Youth basketball can be great for any youth, any age, any skill level. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone can have fun playing basketball or any other sport. has all kinds of information to help parents, coaches, and youths learn about the game, develop basketball-specific skills and overall athleticism, and just enjoy the benefits of youth basketball programs.
Benefits of Team Youth Basketball
Youth team sports can be very beneficial any youth both in developing lifeskills they’ll use in their adolescence, as they grow up, and for the rest of their life. Youth basketball is no exception. Here’s a quick glance at some of the benefits:
  1. Learn Teamwork
  2. Develop New Bonds/Friendships
  3. Learn Respect
  4. Become More Active and Physically Fit
  5. Time Management Skill Improvement
Learn Teamwork

As with any team sport, basketball will help any youth learn teamwork. In other words, numerous people working together to reach a common goal.

Basketball has become more of a one-on-one game lately, which is actually really annoying, but it’s only when there’s a complete team effort that a team is successful. One person can’t take on five, neither on offense nor defense. As good as they were are are, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James couldn’t do it alone. Each needed help from other players like Scottie Pippen and John Paxson or Shaquille O’Neal and Robert Horry (we’ll see what LeBron does).

Just like out in the “real world,” one person can’t always do everything, and sports can help youths grow up to be better team players (and possibly more employable because of it later on in life).

Develop New Bonds and Friendships

As stated above, basketball is a team sport. Five players from the same team are on the court at a time. Practicing and playing together can really introduce new friendships and bonds that can continue to grow if the players grow up playing ball together.

I was fortunate enough to grow up playing ball with the same core group. Our youth basketball did grow into competitive basketball together, but through it all we spent hours a day together, most weekends together, and traveled together. Since we were all interested in basketball, we ended up spending our time away from practice and games together to – either shooting around ourselves, watching NBA and March Madness, or whatever it was. The point is that I met a lot of my good friends through basketball.

Learn Respect

Youth basketball can also teach young players respect: respect for authority, respect for others, and respect for oneself. Basketball a game of rules, which requires some authority to make sure that they’re followed. Coaches and referees have to tell young athletes what they can and can’t do or should and shouldn’t do. Players have to listen to them and respect what they have to say without talking back.

Respect for others falls under “sportsmanship” really. If another player is doing well, they should be respected for working hard to get better. They’ll learn to be respectful and not jealous, and hopefully to aspire to be more like someone they respect. More importantly, respect for oneself will be learned through hard work paying off and becoming better (and then being respected by others).

Become More Active and Physically Fit

Full-court basketball is one of the best cardiovascular exercises there is. No ifs, ands, or buts about it…hands down great physical activity. The best part, though, is that it doesn’t feel like “work,” but just fun even though a good workout is happening. Our youth is becoming less healthy, but youth sports can help with that by helping to keep kids more active.

Improve Time Management Skills

I say that youth basketball can improve time management skills because older youths now have to work around practices and games to do their homework and chores, and still leave time for just hanging around by themselves or with their friends. Any sport requiring a time commitment also requires time management skills. This can definitely help kids in the future, as all of us adults know that there’s never really enough time in the day and you have to manage your time wisely. Youth sports just give you a head start on being better at it.

This is the main point that any youth sport should focus on. Kids are playing sports because they enjoy them, not because they are working. Even those true-to-the-game players in the NBA aren’t playing because they’re getting paid millions (it doesn’t hurt), but because they love the game. Yes, kids will be dreaming of being in the NBA, and some will make it, but there are only a few lucky chosen each year. And yes, becoming better does require some hard work, but that hard work can also be enjoyable when you reap the rewards and still enjoy it. Just make sure that youth basketball doesn’t become “work” instead of fun…if it does, then the point of the game is lost.

Source: Steve Nash Youth Basketball Coaches' Blog
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