Basketball as a sport has been gaining immense popularity in schools in the recent years, and has an entire subculture built around itself. It is also the next sport in our Back To School series. Taking inspiration from the ballers in the Bronx, basketball empowers kids and youth by building confidence, strength, flexibility and endurance. The sport by itself is full of challenges and obstacles, and Sun & Sand Sports provides you with the knowhow and the latest products from the most trusted sports brands across the world to kit the young ones out and help them excel at the sport.
What makes basketball such a big deal?
Basketball is not only a physically challenging sport, it also builds mental strength and discipline among kids. As a social sport, it teaches kids about being a good team player while also helping them make new friends and interact with their peers. The game by itself is fast paced, has a lot of quicks starts and stops and involves a variety of game play styles including shooting, dribbling, passing, rebounding, defence and more. The game is also a great workout that burns calories, builds endurance, improves balance and co-ordination, builds up muscle and develops concentration and self-discipline. And since it is an indoor sport it can be played all-year round when your child is back to school.
Basketball puts a lot of stress on the legs, especially the ankles and knees, and puts pressure on tight shoulders. And since it is a fast-paced sport, with jumps, runs, pivots and twists thrown in the mix, injuries can take place easily if you don’t prepare right. One quick way to prevent injuries is to warm up and stretch the muscles and joints before hitting the court, and cool down with a stretch after a game of ball. Make sure kids have plenty of fluids at hand and rehydrate quickly.
But how is basketball beneficial?
Besides the incredible health benefits mentioned above and the freedom kids experience on the court, basketball also teaches young ones plenty of life lessons. The dynamics of the game mirror those of life, and played with the right spirit, they can teach lil’ ballers more than just the basics of the sport. Here are seven benefits of basketball:
1) It teaches kids to learn and master the fundamentals of the game. Only once the basics have been firmly established can they develop the skills and strategies needed to succeed.
2) The sport helps kids to be prepared both physically and mentally. Being in great physical shape isn’t enough to take on long grueling matches. Mental fitness with a positive, willing and winning mindset makes a big difference from quarter to quarter.
3) Basketball inspires kids to be team players. Only through contribution and co-operation from every player on the team can victory be achieved. Each team member must focus, work together and play their positions for the team to win.
4) The game also teaches kids to be alert and aware of the situation. In a fast-paced game, anticipating the play can result in a winning break. By being alert and ready for play keeps the mind and body active rather than reactive and separates the great players from the good ones.
5) If the strategy doesn’t work, basketball teaches kids to re-adjust the game plan. By trying out different strategies, kids are taught to withstand and respond to dynamics tactics, building a flexible mind and body.
6) Basketball embodies the spirit of ‘Never Say Never’. By teaching kids the value of perseverance and never giving up, the games builds confidence and determination, and a fighting spirit.
7) Lastly, basketball teaches kids to accept both victory and defeat gracefully. Always aim to win, but when you’ve given all you got and the better team isn’t yours, you can walk with your head held high. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. Study what it takes to win and come back and try harder.
What’s the best way to warm up for a game of basketball?
Basketball usually takes about a 10 to 15 minute warm up before every game. This time can be used to run, shoot around and practice lay-ups, rebounds, passing, position-specific skills, shooting and free throws. Here are a few drills you can utilize to get kids warmed up before a game.
Run and Rebound
Running is a great way to prepare for a basketball match. Level up a regular jog around the court by doing half-court dashes. In pairs, kids can shoot the ball against the backboard, giving the other player a rebound to practice a layup.
Get kids to build a deadly aim by practicing shooting at the hoops with both hands. Start by practicing right-handed lay-ups, followed by left-handed layups and finally jump shots from either side of the basket.
Free Throw Practice
After a quick warm up and run, let kids practice free throws from multiple positions and angles across the court. This will build flexibility and unpredictability in their game, making them difficult to tackle in their attacks.
To be the very best at basketball, kids deserve the best gear to protect and boost their skills on the court. The right shoe or equipment can alter the game at any moment. Here are some of our Back To School picks for the best basketball products for your lil’ ballers.
Sport the Under Armour Kids’ Grade School UA Curry 2.5 Basketball Shoe, which is designed for one of the best shooters, Stephen Curry. With lightweight 3D printed upper wraps and the OrthoLite® sockliner, this shoe adapts to your foot to offer a custom fit. The herringbone outsole ensures optimal control and grip.
Built using a fuller cut for complete comfort, this Under Armour Kids’ Basketball Lock Up T-Shirt features Under Armour Tech fabric that helps in quick-drying and is also ultra-soft to give you a more natural feel. Featuring Anti-odor and moisture transport systems, this t-shirt is perfect for a day on the court.
Carry the team’s pride with the adidas Kids’ Hoops Winter Basketball Shorts. The shorts come with the traditional colours of the the Lakers Team with the crest above the left hem. The elastic waistband and drawstring leaves you with a custom fit.
The Nike Kobe Mamba XI Basketball Backpack comes with a separate shoe storage so that you can carry your basketball essentals all in one go. Stitched with a wet/dry pocket, the bag makes room for your gear, clothes, footwear and comes with padded shoulder straps.
Head on over to the Sun & Sand Sports Back To School page for all your sport supplies and Back To School essentials. Stay update on all that’s latest in basketball and sports by signing up for the SSS Newsletter, so that you don’t miss a thing.