Back Playing Basketball at 35. How to Stay Injury-Free.

Back playing basketball at 35.
Back playing basketball at 35.

So I am back playing basketball after 8 years of not shooting, dribbling, or even attempting to play. I devoted myself to weightlifting so much, that I completely neglected the game I used to spend hours practicing and playing with my friends in Israel/USA. The first thing I realized was how much out of game-shape my body is. If I were to play games again, I thought to myself, I needed a plan that will get me in shape quickly. I came up with the plan below, and thought of sharing with you (who knows, maybe you are in the same position I am in).

This is what I currently do:

I start with warming up my joints, tendons, and muscles. At 35, this is not the time to start getting injuries that will only slow me down. After a good 10 minutes of moving different body parts, it is time to do some sprints and lots of legs work. Running side to side, backward, sprints and repeat. I do it for about 15 minutes nonstop. Next, I am adding some shooting to the routine. I pick 6 spots on the court where I practice my shots. The way I do is this: I need to score 3 times straight before I can move to the next spot. If I miss, two things will happen: First I need to catch the ball before it touches the ground. If I succeed, I get to shoot again from the same spot. If I am not fast enough to catch the ball before it touches the ground, I will need to start my shooting all over again from spot number 1. It is okay if you are just starting, but can be very frustrating if you are at spot number 6, with one shot to go to complete the cycle.

I really like this type of routine because it pushes me to run, and stay focused with my shooting. If I am lucky enough, I get to play 1-on-1 as well, but that doesn’t really happen during the weekdays when I train. The few 1-on-1 games I played thus far were very tiring, and took a lot of oxygen and effort out of me. I am, however, getting better and better by each game, so there is still hope for me :)

I think the takeaway from this post is how important it is to warm up your joints, tendons, and muscles before you are even thinking of shooting the ball. Basketball is not an easy game on your body, and the 10-20 minutes you spend preparing yourself to play can make the difference between watching  the game on TV, or playing it.



facebook comments:

  • I’m impressed with your work ethic. I wish I was so diligent and I wish I was 35 again. But the warm weather is with us and I will be outside biking and hiking. Playing hoop would probably kill me at this point.

  • Itai

    lol, Ron. It nearly ‘killed’ me at first :). The warm weather is with us indeed, and it is time to play “Ray Allen” all over again ;) Happy Passover.