Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged

17 Tips to See if Basketball is Good for Your Child

About 8 years ago my world changed as we entered the unknown territory of Basketball.  It was totally unintentional, just a homeschooling Mom wanting to give her kids a chance to get some good cardio exercise and maybe a chance for me to catch a little break at the same time.

From the moment my daughter hit that gym floor, she was destined to be a basketball player, along with her little sister who would soon follow in her footsteps.  Having had 5 older children, I pretty much thought that I knew everything there was to know about sports…I didn’t.  Not for this generation of kids anyway!kids and basketball.jpg

You see the level of competition is tenfold compared to the level 15 years ago.  There are things I wished I had considered and known before we ever delved so deep into this world called Basketball.

In order to help you navigate and make an informed decision I’ve compiled these tips to see if basketball is for your child

The Bonus Side of Basketball:

  • This seems obvious, but the amount of exercise that playing basketball brings to your child is so beneficial.  It gets their cardio up for a good hour, all while having fun with teammates.  It builds stamina which can be helpful for happy moods too!

  • Coordination skills are built up by dribbling down the court and switching from left to right hands.

  • Confidence is built while looking opponent’s eye to eye and not getting flustered or being fearful.  Confidence is also built by learning to make baskets.

  • Good sportsmanship is learned as players learn to work as team and not be selfish with the ball.  Kids also learn how to have compassion on the other team when someone is hurt, such as kneeling or leaving the court and clapping when the hurt player is ok.

  • Kids learn to trust and obey another adult other than yourself during a game situation.  This seems scary, but if you have done your homework on your coaches, this can be very encouraging.

  • Kids learn what good healthy competition is all about.  They learn to win with grace and lose with grace.

  • Each child is different, but most have their own individual areas of growth they need to  work on.  Working with others brings these areas out into the light, therefore giving them a chance to grow. (crying to much, sharing, etc.)

  • Many wonderful lifelong friendships can be built.

The Caution Side of Basketball:

Many of these little cautions could be for any sport your children participate in.

  • Basketball is a physical game.  I did not really realize how physical it was until my girls started playing.

  • There may be 10 players, but not every child is on the court at the same time.  Very young kids can have a hard time with this at first.

  • In my opinion, basketball isn’t really for the very young.  It is simply too hard to bounce a ball and play a game all at the same time.  Wait until they are around 2nd or 3rd grade for this sport, it will help them to succeed, rather than fail and be frustrated.

  • Count the cost! Financially, physically and emotionally.  As kids get older the cost of doing sports can be a real drain on the pocket book.  The time it takes going to practices and actual games can also take away from other things you may want to do as a family.

  • Don’t try to make your child be something that they are not.  If your child is not enjoying playing basketball or any sport, don’t make them.  Not everyone is created for sports, even if you tend to be favorable toward them.  Pushing them can only lead to a disaster.

  • Speaking of disaster, sports are suppose to be FUN!  Even with both of my girls now in High School and playing on the Varsity Girls Basketball team, we push FUN!  The older kids get, the more serious sports get.  Don’t lose the fun or your kids will lose their passion.

  • Basketball is a cut sport.  As kids get older they will face try-outs, cuts and sitting on the bench during game time and so on.  It’s just plain hard, but it’s also good for character as in real life…not everyone gets chosen for everything.  OUCH!

  • Don’t let basketball or any sport become your whole life…it’s easy to do.  Make sure you do other things as a family.

  • Make sure you child has an EXCELLENT Coach.  Coaches are competitive and a small few can become overly emotional which leads to outbursts of anger and sometimes belittling.  Believe it or not, people have their children on teams with Coaches like this. DON’T be one of them.

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You will need decide if your child and family are ready to try basketball or any team sport. Although basketball has it’s ups and downs, our family has found a way to have fun and navigate the sports world while still enjoying a bit of life on the side.

Ready? Look for basketball camps or basketball classes near you!