How to Start Playing Basketball Again: Making a Return

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If you stopped playing basketball in the past and is now thinking about returning to the game, come on over there are some things that you need to do to prepare yourself so that you are able to safely and efficiently start playing basketball games. Basketball is a sport that many people can’t stay away from for too long so, understandably, you want to find your way back.

We know how important it is to prepare yourself for this return adequately. We want you to be safe throughout the process, so we are going to share a few tips today about returning to the game of basketball after you have stopped playing for an extended period of time.

Where to Start When Getting Back Into BasketballWhere to Start When Getting Back Into Basketball?

Cardio Training

Cardiovascular training is essential if you are returning to basketball after an extended absence. If you were playing other sports and your aerobic capacity is high, you may not need to focus on cardiovascular training. If you haven’t been active after you stopped playing basketball, we would suggest that you do a lot of cardiovascular activity to increase your aerobic capacity.

Cardiovascular training will help to strengthen your heart and your muscles so you do not get as tired as quickly as you would if you did not do it. Cardiovascular training is essential because it will improve the way that your heart, blood vessels, and lungs deliver oxygen throughout your body. 

Strength Training

Strength training is crucial when getting back into basketball because basketballers that are strong are more effective than those that aren’t. Basketball is a very physical sport, and the stronger you are, the more advantages you will have on the court. If you have not been working on your strength after you stopped playing, you should find ways to improve your overall strength.

Basketball is one of the more complete activities, so try to work on as many muscle groups as possible. Your legs and torso and your arms are equally important, so do exercises at home or at the gym to work on your strength.

Agility Training

Agility refers to how quickly you can change directions without losing momentum, and this is a vital aspect of basketball on both offense and defense. Agility is not naturally possessed by a lot of players, so players who have left the game for a while will need to build up their agility before they return.

There are different exercises that you can do to improve your agility both ends off the court. Agility is going to help you to get the by defenders easier, and it will also help you to come up with stops on the defensive end as well.

Weight Loss

If you have gained weight since you stopped playing basketball or are overweight, you should lose weight before returning to basketball. Basketball involves a lot of jumping and running, and being overweight can be very bad when you do these things. If you do a lot of jumping while you are overweight, this can cause stress on your knees and Ankle joints.

This often results in injuries, so you must reduce your weight to what your knees and ankles can handle while you are jumping. If you are overweight, it will be very difficult for you to make it up and down the court repeatedly, so losing weight will help you to run the court and be a factor on both defense and offense.

Where to Start When Getting Back Into Basketball

Weight Gain

On the opposite end of the spectrum, weight gain is something that you may want to consider if you are underweight. Basketball is quite physical, and bulking up can help you with your strength and the physical aspects of the game.

If you are underweight, bigger players could push you around, and you will find it difficult to execute plays if the opponents are playing a physical game. Work on your nutrition and exercise so that you can gain weight.

Protective Gears, Comfortable Clothes, and Shoes

Before you return to basketball, you should also consider buying protective gear such as padded joint covers, mouth guards, and others. Protective equipment will help to protect areas of your body when you come into contact with other players or the floor.

It is also important that you get clothes that are comfortable for you to wear while you play. Try to find good clothes that will not impede you when you play. Finally, the shoes you play in should be carefully selected based on your physical attributes and durability. If you’re looking for the best basketball gear, be sure to check out our basketball gear reviews here.

How Do You Prepare to Get Back to Basketball

How Do You Prepare to Get Back to Basketball?

You should watch tapes and watch live games to see new moves to defend against or use. Depending on how long you have left the game of basketball, many things could have changed, from the rules to the way the game is played.

Basketball is one of the most dynamic sports on the planet, so things are always changing. You do not want to return to the game with your old school rules, and old school moves alone. You should try to keep up with the rules of the game by reading rule books or watching professional leagues. Old school moves could be useful, but you should also work on the new moves so that you can compete in today’s game.

If you are planning to play only at the community center with your friends or in your local leagues, it is equally important that you are able to keep up with how the players are playing today. 

Individual Drills

Since you have not played basketball in a while, your basketball skills may be a bit rusty. Try to find a court where you can be alone so you can work on your fundamentals and other basketball skills.

Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day working on fundamental moves on offense and defensive slides. You can practice your lay-ups, your shooting and you’re passing by yourself. You can also work on your rebound. These individual workouts will help you to get into a competitive state. 


Scrimmages are the next steps that you should take before returning to full competitions. Try to find a friend or a group of friends or teammates that you can play half-court scrimmages with. Try to keep these scrimmages mild, so there isn’t a lot of physical contact between players.

