequately prepared physically;
  • If your child has to stop playing for a length of time, make sure they progress back gradually. You can get back in playing shape with different activities, such as aerobic conditioning, strength training, and agility training;
  • Avoid overuse injuries – more is not always better! Sometimes that may even mean taking a season off to avoid over exertion on young athletes. In all cases, make sure to listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury and help avoid “burn-out.”
  • Talk with your child’s coach and/or athletic trainer about an ACL injury prevention program and incorporating the training principles into team warm-ups;
  • Your athlete should return to play only when clearance is granted by a health care professional.