We all know there’s a crucial fifteen-minute break between two halves of an NBA game. But what do the NBA players do during halftime? Let’s look at some of the things they typically do to stay sharp and focused for the second half.
What is the Purpose of Halftime in the NBA?
An NBA game is divided into four quarters, also called periods. Each period lasts 12 minutes of live ball action. After the first and second quarters and the third and fourth quarters, there is a short two-and-a-half-minute break. So, how long is NBA halftime break? After the second quarter, however, there is a longer 15-minute halftime break.
Every fan of the NBA knows how important the halftime break is. During this time, teams and fans alike can take a pause from the intense brand of basketball that the NBA has to offer. For fans, it’s a time for a quick washroom break or beverage refill run and a time to enjoy the NBA halftime show. For players and coaches, though, halftime’s typically strictly business as well.
A 12-minute period can be tiring even for well-conditioned NBA players. So, most NBA players use this break to catch their breath and recover from a hard-fought first half. It’s also the time to get their minds right and reset their focus for what lies ahead.
During this time, coaches can also review how the game has gone up until that point, set their goals for how to proceed in the second half, and make adjustments to optimize their strategy.
The break lasts 15 minutes and is vital to the NBA experience. For the league, halftime also offers the opportunity to promote special events or sponsorships while at the same time allowing fans to draw energy through music and videos.
Everyone gets to recharge before diving in again!
What Do Basketball Players Do During Halftime?
During halftime of a basketball game, one of the most important things a player can do is to make sure to stay fit and refueled. So, this is a great opportunity for them to take a break while still doing what they need to do – warm up and stay hydrated, so they’re ready for the second half of the game.
Some of the most common ways NBA players stay physically ready during halftime breaks are:
- Stretching: Players must keep their muscles warm and loose to help prevent injuries. Although it’s just a 15-minute break, halftime can easily cool down a player’s muscle fibers making it more likely to get injured. Stretching can help to loosen tightened muscles, improve the range of motion, and reduce soreness in the legs and lower back.
- Dynamic warm-up exercises: Before the second half begins, many players will take time during halftime to do a few dynamic warm-up stretches such as reverse lunges, jump squats, and jumping jacks. Studies say doing so can increase the sport performance of male athletes.
- Stationary Bike: Many players use stationary bikes to keep their bodies warm and get a light sweat going.
- Injury Treatment and Prevention (Taping): If a player has been injured and needs extra support, they may opt to reapply kinesio tape or re-fasten their braces.
- Hydration: Players will often drink plenty of fluids to ensure they stay hydrated during the game’s second half.
- Nutrition: Players also have the opportunity to get quick snacks or meals during halftime when time allows. Nutrition coaches often offer quick carbohydrate replenishment during this time.
- Toilet Break: An NBA half can stretch beyond 24 minutes as timeouts, dead ball situations, and other breaks happen in between. So, halftime offers the perfect opportunity for those who need to go and have some privacy.
Some NBA also players use this time to mentally prepare with a little mindfulness exercise. It’s a great way to keep focus and calm the mind after a stressful first half of play.
At halftime, some players also like to refocus on what they need to do differently in the second half. They can review what has worked and what hasn’t, what changes they need to make, and what goals they want to accomplish before the game ends.
Additionally, players at halftime may consult with their coaches about any changes that may help their team’s strategy. Lastly, many NBA players use halftime to connect with their peers and teammates as they get pumped up for what lies ahead in the second half.
Do NBA Players Eat During Halftime?
The halftime break in NBA games isn’t just a time to rest and regroup – it’s an opportunity for players to run off some steam and get some food in their bellies.
Whether it’s something as simple as a PowerBar or more elaborate like grilled chicken and pasta, the goal is to refuel to sustain energy throughout the second half. For example, you’ll often find LeBron James and Russell Westbrook munching on some delicious PB&J during halftime.
Ultimately what a player decides to eat during halftime will depend on what they feel their body needs and what works best for them. It may be small, but those mid-game meals can make an enormous impact on performance, giving players that extra boost they need until the game clock hits zero.
What are Some Routines NBA Players Do During Halftime?
NBA players have been taking their halftime routine to a whole new level. During the break between the first and second half, they’re using the time to reenergize, stay focused on the game, and give their bodies a reset.
Most players recently revealed that this consists of eating a snack like fruit or nuts, stretching and doing light cardio, reviewing game plans with their team’s coaches, getting taped for any injuries, participating in any rituals that calm them down, such as visualizing plays and taking deep breaths, hydrating with plenty of water and energy drinks, listening to music that pumps them up, and maybe even napping if possible!
However, there are some players who have some unusual halftime routines worth noting. Here are a few of them:
Jordan and the Bulls drank beer.
You read that right. In the award-winning documentary, The Last Dance, director, and Chicago Bulls insider, Jason Hehir reveals that Jordan and the Bulls would routinely drink beer at halftime.
Stephen Curry checks Twitter.
Whatever the reason, the undisputed three-point king of the NBA has to check Twitter at halftime, according to former teammate Andrew Bogut. But, there’s nothing to be alarmed about here as you’ll also find Curry draining warm-up shots from half-court during the break as well.
LeBron tries to energize his teammates.
While LeBron is going to be known as one of the most prolific scorers the NBA has ever seen by breaking Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s all-time scoring record, his reputation as an on-court leader will also stand the test of time. As soon as he hits the locker room during halftime, LeBron will usually try to energize his teammates by pumping them up and making sure their heads are in the right place for what lies ahead in the second half.
Patrick Beverley checks his stats.
While we’re pretty sure other NBA players also do this, it’s only Patrick Beverley who has recently admitted to checking his NBA halftime scores.
Wrapping Things Up: What Do NBA Players Do During Halftime
So, what is the purpose of halftime in the NBA? Well, it gives players a chance to rest and recuperate before going back out on the court for the second half of the game. What do basketball players do during halftime? They often head to the locker room to discuss strategy with their teammates and coaches. Some players may also choose to eat or drink something during this time. And finally, many NBA players have routines they perform during halftime in order to stay sharp for the second half of the game.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.