Remember, you are still getting your body accustomed to playing the sport, so you do not want to go too hard too soon and get injured. You can play one on one or team scrimmages with up to 10 players, but remember you’re not to go at game speed.

7 Effective Exercises to Get Back in Shape for Basketball

7 Effective Exercises to Get Back in Shape for Basketball

If you want to be competitive while playing basketball, you need to work on getting back in shape for basketball. We understand how important this is, so we are going to give you seven exercises that will effectively help you to get into shape for basketball.


This may seem simple, but it is a great cardiovascular exercise to improve your endurance and of the strength of your leg muscles. If you jog consistently, you will see more benefits than if you do not.

You can gradually increase the speed and the length of time at which you jog so that you can build up your endurance to levels suitable for playing basketball. Basketball is a game that involves constant running and jumping, so the benefits you get from jogging will be helpful.


Suicides are on court sprints between the lines on the court that will get your body reacquainted with the constant running. Try to do multiple sets of suicides so that you can continue to build your endurance and overall conditioning. There are a variety of ways in which suicides can be done, and you can do them with multiple persons to make it fun and competitive. 

7 Effective Exercises to Get Back in Shape for Basketball

Full-court sprints

Full-court sprint between the baselines is also another great cardiovascular exercise that will get your heart rate going. Full-court sprints can be quite taxing on your body at first. You can start with small amounts and gradually build up the number of sprints that you do.

Try to do full-court sprints between the baselines as frequently as you can so that you can build your endurance faster. Full-court sprints will also help you to get accustomed to transitioning from offense to defense if you plan to play full-court games.

Lay-up Drills

Let’s go back to basics. Surely you can remember when you just started to learn the game of basketball, and your coach taught you how to do lay-ups. Lay-ups may seem basic, and many returning players may not want to do this, however, doing lay-up drills will help you and your finishing ability when you start to play the game again. Lay-up drills can be performed in various ways, from individual drills to doing it with a partner to increase difficulty.

Defensive Drills

Defensive drills are very important because defense is as important as offense in basketball. Don’t neglect the fact that you will need to also work on your defense when returning to the sport. There are different defensive drills that you can do with and without the ball, by yourself or with a partner.

Remember to work on your defensive slides, and your rebounding while performing defensive drills. Work with a friend or teammates on your defense by allowing them to play multiple positions on offense while you work on containing them and contesting shots. 

Shooting Drills

You don’t want everyone on the court to be shouting “rebound” after you take a shot, so remember to work on shooting drills so that you will return with a shot. Shooting drills are important because if you can’t score, then you can’t win. Some players are defensive Maestros on the court, but it’s very great if you can also contribute on the offensive.

Work on drills alone to get your shooting form right, and you can also work on drills with your friends or teammates to help you get accustomed to what it will be like in games. You can perform shooting drills in a variety of ways to make them more exciting and competitive.

Try to be consistent with your shooting drills so that you can develop muscle memory.

Agility Drills

Agility drills are quite important because if your opponents are more agile than you, you will have difficulties while playing defense, and your opportunities to score will be reduced while you play offense. You need to be able to keep up with your opponent’s movements while you’re playing and agility is quite important in this regard.

There are a variety of agility drills that you can work on to increase your agility so that your opponents will have a hard time getting the better of you when you start playing basketball again. Not too many people work on agility drills, so if you’re able to improve yours, you will be at a serious advantage.

Injury Prevention When Returning to BasketballInjury Prevention When Returning to BasketballInjury Prevention When Returning to Basketball

Returning to basketball after an extended period is risky because if you are not fully prepared, you could get injured. Injuries are not something you want to have, so there are various ways that you can work on preparing your body so that it will be ready for the court. 

Buy protective gear

You can buy protective pads to help protect the different areas of your body from collisions with other players and the floor.

Buy compression gear

Compression gear will help with your blood flow during and after games, and this is very helpful in the recovery of your muscles and injury prevention.

Get in shape first

Starting to play basketball again is not like riding a bike. Do your very best to get in shape before getting on the court.

How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape for Basketball

How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape for Basketball?

The length of time it will take you to get in shape will be dependent on you. Each person has different requirements to get in shape such as their strength, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. The more work you put into this process, the faster it will be, but do not rush yourself back, take the time to ensure that your body is fully adjusted before playing basketball again.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Start Playing Basketball Again

To start playing basketball again, you will need to get in shape first. Do different exercises to help your body adjust to the dynamic basketball game. After you are in shape, make sure that you purchase the right gear, and finally, after you’ve done all of this, try to do different drills to get proficient in different areas of the game.

Did you find this helpful? Then also check out our other FAQ articles here.

> How to Start Playing Basketball: The Ultimate Guide

> How to Get Better at Basketball: Tips & Drills

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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