Basketball Players–getting injured is one of the few things that can completely derail not only your entire season, but your entire career.

No matter when it happens, there’s no “good” time to get injured. And while some injuries seem like bad luck or unavoidable, the vast majority of injuries can be greatly reduced or avoided all together with the right preparation and plan of action.

So what can you do to decrease your risk for injury?

In my experience, there are two very important aspects that can have a huge impact on your chances of getting injured. Fortunately, both of these things can be improved no matter your age, ability, or how much wear and tear has already happened to your body.

1. Increase Your Fitness

The better conditioned your body is, the less fatigued you get doing the same level of work.

When your body gets fatigued, you are more likely to start compensating, using different muscles to accomplish the same tasks.

This can lead to the muscles that are doing too much to take on extra stress and get injured.

By keeping your fitness and conditioning levels high, you will be less likely to compensate and less likely to injure yourself during higher levels of exertion.

2. Increase Your Strength

Specifically, increase your strength near your end ranges of motion.

Being strong in more neutral positions is great and certainly is beneficial for injury prevention, but rarely do players get hurt in neutral.

Injuries are far more likely to occur in more extremes of motion (think knee fully extending or diving in or ankle twisting).

When your muscles can be strong in these more extreme positions, you can increase your body’s ability to withstand going into these positions without stressing your joints, ligaments, or cartilage as much.

Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) is a great way to help improve your strength in these more extreme positions, and pairing that with regular strength training and consistent conditioning work can make your body far more resilient to the daily stresses of preseason and in-season practices and games.

Getting your body better-conditioned and stronger are two of the easiest and most impactful ways to decrease your chances of getting injured.

While you cannot control everything that happens during practices and games, you can control the state that your body is in when they happen in terms of strength and conditioning.

Improve your fitness, get stronger in your more extreme ranges of motions using MAT®, and keep your muscles strong with regular strength training throughout the week. This is a winning recipe to have your healthiest season yet.

If you’d like more simple tips like this to decrease your risk for injury, boost your recovery, and optimize your performance, you will love The PRO Hooper Newsletter.

Every week I send out exercises and strategies you can use to help your body feel and function better allowing you to play and perform your best.

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Charlie Cates

Charlie Cates is the leading consultant to high-level professional, college, & high school basketball players in the Chicagoland area for injury prevention, recovery, & muscle performance. As a certified Muscle Activation Techniques® MATRx practitioner & former college basketball player, he uses his personal experience & understanding of the game & player demands to create customized exercise options for his clients to recover faster & perform their best. Follow him on Instagram @CharlieCates!