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Just recently read many posts in a closed topic regarding running for dancers (13 and under) and was wondering if anyone has any input regarding other high impact sports such as basketball. DD is interested in basketball (and has a pretty good shot!!) Gym she plays in has a cement floor covered with tile. She has had shin splints and does make sure that she does proper stretching prior to basketball activities. DD is in a pre-pro ballet program with hopes of a dancing career. Can anyone offer any advice regarding her participation in basketball?

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I would not be against basketball itself, but I don't like the sound of the floor they are playing on. This is definitely not a good thing. Sorry.

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That floor could very well be the cause of the shin splints.

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Yes, sounds like the floor is probably causing the shin splints.


My husband played badminton as a teenager (quite seriously). He has suffered from knee problems as a result of it. He would play on a 'grippy' floor in trainers (sneakers) and it was the quick changes of direction that put pressure on his knees and caused some twisting. He's had an operation to try to repair the cartilage but the problem does come back occasionally.

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Yes, it's the dratted floors! Most basketball courts are laid directly on top of a solid concrete slab. That way practically guarantees a flat surface, but it makes the floor hard, very hard, TOO hard.

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The issue is hugely that the floor is tile, there is much less give on a tile floor than a wood one even though both types of basketball courts are laid over concrete and hard. And both, as Mr. Johnson has stated, are very hard! Since this is the under 13 forum I'm assuming you mean middle school basketball or rec.


However, if your dancer has decided to give basketball a try, you'll need to think of it further and in more physiological terms since all basketball players actually do not end up with shin splints. So, what else is the dancer doing (and how is she doing it) that might be different because of the dance training. Off the cuff, I'd say if she's training for basketball she's also running on that gym floor to warm up. (is she rolling heel to toe or just landing flatflooted when she runs?)And she's jumping quite a bit but under the pressure of getting undercut. So is she still using her plie' or is she not landing quite flat footed or on the heels due to the lack of control in those jumps. As well, there are some physiological differences in the way muscles will be built up because of the basketball counter to the way dancers desire them that should be considered.


While she may be playing body roulette with the two activities, if she is determined to do both, it might be good to have a talk with the team trainer or your personal PT and have them watch her during ball practice and see if there are mechanics she is not using properly in basketball because she thinks she knows how to jump. I remember having a trainer do that for one of my ballet kids when I coached high school Dance Team (shhh). He was able to tell me and her why she was having issues and if there were things she or I could do to alleviate them. And then she could make a determination what to do with that information. (I lost a team member eventually but she gained a college dance scholarship for which I was proud to be a line on her resume!).



*thanks for the question, I didn't think there was any of that former coaching of basketball (very first two years of teaching) or dance team left in this old ballet mom's brain! Nice to know there was some way back in the dusty part.

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Yes, by all means, ask the trainer! That's why they're there! And getting ASKED a question about biomechanics is a compliment they get all too seldom, and will be very glad to answer! :yes:

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You're right Mel. That trainer I asked came to our practices once a week for the remainder of the team season to watch his client so he could help her in sessions. He took quite the pride in what he was learning for future dance clients about the biomechanics between the two activities. And shared alot with the girls and myself in the process. It was great!

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(ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE - per request of pink tights, this post has been transferred here, but a reminder is in order that this forum is among parents....)


In another forum, people were discussion high-impact sports such as basketball, and the issue of the floor. A few notes:


1. In my opinion, wood over concrete is not appreciably more forgiving than concrete alone. Wood is naturally flexible, but when laid directly on top of concrete, it has nowhere to flex. My house has wood-over-concrete downstairs and believe me, it is easy to notice how much less that floor gives than the one upstairs, which is wood over (engineered wood) joists.


2. Many sports have traditionally been played on very hard surface. The difference between ballet and basketball is that ballet dancers are expected to wear shoes that do nothing to soften any impacts, so all the "give" has to be built into the floor. Runners and basketball players wear high-tech shoes with lots of padding, which allows them to safely play on floors that have less give than a sprung dance floor.


For safety, it is crucial to change your sports shoes frequently. I've read that running shoes typically last no more than a couple of months, and that most people keep them far too long. Probably a similar issue with basketball shoes. Shoe makers have put a lot of research into this, and I believe there are objective ways to measure when your shoe is no longer adequate for the spor. Apparently, sports shoes are almost as expendible as pointe shoes. ;-)

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Guest pink tights

Citibob posted some valuable info on crosstalk. The topic was closed as it did not relate directly to ballet, however....


Many MS dancers are required to take PE (I know mine is....), therefore I would consider Citibob's information germane.


(ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE - pink tights, per your request, Citibob's post has been merged here, but remember, discussions here are among parents. Mel.)

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Since we have moved citibob's post here and are opening up the thread to discuss PE classes and shoes, It is important for parents to note that pointe shoes are manufactured to garner approximately 8 hours of use under normal professional use while running shoes are manufactured to last between 300-500 miles of daily use for runners with a strong weekly schedule and 6 months of occasional use for those like the weekend runner. (much like your car oil should be changed one mileage if run heavily on the highway and another mileage when run locally) Basketball shoes are engineered to last one season under normal use, that is for the player who wears them for practice and games only, not to and from school. Professional basketball players go through more pairs during a season.


So for the advanced ballet student or professional dancers pointe shoes are still very much more expendible. The key to the information given is that you shouldn't dance on dead pointe shoes any more than you should play sports in dead sports shoes.

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