Though sports can provide numerous different physical and mental health benefits for children who play regularly, the positive effects actually go far beyond these ones. Along with health effects, sports like basketball can impart a number of different life lessons that youth players will carry with them for their entire lives.
Life lessons fostered in basketball
There are many life lessons that the game of basketball will teach kids. From setting goals to managing their emotions, sports are a great way to incorporate life lessons into a method that kids can identify with and understand.
Ability to work as part of a team
Team sports like basketball require players to work together to achieve a common goal. While some players may think the win or loss comes down to their shot alone, no team can actually win or lose without every player working together to get them there.
Mistakes happen, and that’s ok
Players are going to make mistakes on the court many times over. The sooner a player learns that a mistake is not the end of the world and that every mistake is a learning experience, the easier it will be to enjoy the game. This is also true in all areas of life. Mistakes aren’t a time to despair, they are a cue to pause, reflect, learn and move forward.
You have to set goals
When you’re young there aren’t many repercussions to not meeting goals that you’ve set for yourself. This is why youth sports are the perfect time to teach kids how to set goals and work towards them. When they have the foundation in place, they’ll be able to use this formula for the rest of their lives.
You won’t get anywhere without hard work
In life and in sports there is no substitute for hard work. Putting in the effort to pass a test, achieve a promotion, or reach a goal is hard, and you won’t get anywhere if you don’t work at it. When learning basketball skills like jump shots or free throws, players know that they have to practice and work hard to master the technique. Learning how to work hard when they’re young will become a habit as they grow older.
Discipline is essential
When it comes down to it, the only way to succeed at anything in life is to have the discipline to put down the excuses and just get to work. Whether that’s sinking 50 free throws before bed, studying for an hour each day or completing your work on time, forcing yourself to put in the work is the only way you’ll get there.
Time management skills
The ability to take charge of a schedule, manage their practice time and balance schoolwork with sports will help players learn the importance of balance and sacrifice in their schedule.
How to win and lose
In life, as in basketball, there will be both successes and failures. Learning how to graciously accept and respond to both scenarios is an essential life skill. No one like a sore winner or loser, especially in adulthood. The humility taught by a good coach will help players learn how to respond to many different situations in their lives, both good and bad. The ability to move forward with grace and an open mind will serve players well.
How to manage emotions
It’s no secret that sports games can become very heated environments. Players and bystanders can all get caught up in the moment and display a wide range of emotions. A coach that can teach players how to manage their emotions- both good and bad ones- will help prepare them for life after school sports. Whether they are feeling defeated after a big loss, anger at a missed pass or excited because they won a championship, learning dignity, respect and humility when dealing with emotions will help them become more well-rounded adults.
Believe in yourself and never give up
At the end of the game, the most important lesson that a player can learn and carry with him in life is the need to believe in himself and never give up. No matter how tough the opponent is or how many points they’re down by, there’s always a reason to keep pushing through, right until the buzzer goes.
It’s clear that basketball, like many team sports, can help the social development of children. From the court to the game of life, now is a great time to join a basketball team!