The shoulder is an important joint in the body for basketball Shooting Guards (SG). Real Lakers fans and ballers remember when Kobe the ‘Black Mamba’ suffered from a shoulder injury which resulted in 9 months off from playing the sport. Now for any coach and fan, losing a player like Kobe is never a good sign for the club and the team. If you’re a shooting guard like Kobe, the team needs you most because of your offensive scoring abilities, so don’t allow your shoulder pain to stop you from scoring those buckets.
Rotator Cuff Injuries:
Some of the muscles and tendons that wrap around and protect the shoulder joint may become stressed during the late stages of a basketball shot just before the flick of the wrist takes place. Repetitive stress onto the rotator cuff tendon can, overtime, result in small micro-tearing.
For the elite basketball athletes like the ‘Black Mamba’ and us average shooting guards (SG) this can throw off our game, affect scoring abilities, and have an impact on the offensive game.
Now, if you’re an SG your main focus should be on addressing 1) your shooting form and 2) implementing correct exercise strategies to help you from preventing and suffering from what Kobe had suffered.
If your pain persists past this, you need to seek professional help from someone that is just as passionate about balling as you are. They’ll understand your problem better and help get you back on the court.
Stretch & Strengthen to help prevent and reduce Shoulder Pain
Stretching/Mobility Drills for shoulders:
- Pectoral stretches – to help open up the chest and prevent rounding through the front. Often basketball players are well developed through the chest due to the amount of shooting and chest passing that occurs which builds the front of the chest up.
- Internal rotation shoulder stretch – focuses on stretching the internal rotator muscles that help with the shot execution. Refer to our blog post about sleeper stretch and how it helps shoulder pain.
Strength Training/Development Exercises for shoulders:
Standing Face Pulls
Neutral Grip Dumbell Push Press
Here are some more exercises, stretches, and health tips.
We may not all be as good as Kobe, but we definitely don’t have to suffer as he did. Shoulder pain can (and does) affect many ballers. It is to be taken seriously and addressed because of the short term and long term effects it can have on the athletes shooting abilities. These tips can help you identify and correct problems that can lead to some serious pain. Happy Shooting!
Dr Sami Karam – Thursday, February 15, 2018
A bit about the Author
Dr. Sami Karam
A little extra about me. I’ve been a qualified Osteopath since 2004. I’ve been playing football ever since I could remember and I have a passion for it. I’ve played at the highest level in the NSW State League at both Youth and Senior levels, and have also been Head Physician at numerous State League Clubs. I’ve travelled internationally and consulted with Sports academies in Barcelona and Italy. I have a special interest in Strength and Conditioning for footballers, as I believe it gives them an edge in their physical competition. My passion involves bringing all of this knowledge into every single treatment that I provide for all athletes. If you feel that I can help you and want to reach out to me, just click here.