Denver Youth Basketball Preparation Tips

Denver Youth Basketball Preparation

Denver Youth basketball players spend hours on the practice floor, in the training gym and in their driveways preparing to be the best players they can be come game time. But when game time actually comes, many don’t know how to properly approach it. Here are some important steps players should take in their approach to games in order to maximize success.

Denver Youth Basketball Preparation Tips


Eat a Proper Pre-Game Meal

Nutrition is more important than many players realize. A proper meal before the game, or a lack thereof, can really start to show its effects late into a basketball game. The right meal will give players good energy for running up and down the court, and a poor meal can sap that energy and make one look and feel out of shape. A breakfast combination like oatmeal and energy-boosting fruit (like a banana) provides good energy without weighing one down. A meal like this is good for morning practices and games. A lunch or dinner meal like chicken and potatoes, or pasta, is weightier but can also provide the energy needed to sustain an entire game. NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan famously ate steak and potatoes as his pre-game meal. It’s also important to note that players want to give the body time to convert food into energy before it’s time to play in a game. A meal eaten 5 minutes before the game can leave one feeling stuffed, and that’s not good. Players should look to eat with enough time to get over a feeling of fullness before a game starts.

 Don’t Watch the Opposition Warm-Up

This is something that a lot of players naturally do, but don’t realize its effects on their approach to the game. There is not much you can learn about a team from warm-ups. Instead of learning anything, a player can do damage to his psyche. If the opposing team looks large and athletic, a player might psyche himself out and become fearful. If a team doesn’t look particularly impressive, a player could think that the game is going to be a walk in the park and not bring maximum competitive energy from the tip-off. From watching years of youth basketball I’ve noticed that a lot of times the players who look like they’re winning the warm-up aren’t huge factors in games. Many times the players who don’t stand out in warm-ups end up stealing the show in the game. There is nothing positive gained from watching the other team warm-up so players shouldn’t do it.

 Take Basketball Warm-Ups Seriously

Players need to take warm-ups seriously. Warming up is a time to get the body loose and ready to go for the game. It is not a time to shoot 25 foot three pointers or display flashy dribble moves that won’t get displayed in the game. In the layup line, players need to work to break a sweat and get their legs warmed up. When the layup line turns into a shooting line, players should take game shots only. Players who do not warm up properly have to get warmed up in the game, which could lead to them getting off to a slow start.

 Be Aggressive Early

Inevitably, players get nervous before basketball games. Or most of them do I should say. Pre-game jitters are perfectly normal and don’t mean that one isn’t prepared to perform. NBA All Star Kobe Bryant admits that he still gets pre-game jitters before every game, and he has absolutely no reason to get nervous before a game. A great way to get the jitters out of the way is to be aggressive early in the game. This means being aggressive to get a strong drive at the rim, a big rebound, or a big block. Regardless of a player’s position or role on his team, there is something a player can do to “get himself in the game”. This strategy especially works well in higher pressure situations, like playoff games and player tryouts.  Players who don’t attack the pre-game jitters early in games can sometimes let the jitters wear on and affect them for too long. Early aggressiveness can get those jitters out of the way quickly.

These are a couple of good strategies any youth basketball player can start implementing today. One can maximize his performance in games by eating a good meal beforehand, focusing on the warm up instead of the competition, and being aggressive out the gate. We hope to see more players approaching games like this to get the most out of their abilities.