Playing basketball has many benefits, as does playing many youth sports. It’s fun, you make new friends via your teammates, and it’s a great source of exercise. A benefit that’s related to the exercise and improvements in physical fitness you’ll get is the fact that it’s a sport with a reputation for providing excellent benefits for hand-eye coordination.

What is hand-eye coordination?

Hand-eye coordination refers to the control required to match the movement of your hands with what your eyes see. A good grasp of this is important if one wants to guide one’s hands with accuracy. Here are some of the aspects of basketball that help to improve on this.

  1. Passing

Every time you pass the ball, you need to match the distance your eyes see in front of you between you and your teammate, to the direction and amount of force you need to apply to your throw. It takes time and practice to get this right. The good news is that passing is an integral part of any basketball game so players will have ample opportunities to improve upon this skill.

  1. Shooting the basketball

 Similarly with passing, scoring a basket involves the relationship between what your eyes see and how you choose to move your hands. You use your eyes to estimate the distance and angle the ball needs to travel, then apply the force required to send it in the right direction when it leaves your hands.

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  1. Catching and hand-eye coordination

To catch the ball, you need to anticipate the amount of force and weight that’s coming in your direction as soon as the ball starts moving towards you. You’ll use visual cues to estimate how fast it’s coming at you, and where you should position yourself in order to be in its path. Players must position their hands approximately where they think the ball will end up, and grab it tightly when the moment is right.

  1. Dribbling

Dribbling the ball involves a series of complex, fast movements to bounce the ball repeatedly between the palm of your hand and the floor of the court, typically while running. Your eyes and the visual cues they receive are a key part of becoming good at this skill. Not only do you have to be able to time the bounce from floor to your palm, but estimate how far ahead of you the ball should go every time it leaves your hand. Send it too far, and the ball gets away from you. Send it not far enough, and you trip over it.

Basketball provides many opportunities to improve your hand-eye coordination

If you’ve ever thought your hand-eye coordination is lacking (or that of your child), and are looking for a fun way to improve it, basketball is an excellent choice. With regular practices and so many parts of the game revolving around this skill, a player can’t help but improve it even if they’re not consciously trying to. Plus, it makes exercise fun!