How to Get in Shape for a Basketball Season


Have you found yourself training for many hours a week to find that you are still not in Game Shape? Getting in shape for the basketball season can be difficult without the right guidance and information. There are a lot of things you need to focus on, for example:

  • How do I prepare my muscles before a workout? 
  • What kind of food should I be eating?
  • When should I get started on preparing for the basketball season?
  • What stretching exercises are necessary after a workout?
  • What kind of exercises are not healthy for my body?

Table of Contents

How to Get in Shape for a Basketball Season

Essentially, you will be putting your body on the line for the sport.

Your body is the machine for everything, especially if you’re playing a physically demanding sport like basketball. It can be tough and demanding for anyone to get in shape for the basketball season, let alone someone without the right knowledge and understanding of the physical body. Luckily at EuroProBasket we have a professional who will help you with all your questions and will get you in top shape for your basketball season.

Juanma Díaz is the strength and conditioning coach of EuroProBasket. He has a professional master in high performance for team sports, official master’s degree in therapeutic physical activity and a certification for strength & conditioning from the CSCS. Juanma Diaz understands perfectly what the needs are for the body of a basketball athlete. He is the reason why the players at EuroProBasket are in top shape while keeping them in shape for the basketball season.

Juanma Diaz EuroProBasket S&C Coach

If you weren’t playing a season during the pandemic, chances are you’re going to be a little rusty before the start of the season. Our staff at EuroProBasket want to make your transition a little bit easier so we interviewed Juanma Diaz to share some of his tips and advice to be in top shape for the basketball season.

What kind of exercises do you recommend before the start of the basketball season to get in shape?

That is why it is critical to follow a proper development in the new adaptation to practice and inform the player about it, to avoid the player’s desire to get in shape as quickly as possible causing him to not achieve the desired results, or perhaps, in the short term, to sustain an injury.

Muscle strength is the key capacity that is reduced after a long period of inactivity. Cardio – respiratory capacity is more difficult to lose, and the increased physical effort necessary to return to training will necessitate increased cardio – respiratory effort.

As a result, it’s critical to focus preseason work on reinforcing the entire structure, doing a balanced work of strength, combining isometric and eccentric exercises to prevent injuries, oriented to the demands of the game, much of the structural musculature of the core, for a greater balance and transfer of forces between the lower and upper bodies, without forgetting the latter, a strong core.

Juanma Diaz Basketball EuroProBasket

Should players start at 100% or should they ease into it and build it step by step?

As previously stated, the player’s desire and drive to return to training may be much greater than his physical condition level, and that this will be much greater than what they had at the time of training. Put an end to your training. 

Perhaps their sensations are unpleasant in the beginning, and even though the training loads are low at first, their sense of effort is high, but as physical trainers, we must warn them of this possibility, keep them motivated, and ensure that it does not disappoint them.

When do you recommend that players start preparing for basketball season and how long should it take to get in shape?

The following day, on the last day of training from the previous season, a player’s season begins. A few days are required for players to detach from all mental stress and recover from physical exhaustion. After this time, the player must resume low-impact activities (cycling, swimming, skating, gym, etc.). It needs to be something outside of the basketball, something that they love doing and doesn’t require any mental effort.


Would this help you avoid injury as you prepare to get in shape for the basketball season?

The goal of the off-season is to recover mentally and physically for the next season. This will ensure that they are not only better prepared at the start of the season, but also better endure the demands throughout the season and arrive in better shape at the end of it. By starting the preseason with these objectives met.

Everyone knows that it is important to work hard, but what about rest? Why is rest so important to get fit for the basketball season?

I believe that the significance of this aspect of the training has already been established. I call it training because rest is necessary for the stress, we put on the player to adjust and achieve a higher level of performance. To put it plainly, and without delving into technical words, the goal of the training sessions is to bring the body out of its comfortable state and into a stressful one that it is not used to or is unfamiliar with. The body will recover after the recovery period, but not to the same level, but to a higher level, in order to be ready to withstand an equal training load in the future.


When we talk about rest, we are talking about more than 8 hours of sleep, although that is a fundamental part of the process.

Sleep is an important aspect of a player’s rehabilitation. The quality of these hours of sleep is even more significant than the number of hours of sleep. As a result, it is critical to provide a conducive atmosphere for it. Something I constantly advice is to retain order and create habits in your daily life, not only in terms of training but also in terms of food and rest schedules, to adjust our body’s biorhythm.

How important is healthy eating to your preparation and would you say it is even more important than exercise?

To do so, I’d like to make a comparison. When we have a car that we value, we attempt to look after it. We don’t put the wrong fuel in it, clean it when it’s necessary, and inspect it on a regular basis. Why not apply the same logic to our bodies? 

Our fuel is what we eat and drink, and it determines whether we perform well or poorly. I’m not only talking about quality; I’m also talking about the perfect quantity, which will vary depending on each player’s metabolism.

What kinds of foods are we talking about? Because eating healthy doesn’t just mean eating a salad for the next few weeks.

Because each organism responds differently to the same type of food and they are not tolerated equally, it is ideal to enlist the help of a professional nutritionist. Training schedules are crucial while picking food. Without going into too much detail, we need to eat easily digestible foods that provide us with energy and are higher in carbohydrates before training, a lot of fluid and mineral salt replacement during training, and after training or matches, replenish carbohydrate reserves spent and regenerate muscle by eating foods high in protein. This is necessary not only for recovery but also for preparation for the next training session.

Occasionally, everyone is in the mood for a snack, but do you recommend a cheat day or rather a cheat meal?

I mentioned the concept of “habit” earlier. When you’re used to eating a certain type of food, it doesn’t take much effort or sacrifice to eat it, and when it’s time to eat that cheat meal, you choose the greatest option because that’s what you want. In any case, the timing of when to take it is critical, as taking it near a match or during a competitive period is not the same as taking it after a match or away from another training or competition.

It’s important to get in shape, but it’s just as important to stay in shape during basketball season. How do the players cope with their hectic schedule during the season?

A player prepares for the intensity and density of the entire season during the preseason. However, the player must remain in top shape throughout. There are numerous factors that determine fitness, some of which we have discussed earlier, but even if the great majority of training is done in a group setting, it is vital to consider the unique characteristics of each player and personalize some aspects of training.

There are numerous methods for measuring physical training load currently available, but in order to maintain a player’s performance, we must maintain continuous communication, receive feedback, understand their perception of effort, and, most importantly, the player’s mental load. of the training itself and its surroundings.


Players should treat their body like a temple because it is the machine that will help them advance their career, but at the end of the day, it is up to the player himself to follow these tips and have the discipline to carry them out. Do you think that with these tips the player will start the season in the best possible way for the basketball season?

Without a doubt, each of these factors contributes to the player’s performance, and in this situation, we’re discussing the optimal and ideal scenario for enhancing the player’s performance. But, as I previously stated, it all adds up, which means that if any of these components is not carried out to the best of one’s ability, it may affect performance, but it does not imply that it will be poor.

Lastly, how important is it to get in shape before the season starts? Will it help you avoid injury in the beginning and help me start the season strong so that I have a better chance of becoming a professional in Europe?

Although the question refers to a player’s season form, the objective of a player is for his sports career to last as long as reasonably possible, with a high level of performance throughout. That is why it is critical, as is what is done along the way, to teach the player that it is pointless to put in the best workouts if, once out of the track or weight room, he forgets about all the other variables we’ve discussed, and that they must rely on themselves to reach their full potential and grow as a professional basketball player.