2023/24 season: Get in top shape for the new season with the Starting Five

Basketball England Strength and Conditioning Lead Mark Williams is urging all players and coaches to adopt BE’s Starting Five programme ahead of the 2023/24 season. 

Williams, who worked with the England men’s and women’s Birmingham 2022 gold and silver medal-winning teams, says the programme – which is implemented across BE’s talent pathway – is basketball-specific preparation for playing and training and can help reduce the risk of injury as it readies muscles for basketball.  

“That is the key message I want to get across to players, coaches and anyone else: body movement is essential not only for performance on the court, but life in general,” said Williams. 

“Starting Five is a user-friendly warm-up and aimed at anyone who plays basketball at any age, from senior elite performer to junior recreational player. I also recommend coaches use it as a warm-up template in their sessions.   

“Basketball is a complex sport that places huge demands and extreme ranges of motion on the body. The programme uses actions and movement patterns that are key to basketball performance, so please use it in your pre-season workouts to create a vast array of movements that your body gets used to doing.” 

Starting Five programme


The Starting Five targets five areas:

  • Movement - fundamental patterns
  • Stance - preparing the body
  • Bounce - challenge jumping and landing skills
  • Drive - acceleration and deceleration
  • Transition - ready for training

At a minimum

With time often a premium in our lives, Williams suggests that at the very minimum before engaging in basketball that players/coaches do the first two phases – Movement (Fundamentals) and Stance (Athletic Preparation).

“You want to mobilise the body and that's getting joints ready so that they can move through larger ranges of motion.

“Then I would move through some of the Stance patterns, for example the squat and hip hinge movements, then split squats; these get the muscles around the hip, knee and ankle prepared and primed, ready to perform. So, if there is nothing else that can be done because of time constraints or motivation, then these are the two I would encourage everyone to do.”

The downloadable and printable poster of the programme is available for any individual, club or league to utilise.

Starting Five was developed by Williams, BE’s Head of Physiotherapy and Sports Science Andy Howse, Great Britain's U20s Women's physio Dave Hall and former GB international Renee Busch, who was also the assistant coach to GB's U20 women's.


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