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Best Pregame routine For Basketball Players

We all been there preparing for a game and wondering, what the best way of preparing, and getting ready for your game. Some simple tips everyone should have in there pregame routine is to prepare, mentally, physically, and warm up your skills.

In this article I will be breaking down simple tips and tricks every hooper needs in there pregame routine so they can get ready, and have the best game they can possibly have.

1. Visualize

This is a great practice that any player can incorporate in there pregame routine. Start by envisioning yourself and seeing how you want the game to go for you and your team. Visualize you playing with heart, and making the right plays at the right time.

There has even been scientific evidence of this practice, as when you visualize something, your muscles involved in your mental image will actually fire at a 50% rate of doing it in real life. A ton of great athletes use this and this can be very beneficial for you as well. This can also help with confidence, and give you a clear goal to aim for in your next game.

Here is a great video showing the power of visualization and how some of the best athletes in the world and basketball players use this powerful practice to enhance there performance and potential as a player.

2. Be Healthier

I know it sounds kind of obvious, but the best way to prepare for your game is too be healthier and actually get your body ready for your athletic endeavor. This includes the sleep you get before the game, the stretching, and the food you put in your body before your competition.

While it not be the most glamorous thing it is just as important as all the other things you do before a game. Think of it like this, you do all this training in the off season, and you put all that work into your game, do not waste that work on staying up too late and playing video games. Or do not go and eat very unhealthy things right before tip off, you owe it to yourself to show out and perform at your highest level, and show the world all the skills you been working on, and do those skills at your highest ability possible.

3. Managing Stress

As a basketball player, especially before a big game you are going to have some stress and nerves associated with that game, and while this is normal and natural there are ways that you can minimize this, and incorporate techniques and tricks into your pregame routine to help you perform better on the court.

Find Time To Be Alone- This is an easy and effective strategy to help calm your nerves and get you less stressed out for your game. You have to understand that being alone allows you to center yourself and get your mind and body focused and prepared for the game ahead. So if you have time before the game find a quiet place weather that be in a car, outside, or even in an other room of you have to, and just focus yourself, and do what you need to do to calm yourself down before your game.

Meditate- There have actually been studies that show how mediation can calm down stress levels, and improve focusing ability which is a great tool that basketball players can use and any athletes for that matter. Meditation does not have to be this complicated technique. The basics of it are having a focus of mind and concentrating on one thing, and letting your mind relax.

For example before a game, you can sit down with some headphones on and just focus on your breathe. Thats all you have to do, is just focus on your breath, this allows you to get in the moment and let go of any negative thinking or thoughts that might want to come up in your upcoming game.

Have Fun- Putting too much importance on a game can cause a lot of nerves and negative thinking to arise which in turn will make you more stressed. That is why I always recommend to be loose and have fun before a game, joke around with your teammates, listen to good music, or even have a friend come to the game with you. Remember we all play this game because we love it, and enjoy it. When we focus too much on the result we play worse and forget about our love of the game.

3. Get A Sweat Going

I know this might seem obvious, but I see so many players not using layup lines and warmups the way that would be most beneficial for them in a game.

When I say get a sweat going I really mean get a sweat going, actually look like you just played a game before you get into a game. This helps avoid injury as your are more loose, and we all know how much people play better when your really warmed up and ready to go.

Tips And Tricks To Warming Up For Basketball

  1. Warm Up All Parts Of Your Body.

This might seem self explanatory but it is important to warm up all your body parts, especially since basketball you include all parts of your body. Some commonly missed body parts, basketball players miss in pre game workouts, are shoulders, hip flexors, and even there knees. So do whatever works for your body do that, but make sure to incorporate all areas of your body in Warm ups.

2. Focus On Layups- This is a tip I give to all players especially in the warm up layup lines. A reason for this is because of the physiological aspect of just seeing the ball go in and putting you in that attack mindset. Even if your primarily a shooter or a player who does not like to drive to the basket that often, taking layups allows for you to get that mental boost of seeing the ball go in the hoop, and getting your body warmed up and prepared for the game you are about to play.

3. Go hard In Warmups- Players always seem so worried about this topic. They think that if they go to hard in warmups that they are not going to have enough energy for the game. Well unless your in really bad shape, this is definitely not the case. Players always wonder why they start the game off shooting bad or cannot seem to get into a good rhythm at the start of games. But the simple truth of the matter is that their bodies are not even ready for a game situation.

I am not saying you need to kill yourself but five minutes before the game, you should be taking some game speed reps and preparing your body for the next hour of intensive exercise.

4. Having The Same Routine

I see so many hoopers wondering about there consistently, and they do not emphasize, how big of a factor having a go to game routine can have on there consistency of play.

A reason I want to emphasize this is because there are a bunch of physiological benefits, to having a similar game day routine.

One benefit, is physiological, this is because having a similar routine allows you to relax and be more comfortable with your game situation. This is because having a particular allows you to be more present and relaxed, since you have done this so much before.

You know, when you start this routine, that this is what I have to do, and it takes the uncertainty out of your next upcoming game. Your giving your self, control, and bringing back the power to yourself. Your controlling with what you can control. I like this so much especially with basketball because, basketball can be chaotic and wild but giving yourself that power back allows you to be able to go into that game more grounded and present. Remember you can only control what you can control.

Another benefit of practicing your same routine is it gets you focused and your body more prepared to play the game. A reason I believe this is so, is because your body will naturally know once your start your routine, that it is game time. You can build up, and allow for yourself and body to be totally focused and ready to go once that ball is tipped off.

Example Of Good Basketball Routines

Everyone's routine in basketball is going to look different, just how most people do not have the same style of play, it is all up to you to see what you think will work best for you. But below I will be giving you some examples I have seen be effective, and something you might want to incorporate into your pregame basketball routine.


-Eat a clean meal, consisting of one protein, one carb source, and either fruits or veggies 2-3 hours before the game

- Listen to music on the way over to the game

-Mediate and be by yourself 1 hour before the game

-visualize the way you would like the game to go 30 minutes before the game

- get loose and warm up hard 25 minutes before the game

- play the game

This is just an easy simple routine that any player can impalement into there routine if they like. But like I said everyone is different and you should figure out what works best for you, and your game and personality type.


I hope this article helped you add some pregame routines that you can include, I would be curious to see if anyone has any routines they like to include in there pregame warm ups. Like always thank you and keep hooping my friends.

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