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Discover excellent basketball conditioning principles that will help you be better prepared, physically, as a basketball player...

Basketball is a physically demanding sport. Make no mistake about it. To survive an intense game of basketball, you must be in top physical condition.

This means you must get plenty of rest. Eat sensibly. Regularity is important. Go to bed at the same hour, rise at the same hour, eat at approximately the same hour. Do not eat fattening or junk foods. Above all, do not smoke, or drink alcoholic beverages. In the following video, Michael Jordan explains the importance of basketball conditioniong.

Care of the Feet

As the season starts, wear two pair of sweat socks (some cotton mixed with wool). As the feet get tougher, go to one pair. Be sure your shoes are in good condition and fit you well.

Take good care of any blisters that might develop. Keep the blistered area clean and dry. At the first sign of infection, see your doctor.

Be alert to “athlete's foot,” a fungus infection that thrives on moisture and causes itching and burning between the toes. Dry your feet well, powder your shoes. Always wear clean socks on and off the court.

Take care of scratches, bruises and floor burns. To avoid scratching others, don't wear jewelry on the court and keep your fingernails trimmed and clean.

Body Buildup

Start your basketball conditioning slowly. You want to toughen your feet, harden your muscles and strengthen your wrists and hands. Running and jumping will be most helpful. (To help your jumping, skip rope during the early season.) As the season goes on, increase the length of conditioning exercises.

Watch how Tracy "T-Mac" McCrady, an elite NBA player, incorporates these training principles into his basketball training regimen. Take some notes...Really!

More basketball conditioning tips...

To strengthen your hands, carry a small rubber ball in your jacket pocket. As you walk about, squeeze it. When one hand gets tired, switch the ball to the other hand. Players with strong hands rarely suffer with jammed fingers.

To strengthen your fingers, you might also try doing pushups; pressing the body up by the fingertips instead of the palms.

Weight Control

It's a good idea to keep a close check on your weight. Start a chart at the beginning of the season.

Weigh yourself before and after every practice. Soon, you will learn what your “playing” weight should be. If you go significantly over or under without any logical explanation, you'll know something is wrong. In such a situation, there might be a need to re-evaluate your basketball conditioning program.

Psychologically, a weight chart serves as a daily reminder that conditioning is important to you as a basketball player.

If you would like to become an elite basketball player, there's one requirement that you can't ignore: a strong, healthy body.

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