What do NBA Players do Before a Basketball Game?
For many of us casual and avid fans, tuning into a basketball game requires little more than finding the appropriate channel, choosing a few snack and food items, and curling up on the couch. And while little is needed to tune into a basketball game for the average fan, nothing could be further from the truth for the NBA players.
That is why, below, we are going to review and discuss, just what do NBA players do before a basketball game? And while the answer may seem obvious, it can actually be a bit more complicated. For many NBA players, the pregame routine is tantamount to their success on the court and their ability to perform at their peak.
Why is a Pregame Routine Important?
For many of us, routine creates healthy habits and performance. And while NBA players may appear to be superhuman, they still feel levels of anxiety and nervousness, especially before the start of a big game. And whether they are playing a regular regulation game or are gearing up for an NBA Finals game, their pregame routine helps them to perform at their peak.
For so many NBA players, routine is important before a game as it allows them to mentally and physically prepare for the upcoming match. For these players, many of whom have played basketball since a young age, the pregame routine is a routine that helps ease them into the proper mindset needed to begin the game and perform at their expected level.
Drink Copious Amounts of Fluids
For many NBA players, drinking copious amounts of fluids before a game is one of the most important aspects of their pregame routine. Drinking water and sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, will help them to remain hydrated throughout the duration of the game and will also help them to avoid cramping and fatigue.
Take a Pre-Workout Drink
In addition to hydrating with water and sports drinks, many NBA players will also drink a pre-workout drink before a game. Pre-workout drinks are supplements, typically as a powdered substance, which are mixed with water or a smoothie, and are meant to be drunk before the start of an exercise or strenuous activity.
For many NBA players, pre-workouts help to provide them with the necessary caffeine and vitamins needed to perform at a peak level throughout the game. And while there are a plethora of differing pre-workout supplements available on the market, NBA players will typically stick to one brand that works best for them.
Use the Bathroom and Prepare for the Game
Again, although NBA players may seem larger-than-life, they are human beings. And as humans, they must also answer the call of nature. This not only includes utilizing the bathroom before a game, but also putting on deodorant, taking a shower, and even clipping their fingernails.
In addition, for many NBA players who sweat profusely, they will take some time before the start of the game to relieve their hands, palms, and foreheads of sweat. This is typically done by administering an over-the-counter medication to relieve the sweat before it starts.
NBA players will do all this before a game not only to prepare for the upcoming game, but also as an act of courtesy to their fellow players. Wearing deodorant, clipping their nails, and even showering before a game will be seen as an act of respect to other players and will help individual players to appear more professional.
Meet with Family, Friends, and Fans
In addition to the above, many NBA fans will take the time before a basketball game to meet with family, friends, and fans. They will typically do so as a quick way to destress before a game and catch-up with longtime friends nd family, many of whom they may not have seen during the regular season.
Similarly, many NBA players will take the time before the start of a game to meet with fans. Whether to sign and autograph items, help with a charitable organization or cause, or simply take some pictures, NBA players will utilize the time before a game to meet with fans who arrive at the arena early.
Pregame Workouts and Exercises
Perhaps even more importantly than any of the above, most NBA players will take time before the start of the game to complete some pregame workouts and exercises. This is primarily done as a means to “warm up” and ensure that the individual player is ready for the start of the game.
Most pregame workouts and exercises are not meant to overly strenuous. Rather, NBA players will complete simple, short workouts and shootarounds to ensure they are warmed up and ready to start the game.
Injury Treatment and Prevention
Even further, for many NBA players, the time before a game is a great opportunity to both prevent and treat any injuries. This is typically done by either icing or wrapping sore spots and joints on the body, helping to relieve any pain and prevent any further stress on those spots.
Prepare Their Uniform
In addition, many NBA players will ensure that their basketball uniform and shoes are properly fitted and secured before the start of the game. This includes putting on their uniform and ensuring that the basketball shoes they will wear for the game are properly sized and laced. This is particularly important as many NBA players will wear different shoes for each game and they will need to ensure that the shoes they wear are not only fitted, but also properly laced as to not come undone during the game.
Watching Film and Tape
Similarly, before the start of a game, NBA players will immerse themselves in additional film and tape on the opposing team. This is done as a means to better understand and strategize on plays and what to expect from the opposing team during the game. Many NBA players will also watch film and tape on the opposing team to look for weaknesses and areas that they may be able to exploit during the game.
Meeting with Coaching Staff and Teammates
In addition, many NBA players will meet with their coaching staff and fellow teammates before the start of the game. This meetup will be used to discuss strategy, ensure everyone is ready for the game, and to build both confidence and comradery amongst the team.
Entering the Proper Headspace
Lastly, many NBA players will take a few minutes before the start of a game to ensure that they are in the proper headspace. This can be done by saying a prayer, listening to motivational music, or completing a pregame routine, such as LeBron James’ chalk throw.