By Toni Caparrós, professor at the Barcelona INEFC Department of Health and physical trainer of professional basketball players with nine years of experience in the ACB with FC Barcelona, five with the Spanish Absolute Senior National team and two advising the Memphis Grizzlies.
Preparing the preseason is key to achieving a correct and satisfactory performance during the course of the regular season. A poorly planned, little progressive, too demanding or poorly worked preseason can lead to injuries or decompensation during the rest of the year. On the contrary, a correct execution and fulfillment of the exercises during the preseason will greatly increase the chances of enjoying a long and prosperous sports career, without physical limitations.
In the first place, the players have to arrive balanced to the season, that is, accumulating the necessary physical work, but without fatigue. Not in an optimal state of form, but fully compensated and with an adequate specific preventive work. Do not overwork during the summer or vacation period, but you have to assess the objectives of the year and reasonably prepare the work to be done. It is necessary to work preventive contents and all those needs of our sport that influence during the competitive phase.
“It is also necessary to plan the preseason
according to the league where it is played.
It is not the same to prepare to play in the
NBA than in the ACB”
The recovery guidelines in this period are fundamental. In addition, players who do not take advantage of the summer to work, improve and prevent, end up paying it with a decrease in their performance during the season. Whether due to fatigue, injury or because their colleagues who have worked are in better conditions.
It is also necessary to plan the preseason according to the league where it is played. For example, it is not the same to prepare to play in the NBA than in the ACB. The main difference between the summer preparation of US players and Spanish players is time. In the United States, they have the necessary time to recover and work to face the demands of the season, which is shorter, but extremely hard and intense.
In Europe, however, there is not enough time to recover all that would be necessary, but it is also true that during the season players have more time to take on the workload imposed on them. This variation means that the leagues involve a totally different planning and programming.
“Any professional player, especially the youngest ones,
have to take advantage of the summer to prepare their
body to continue growing during the season on the field”
Finally, just as it is vital to work physically during the summer, it is essential not to neglect nutrition and psychology work during this period. The training of a professional player is, always and without any doubt, multifactorial. In other words, if, for example, we overwork the physical aspect and do not pay too much attention to what we eat or to the mental preparation that any sport requires, during the season we will feel a considerable decompensation in our performance that, very surely, will end having negative consequences in our sports career.
In summary, any professional player, especially the youngest ones, have to take advantage of the summer to prepare their body to continue growing during the season on the field. This preparation will also serve to be able to play for many years without physical limitations.
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