The saying goes you are as old as you think you are and you also think you are too old to play basketball. I’m here to tell you that your misinformed and you are missing out. So the question remains…
Am I too old to play basketball? Basketball has no age and is an excellent physical activity that allows you to exercise while having fun. No matter what the age there is always a gym or court that will match your level of skill. Studies are even suggesting that middle-aged people who play basketball live longer…
Getting back into the game and on the court may require preparing your body for play and maintaining it to avoid injury. I can help you with this.
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Am I too Old to Play Basketball Cont…
The amazing thing about basketball is anyone can play, you can walk to a basketball court, start a game with however is there, and start playing. Anyone can jump in and play while leaving the stresses of life behind for just a moment. There is no game like it, in my opinion, you meet people from all walks of life and some even become long term friends.
But even so, many of us have reservations about playing basketball as we get older in age, were less athletic, heavier, we think we cant keep up and our body hurts when we’re done playing. When we think this way we are doubting our capabilities without even trying to attempt to play.
The great thing about the human body is our bodies are able to adapt to the stress we throw at it. Yes maybe we are slower at an older age, but were a lot stronger. And maybe we cant dunk or lay the ball up in traffic like before but we are much smarter than our competition.
Now that I have you thinking outside the box for a moment, there are many basketball players in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s that still play. They have friends their age they continue to play also. There are senior men’s leagues for 40+ years and older. I also have never been to a court and seen anyone not allowed to play because they are a lot older. In my experience, older basketball players play hard, make fewer mistakes due to their basketball experience, are physical and play team basketball, how can you go wrong with that.
So hopefully I have convinced you somewhat to get back on the court, so now let’s prepare you for play.
I have never played basketball, am I still too old?
You are never too old to start playing basketball, I dont care what age you are. Just be realistic with yourself, if you think you’re going to hop in a game and score a lot of baskets, you are in for a rude awakening, basketball is a tough, unforgiving game that people spend their life playing and still struggle on a daily basis with making baskets. That’s why it’s such a great game, it challenges you while having fun at the same time. Here is a guide on How to start playing basketball as an adult.
Getting Back into the Game and on the Court…
If you have been away from the game for a while and you are much older now, it may not be wise to just jump into a game too quickly especially if you put on a few pounds.
Life happens, work, family, and more work took you away from the game you loved. Jumping into a game after years of not play isn’t the wisest move, we tend to think we can pick up where we left off and that just isn’t the case. Thinking you can play the way you use to, this would be a recipe for disaster.
Major injuries after a long layoff can occur within the first few minutes of play, a simple muscle pull can have you out for the next 6 weeks and you may never return to the game because life may take over again.
To be more realistic when coming back to the game, you need to gradually return to the court. How? I thought you would never ask?
Go to a court and start shooting around alone and get that muscle memory back, we want to slowly build your confidence back. Do this a couple of times a week working on your old moves.
Go for a jog and get that endurance back, this will be helpful in your return to the basketball court, you will be able to keep up and not pass out after one game.
Jumping rope is another great option, mix up jump variations and work on that footwork. Build up to ten minutes nonstop. You may need to take breaks as it is difficult at first, but every workout will get easier. Jumping rope transitions very well to the playing field as it mimics many of the same moves on the court.
Start eating healthy and try to shed a few pounds of that extra weight you gained. You might not think it but losing an extra five pounds makes the world of difference when playing> You will feel lighter and its less weight the body has to carry around on the basketball court, which means you will have more energy for more explosive movements.
The great thing about basketball is you can lose up to 1000 calories depending on how hard you are working on the court. Push yourself as much as you can but make sure you are not overdoing it. You should know what your body can and can’t handle, it’s ok to take breaks.
Stretching and Foam Rolling A MUST…
I know I’m talking about the boring stuff and feel free to skip this part if you are familiar with it, just make sure you include stretching or foam rolling after you play. I like to do foam rolling first and stretching after basketball.
This is going to be extremely important to prevent injury especially if you’re, not a young buck anymore, gone are the days where you jump into the court without a warmup and start playing. Let’s face it no one likes to stretch at least I don’t but keeping the muscles flexible will decrease muscle soreness.
It will also help the muscles improve power output that has been lost over the years of not doing much activity. This is beneficial for speed and strength movements on the court while also helping you to improve performance. I do not recommend stretching before playing because studies suggest it tires out and weakens the muscle especially if you have not been doing it consistently or often.
After you play is more ideal while a dynamic warmup or foam rolling routine will better loosen up the muscle for play. You can read more here on How to stretch before and After a basketball game?
If you haven’t seen or heard of this gimmick, don’t stress. Sometimes we lose track of time and life. A foam roller isn’t a gimmick at all, but an effective tool athletes use to improve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation while increasing your joints range of motion.
Much like stretching it can be used before and after playing basketball or any sport really. You can be back on the court sooner rather than later using these tools while your body will also thank you in the morning when it realizes it easier to get up after playing basketball the night before. Click the image to take you to amazon for pricing.
Why You Shouldn’t Stop Playing Basketball No Matter what your Age is…
I can sit here and type out the many benefits of basketball, but I’m sure you know that exercise is good for the body and mind. But there is one thing I’d like to draw your attention to and that is a research study on middle-aged adults who continued to play basketball or any sport well past their prime.
In the study, researchers looked at 900 former athletes and their brothers born between 1920 to 1965 and determined which one lived longer, healthier, and happier. The results were the brother who was the athlete lived 3 years longer, ate healthier, and was in a better mood than his brother. Click here for Playing a Sport Could Be the Secret to Living Longer Article.
If that’s not a reason to get back on to the court and play then I don’t know what is.