» Guide for Selecting Basketball Equipment
Guide for Selecting Basketball Equipment

Physical Therapy in Grapevine for Basketball

Welcome to Grapevine Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine's guide for selecting basketball equipment.  We recommend a few general considerations for selecting your equipment in order to stay comfortable and minimize injury while playing basketball.  The basic equipment you require for basketball is a ball.  If you are going to play regularly, you'll probably appreciate basketball shoes and, as for all sports, don't forget you'll need to plan ahead to stay hydrated too.

Ball:

Basketballs are made from leather, synthetic or rubber.  The cheapest balls are made of rubber and are good for beginners and playing outdoors.  Leather balls are most expensive and require breaking in.  They have a nice feel and are suitable for indoors.

Basketballs with wide channeling are easier to grip and allow greater control of the ball than balls with narrow channeling, making them a good choice for beginners.

Shoes:

Any athletic shoe is adequate for the beginner basketball player.  If you plan to keep playing, basketball shoes are a good investment.  Basketball shoes have high tops to help support your ankles during lateral movements and jumping.  They are lightweight and often have air-cushioned soles to help your feet, ankles and knees to absorb some of the shock of landing.  Try shoes on before buying them to ensure they fit you well.  Wear them with acrylic socks to avoid blisters and keep an eye on their condition - throw them out before the grip on the soles becomes smooth or any tears in the shoe appear.

Clothing:

Loose, comfortable clothing is all that is necessary to play basketball.  If you play with a team you will probably be required to wear a team uniform.

Mouth guard:

Mouth guards typically cover the upper teeth and serve to cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth.   A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.  If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth guard for these teeth as well.  There are many types of mouth guards available at sports stores or pharmacies and they come in sizes for children and adults.  Dentists can also create customized mouth guards for athletes regularly engaged in high impact sports.  Mouth guards are important for any individual engaged in contact sport.

Sun Protection Gear:

If you are training or playing outdoors apply sunscreen and lip balm before you play.  Select clothing that will offer sun protection, including a hat.

Hydration Gear:

Keeping hydrated will help you stay alert while playing basketball, may help to prevent muscle cramps and will help your post game recovery.  Taking your own drink bottles to training or a game helps you to keep track of your fluid intake.  We recommend that you drink about 300-400 mL (ref: http://www.ausport.gov.au/sportscoachmag/nutrition2/pre-event_nutrition) before you play, and 250mL (1 cup) of water or sports drink for every 20 minutes of play and for one hour after your game.  Your fluid requirements will vary depending on the environmental conditions and your body size.  To check that you are adequately hydrating, you can weigh yourself before and after you train.  If your weight remains the same then you are likely to be well hydrated.