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By Tim L | 17 May, 2019 Published in Guides
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Basketball is a powerful way to build strong mental health. Particularly for young people living in deprived communities, basketball offers these people an opportunity to escape from the hard realities that life can bring.

Basketball gives young people hope and allows them to build mental health skills they can utilise throughout their life. Basketball allows young people to build essential confidence, empathy and teambuilding skills.

Contrary to popular belief, confidence can be built and basketball is the perfect way to help young people improve their self-esteem and confidence.

In this article, we outline how basketball can be utilised to promote positive mental health. We then fill in the gaps by helping you get involved in this fantastic game yourself.

The Physical Benefits of Basketball

When you play basketball, you work your entire cardiovascular system. This means your heart and lungs will greatly benefit from your decision to play basketball. Also, you will burn around 750 calories when you play a game of competitive basketball, meaning you should lose weight if you play consistently throughout the year. You are able to burn 300 calories an hour merely by shooting hoops!

It’s no secret that physical and mental health are closely related. When you are fit and healthy, your mental health also benefits. When you are overweight and unfit, you are more likely to suffer from poor mental health. Playing basketball is a fantastic way to fend off mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Basketball is also capable of extending your life. Because basketball keeps you fit and slim, you are less likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke as a result.  Simply put, playing basketball is a highly effective way of improving your general health.

To get the maximum amount of physical health benefits from playing basketball, we recommend you try to play at least two-to-three times per week.  Playing competitively yields the most benefits since this is high-intensity.

The Mental Benefits of Basketball

Basketball offers fantastic health and mental cognition benefits. When you play basketball, you must remain constantly aware of what is going on around you. This serves to sharpen your mental focus. You need to be aware of where other players are situated and what moves to take next.  Decisions must be made in a split second and you are often under pressure to react quickly and accurately to your opponents.

Because basketball helps to improve motor skills and coordination, you will find other areas of your life improving that also make use of these skills. Basketball will help you to build confidence and to improve your overall self-esteem. Basketball will help improve your sleeping habits and reduce stress.

When you play basketball, the brain will release ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine and endorphins. These chemicals make playing basketball positively addictive.

The Social Benefits of Basketball

Humans are social animals. This means the need for social interactions is innate. If you play basketball competitively, you will satisfy the need for regular human interaction because you will meet lots of new people.  It’s unarguable that basketball brings with it a range of social benefits.

If you find yourself isolated from others, then why not give basketball a chance. Below, we outline how you can become involved with a local basketball team even if you do not have any connections in the sport.

Basketball gives many people a sense of belonging they may otherwise find lacking in their lives. The sense of belonging is an essential tenant of positive self-esteem. Basketball allows you to have fun with your teammates and opponents alike.

What is basketball?

  • Basketball is a physical game where two teams aim to score the most amount of points. Players from each team are able to score points by throwing a basketball into the competing team’s net
  • All players are able to roam the basketball court free.  However, the person who is in current possession of the ball is only able to move when the ball is being ‘dribbled’
  • All you need to get started is a ball and a hoop and you don’t need any special kit – just comfortable clothes and trainers.

How Can I Get Involved?

You may locate your local basketball club by browsing the following Basketball Associations’ website according to your location: EnglandScotlandWales or Northern Ireland.

Is basketball right for me?

If you are able-bodied, then the answer is yes. Basketball is open to all people of all sizes, ages and ability. You do not have to possess the skills of LeBron James in order to participate. Basketball is also immensely popular amongst disabled people.

Unlike other sports which require you to pay money to get involved, you can usually find a basketball court where you can play for free or for a small hourly fee.  This is especially the case if you merely wish to practice rather than competing in a competitive basketball team.

What should I expect when I begin to play basketball?

Below, we outline what you may expect by beginning to play basketball:

  • Basketball is a highly stimulating game. It’s stamina-enhancing, fast and above-all fun.  You can burn around 600 calories per hour by playing basketball, so it’s a great way to lose weight and get fit
  • Basketball is not monotonous. You will always be busy.  You must shoot, dribble and pass the ball to help your team win the game. Basketball is a great way to build coordination and balance
  • Basketball is highly sociable, particularly if you play competitively. When you play basketball, you cannot fail to meet new people and build your communication and teambuilding skills. If you play competitively, it’s highly likely your club will hold social events taking place after key games
  •  Wheelchair basketball is both fantastic to play and watch. This has made basketball accessible to thousands of people across the world. Wheelchair basketball is just as fast-paced as traditional basketball. You can contact a Wheelchair Basketball team here.

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