Preparing for 48 Minutes of Action
NBA basketball players, who are among some of the world's fittest and most talented athletes, devote much of their lives to preparing for games that consist of only 48 minutes of actual action. This preparation, which includes studying game films, practicing skills and treating nagging injuries, is crucial because of the pressure-packed nature of their profession. For NBA basketball players, the difference between success and failure often is measured by a few inches or a matter of seconds. An NBA basketball player's typical workday routine varies based on his team's schedule of games and the time of the year.
Game Days at Home
During the course of a NBA season players look forward to their team's 41 home games. On the day of a game, players gather in the morning for a hour shoot-around and also to review film of that night's opponent. Following lunch, many players take a nap and eat a pregame meal before arriving at the arena about 90 minutes before tip-off. Players receive treatment for injuries, don their uniforms, discuss strategies with coaches and warm up during the remaining time before the game gets underway.
As thousands of spectators cheer them on, a team's best players will play 40 or more minutes during the game. On a good night, a NBA basketball player will score 20 points, grab at least a half-dozen rebounds and play hard-nosed defense while racing up and down the court at full-speed. After the game, some players stick around to lift weights before showering and heading home.
On The Road
Road trips can be difficult for NBA basketball players. They must leave their families at home, spend hours on planes traveling throughout the country and try to stay rested while sleeping at a different hotel every night. Although the game-day routine stays essentially the same, playing in front of a hostile crowd in less-than-familiar surroundings means that victories are much harder to achieve.
The NBA's 82-game regular season can wear down even the best-conditioned athletes. So many players focus on recuperating for at least part of the off-season. Other players may work on recovering from surgery to correct lingering injuries. Weeks before training camp starts in October, NBA basketball players start getting back in shape for the upcoming season. These preparations may involve practicing basketball skills, performing drills to build stamina and lifting weights. Rookies and younger players often participate in developmental leagues during the summer months to enhance their chances of making a NBA team.