Selecting the right gear for your basketball game
Team Singapore Basketball Athlete Jabez Su Ming Rong (Photo credit: SSC)
One of the best things about playing basketball is that you don’t have to invest in hefty equipment. Besides a basketball, the other basketball gear you require to play the game is basic and relatively affordable.
The overall aim is to have the right gear for better comfort and to improve performance.
So, what to wear for a basketball game? You’ll need a basketball jersey, basketball shorts and basketball shoes.
1. Basketball jersey
How do you choose a basketball jersey?
Basketball jerseys have evolved over the years as the fabrics has gradually become lighter.
These days, the ultra lightweight fabric available are durable and they should allow players’ skin to “breathe,” providing ventilation to help players stay cool and prevent overheating. A good jersey should “wick” moisture away and keep players from getting too sweaty and uncomfortable.
At the same time, the jersey should not be so absorbent such that it retains sweat, causing the jersey to become heavy, in turn and adding unnecessary weight.
2. Basketball shorts
Basketball shorts typically share the same fabric as jersey tops, but it is important to get bottoms that are neither too snug nor loose.
Basketball shorts will usually have an inner layer to provide better absorption of perspiration and prevent abrasions. The rubber waistband should not be too tight or else it will cause discomfort from constant abrasion due to body movements when playing a game.
Basketball shorts should be long enough to reach the knee caps. The length varies but generally, longer shorts help to keep thighs warm during games and prevent muscle cramps.
3. Basketball shoes
Getting the right shoes that fit is important as basketball requires a lot of running and jumping. Shoes that fit poorly can cause injury, especially if they do not provide sufficient support.
The high-top shoe cut has been associated with basketball. They are popular with basketball players because they provide a high level of ankle support. The shoe extends all the way up to protect the ankles, but as a result, they tend to be heavier as a result of using more material.
Shoes with a mid-top cut rises just below a player’s ankle. Although it lacks ankle support, it helps players increase speed as the ankle can bend unhindered by the shoe’s material, allowing players to react and run faster.
Choosing the right shoe size
Basketball shoes should not be too tight as they need to allow the foot to have some flexibility and breathing room to manoeuvre about.
To find out how much room to leave in the shoe is appropriate when the shoe is worn, press your thumb into the space between the front end of the shoe and your big toe. If the space available is roughly the length of a thumbnail, the shoe is a good fit.
The other thing to note about shoes is that the upper on the top of a shoe that the foot slips into when it is worn must keep the foot securely in place within a basketball shoe while a player is in action.
The Basketball Player’s Style
Players should assess which type of player they are before purchasing basketball shoes, as different playing styles, such as being a power player, all-around player, or fast player, require different shoes.
Power players will require a high level of cushioning and stability from a heavier shoe. All-around players need a moderate amount of shock absorption from relatively lightweight basketball shoes. Fast players need moderate support as they have quick reaction times and flexibility.
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