Read an Excerpt
Have you ever tried to play a game of pickup basketball with only three or four players on your team? If you're up against a five-player team, you're probably going to have a tough time staying competitive.
Well, the same is true when you are not at a level of fitness that will allow you to perform at your best. Unless you get involved in a well-rounded fitness program, you're going to be imbalanced. If you're an athlete, it doesn't do much good to have a strong upper body but tire quickly, or to have a great cardiovascular system but be inflexible. You won't realize the full benefits of a stretching program if you don't eat right, and even a good diet won't help you avoid injuries.
Just as a good NBA team needs talent at five distinct positions-point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center-your body requires five individual fitness components to stay in shape and enable you to maximize your potential as an athlete. Those five important areas of fitness- Stretching and Flexibility, Aerobic and Cardiovascular, Strength Training and Weights, Care and Prevention of Injuries, and Nutrition-are the titles of the five chapters in this book.
The National Basketball Association is made up of some of the best conditioned athletes in the world, and a lot of them got that way through the influence of the men whose insights and input made this book possible. Among those who made significant contributions to this book are NBA head athletic trainers Ed Lacerte of the Boston Celtics, Chris Tucker of the Atlanta Hawks, Tom Abdenour of the Golden State Warriors, and Roger Hinds of the Dallas Mavericks, as well as New Jersey Nets assistant coach and strengthand training coordinator Rich Dalatri.
Because this book is endorsed by the NBA, many of the photos, illustrations, and examples focus on NBA players. But you don't have to be a basketball player to benefit from reading this book. Whether your sport is football, baseball, hockey, soccer, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse, or one of many others, this book's guidelines for getting into shape and staying there apply to you as much as they doto those who spend most of their recreational time on the basketball court.
Following are some of the ways you can benefit from reading this book:
- The Stretching and Flexibility chapter tells you not only how this facet of fitness works, it also teaches you specific stretching exercises that will help increase your range of motion and improve your overall coordination.
- The Aerobic and Cardiovascular chapter describes how lowering your resting heart rate through aerobic exercise helps your overall health, and it provides you with fitness training circuits that the pros use.
- The Strength Training and Weights chapter gives you an insider's look at how certain NBA players have taken their game to another level with weight training, and it offers you the specific exercises that can make it happen for you.
- The Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries chapter shows you not only how to avoid certain common injuries, but also informs you how the pros return to the court quickly and safely from injuries through effective rehab methods.
- The Nutrition chapter explains why certain foods are good for you and others aren't, and it supplies you with the breakfasts and pregame meals that an NBA athletic trainer recommends to his players.
So, don't get caught shorthanded on the basketball court or any other playing field. Learn how to incorporate all five components of fitness into your life in order to become a better athlete and a healthier person.
Note: Before beginning this, or any other training program, see your physician for a physical so he can rule out any possible medical problems that might result from the exercises prescribed in the following chapters.