Posted 12/02/2018 12:25:54 PM by Vanessa Smit

If you’re looking to decrease screen time and get your kids more active, basketball can do exactly that. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, it’s accessible and a fantastic sport to start at a young age. Getting kids to learn basic skills has many benefits all of which have the potential to create a solid foundation for later in life. We took the time to break down two huge benefits of getting kids in the game at a young age. Read on for more information:

  1. Physical Development: Did you know the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommends 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity for kids between 5-11 years? More specifically kids should be participating in activities—like basketball—that strengthen bones and muscles at least three times a week. Through the sport of basketball young children can gain:
    • Motor Skills: Basketball involves dribbling, throwing, catching and pivoting all of which help to improve motor skills by using large muscle groups. The coordination, specifically hand-eye coordination required in the sport helps develop fine motor skills; these are skills that transfer to other daily activities. 
    • Increased Endurance: Having good endurance can make everyday life a little easier for your little one. Running up and down a basketball court is a great way to improve endurance. 
    • Stronger Bones and Muscles: Basketball is a weight-bearing sport, mainly because it includes running and jumping; these movements help new bone tissue develop, which is one way to help make bones stronger. Together bones and muscles are strengthened through physical activity.  
  2. Psychological Development: Giving children the space to experience the ups and downs of healthy competition at a young age better prepares them for other life challenges. Besides the general benefits of being physically active—feeling happier, more confident, and having fun—the sport of basketball can help kids develop social skills and coping strategies that are useful at school, home and in peer groups. More specifically young kids can benefit from learning the following through sport: 
    • Communication Skills: Through basketball, kids can learn how and why it's important to communicate. Team sports help children develop the ability to communicate with peers through verbal and non-verbal cues, all while improving their listening skills. 
    • Problem Solving: Kids face challenges every day. Playing sports gives kids the chance to solve basic problems with friends and groups at a young age. 
    • Teamwork: Team sports, especially basketball, teach people how to play together. By working as a team to reach a common goal—get the ball in the hoop—kids learn camaraderie.
    • Confidence: Being physically active early in life helps kids develop the confidence needed to be physically active later in life. Through sports kids learn to cope with failure; they learn that it’s ok to miss a shot or make mistakes from time to time. Even the best athletes fail, Michael Jordan missed more shots than he made; it might be safe to say that he wasn't totally afraid to fail.  

Have we convinced you to get your little one in the game? If so, check out our basketball leagues like the Jr. NBA Rookie Division for littles between K-Grade 1. Registration is open now and Vancouver programming starts February 23rd. Click here for more information.

Vanessa Smit

About Vanessa Smit

Vanessa is passionate about anything community and social responsibility related. Don’t be surprised if you find her playing in the sunshine or watching an NBA game. Vanessa is a Marketing and Communications, Manager at the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.

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