There’s a good reason that ball is life to so many people. The fact that it’s one of the most exciting, fast-paced team sports around is one good reason. But the fact is that basketball is genuinely good not just for individual players, but for families. If you’re looking for a new hobby, especially a healthy one, to get the whole crew into, here are a few reasons you should consider basketball.
It encourages full-body health like few sports do
If you’re primarily looking to help the family get fit and healthy, then one of the big strengths of basketball is that it encourages cross training of the whole body. The pace of jogging then sprinting when needed helps your cardio. The cuts and turns improve agility. Defensive play and jumping builds core strength. It trains you arms, legs, and coordination all at once. Of course, these benefits are only improved when you get into the drills that improve your game, too.
The fundamentals are super easy to learn
Basketball is a game that is intrinsically understandable as soon as you watch it for a while. Dribbling, passing, shooting, dunking, it all makes sense. There aren’t as many rules to get twisted as there are with baseball or football, just a few limits to remember. Not only is it easy to grasp and start practicing those fundamentals, but it’s instinctively fun, as well. The rhythm of bouncing the ball as you run, the elation of scoring a throw, it encourages you to keep practicing and playing. Of course, it’s difficult to master shooting and defense, but that’s where the challenge comes in to encourage players to keep going. Even when they hit a tough spot and it takes time to progress, those simple fundamentals help them keep up with the game in other ways.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Any exercise or hobby that you pick up with your family should be one that brings them together. Basketball is, indeed, a competitive sport but it’s also one that’s all about the team Good communication, sharing responsibility, giving credit, and getting praised by your teammates when you do good all help to build the bond in the family. As you play together, keep switching who is on what teams, not only to keep it fair in case one player stands out above the rest, but also to make sure that those good team-building feelings a shared from every person to every person.
You can do it in your own backyard
Basketball is incredibly accessible. When you want to use a court, your kids are going to be able to find them in both public and private schools, unlike some sports which are harder to accommodate. Similarly, lots of neighborhoods have community and local basketball clubs that are free to use. All you have to do is bring a ball. But you can just as easily make a court of your backyard if you have the space. All you need is your own hoop, which can just as easily be installed against a wall as suspended on a post. Even if you don’t have space for a traditional game of basketball, there are plenty of smaller scale games and rulesets that you play with limited space and a single hoop. It doesn’t stop being fun just because you have to change things up a little.
It offers visible rewards for practice and improvement
As mentioned, some of the core aspects of basketball are easy to understand but hard to master. Shooting is probably the clearest example of this. Whether it’s free throws, shooting from dribbles, or practicing throws at different angles, it takes a lot of practice. However, it also shows some of the most identifiable signs that you and the family are, in fact, getting better as you play. That sense of progress is important for helping you build the motivation and discipline you need to keep practicing and keep playing. Furthermore, it offers a nice boost of self-esteem, which will help your kids through all kinds of challenging situations in their life. Starting off bad and working your way to a better standard is a skill that is applied all across life and basketball is a good way to teach it.
It’s dramatic, and it’s fun
One of the reasons that basketball is so good and so easy to stick with is that the game is fast-paced, exciting, and genuinely dramatic. Blocking a shot, beating a player at defense, outwitting and outmaneuvering each other on the court is really going to send the adrenaline rocking. Plus, the simple act of dribbling, shooting, and dunking come with the kind of exhilaration that you just can’t help but flex on the other team a little when it happens. The more you understand about the game, the more fun it becomes as well, as you can all start to understand better what’s going on when watching NBA, WNBD, collegiate, or even local basketball games.
Better alone or together
Shooting, dunking, and practicing dribbles alone at the hoop can be a fun way to pass the time and get your heart pumping. Even when others are busy, simply having the hoop nearby is going to draw your kids to goof around and practice at it. Of course, with others, it gets even better. When you start encouraging your kids to join clubs outside the family, to try out for the school team, then they start meeting and socializing with people who share their interests, helping them find friends that they can build strong bonds with. It can also help them find mentorship relationships with coaches and trainers, which can go on to help them learn all about discipline, effort, and responsibility.
As easy as it is to set up, as good for your health as it is, and as much as it can teach you, it’s a no brainer why you should get the family into basketball. There’s no guarantee you’ll have any NBA stars, but you’ll have a much happier, healthier family.