In December 1891, Canadian-American physical education teacher and sports aficionado James Naismith pioneered an innovative idea that changed the sporting world forever. The YMCA of Springfield, Massachusetts had requested the creation of a new game that could be played all year round, not take up too much space indoors, and wouldn’t encourage violent body contact. Two weeks later, Naismith and his assistants had created basketball. Since then, a number of changes have been made to the original version of the game, altering the style and dimensions of the courts (standard professional and collegiate basketball courts are nowadays larger).
Over a century later, the game has become one of the most popular sports for both genders, as well as a billion-dollar global behemoth. Typically, wherever you find a hoop or a basket, regardless of whether it’s a gym or on the school playground, you can bet that dedicated players have been using it to play some b-ball. But what positive benefits are gained from playing basketball? What advantages does it offer?
Burns calories: Basketball is a fast-moving, blood-pumping physical activity that can leave players sweaty and exhausted. It’s a recurrent series of movements that leave absolutely no time for rest or respite, involving running, dribbling, passing, shooting, defending, jumping and the occasional barrage of trash talking as well. It’s an über-effective cardiovascular workout that works the heart and lungs substantially, and an hour-long game can end up burning over 600 calories.
Builds muscle and tones the body: Almost every limb is constantly active during a game, and numerous hours of running, dribbling and jumping will shape up your thighs and calves considerably. Basketball is oftentimes likened to a full aerobic workout.
Increases stamina, flexibility, speed, agility, coordination and endurance: Basketball is a physically demanding game that requires basketball legends players to remain in great shape. It asks that you fully coordinate your legs, arms, eyes and brain all at once, with the best team consisting of organized and fluid players who work together to win.
Enhances confidence, awareness and focus: With many rules to follow and penalties given out for noncompliant, insubordinate or unruly behavior, basketball is a competitive game that promotes self-discipline, respect, deference and fair play. Like many other sports, it is at its absolute pinnacle when a group of friends work together towards a common goal, as it develops a positive team-playing attitude. It’s not about acting the rock star solo player, it’s about the entire team winning. Working in perfect harmony through a canny use of coordination will continually reap its own rewards. After all, learning to pool your efforts alongside others with a similar aim is a lifelong skill that will always apply to day-to-day life.