Warm up and cool down activities

should be incorporated into all training sessions. The coach may designate training rules so that players warm up appropriately before the training session commences, or the coach may include them at the start of the training sessions.

The purpose of “warming up” is to:

  • Prepare the player’s mind and body for physical activity;
  • Increase heart and breathe rate;
  • Increase the body’s core temperature.

The warm-up does not need to be lengthy – a period of 5-10 minutes is usually enough although in cold weather a slightly longer period may be undertaken. The warm-up should include the muscle groups and physical movements that are part of the sport.

Stretching is also commonly included in warm-up although it is probably best if the stretching is done dynamically and focuses on taking muscle groups through the full range of movement that is needed for basketball.

During cool down, longer (static) stretching may be done to assist with improving flexibility although this can also be done in separate sessions. The cool down should similarly take approximately 5-10 minutes and gives the body time to “slow down”.

There is often high demand for courts and coaches may have limited access for practice. Having players do a warm up and cool down at the side of the court after the allocated time for practice will maximise the on court time.

However, coaches should not simply tell junior players to “warm up” or “cool down” and should make sure that they know what activities to do.