Benefits of Youth Basketball – Fitness, Teamwork and Confidence

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    By: Youth Basketball of America

    Basketball is the only team sport where a youngster can go one on one.  All they need is a ball and a hoop.  Basketball allows both boys and girls to start with a simple game that is fun to play and advance as far as they want to take it.  The sport helps children stay fit, learn the definition of teamwork, grow confidence and become more assertive. Best of all Basketball is fun!

    A Great Work Out
    There’s no arguing that playing basketball is a great work out.  Players do not have to lift weights, run laps or keep records of progress.  They just feel the joy of running of and jumping chasing each other around the court.  Dribbling, shooting, passing and rebounding uses all their muscles groups.  The skills of dribbling and shooting are great ways to improve a child’s coordination and fine motor skills.  The increased coordination along with the speed and agility that can be gained from playing basketball, are skills your child can apply toward any sport or other physical activity.  Remember, the real benefit, basketball makes physical activity fun!

    Teamwork and Trust are Built on the Court
    There is nothing quite like basketball to teach a child the importance of team work.  The whole team works together to get a basket.  Each player must be able to rely on teammates to accomplish their common goal.  Of course, scoring isn’t the only game in town.  Players soon learn to appreciate that less glamorous defensive plays and rebounding are as important as taking the ball to the hoop.  Because of the players’ reliance on one another, they tend to form deep friendships based on the foundation of trust built on the court.

    The Coach Leads the Way
    Along with teamwork players learn that the coach is a combination of teacher, leader and disciplinarian.  Many children have improved their attitude and ability to interact with others under the guidance of a quality coach. 
       
    Confidence is Gained with Each new Skill
    As with many sports, basketball helps children gain confidence as they learn and master new skills.  Because practice is fun and improvement can be seen almost immediately, youth find that hard work pays with results.  With each dribble, pass and basket, a child’s perception of their abilities improves.  With a stronger self-esteem, a child is prepared to face the challenges of life.  They learn that disappointments can be overcome with hard work and come through with flying colors.

    Assertiveness is Encouraged
    Successful basketball players don’t just wait around for the ball to come to them, they go and get it.  Learning to be assertive while trying to steal the ball can be a vital skill for children to learn at a young age.  Basketball provides an appropriate platform for children to learn to be assertive, while avoiding behavior that is too aggressive and could result in a penalty.  This lesson can be useful for shy children who are not comfortable asserting themselves. On the flip side, aggressive children must learn to harness and utilize their assertiveness appropriately.

    The Basketball Season is Year Round
    Basketball season is typically during the winter so it provides an excellent opportunity for children to stay active during the colder months.  However, a great advantage of basketball is that it can easily be played all year round.  Most families have a basketball court or hoop at their local park or school, if not at their neighbor’s house.  Informal games of basketball, or one-on-one can be organized in minutes and provide kids hours of great physical activity any time of year.  In fact, you don’t even need others to play basketball, just take your ball to the nearest court and practice shooting free throws.

    A Game for all Ages
    Children as young as 3 years can begin to develop the fundamental skills necessary to play basketball.  Many school district athletic programs and community education departments offer youth basketball instruction for kids as young as 5 years old. At that age, participants learn basic fundamental skills such as dribbling, passing and shooting through simple drills and games.

    Thrill of Competition 
    Youth tournaments are a wonderful way for children of all ages to learn the thrill of competition and take their skills to a new level.  When choosing a Youth Basketball Tournament, it is extremely important to choose a tournament that is organized by an experienced, reputable operator.  When tournaments are poorly organized and underfunded the overall experience for the child is not what it should be. 

    YBOA has developed a Hoopsters program with well trained quality coaches to help children learn the proper way to play basketball.  YBOA works with community park and recreation organizations, YMCA’s and private basketball clubs to provide basketball programming for children K-8 grade.  And, your child can continue exploring their love of basketball well past middle age.

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