7 Social Benefits of Playing Basketball
Basketball is, overall, one of the best sports from both a physical and emotional perspective. However, are there social benefits to playing basketball? Below, we are going to look at the top 7 social benefits of playing basketball and how playing a game of basketball can benefit you socially.
Basketball is, traditionally, meant to be played with a team of five players. The game is, oftentimes, fast-paced, slightly chaotic, and filled with action. And with players on the court required to play both offense and defense, basketball and its players are often adept at both the skills needed to complete a shot and to block one.
And as a game of basketball is heavily reliant on all five players on the court, comradery, a sense of loyalty to the team, and the additional pass to an open teammate are not only encouraged but also deeply integrated into the game.
Basketball, unlike many other sports, is a team sport. It is one that encourages selfless plays and making the additional pass. I mean, how often do we see open players making the extra pass off a fast break to a teammate for a flashy dunk or to attempt an open three?
Even looking at Kobe Bryant’s style of play, who is arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, oftentimes the number one criticism of Bryant’s style of play was his selfishness with the ball and on the court. And while Bryant definitely had his own style of play, the game generally rewards and encourages the social aspects of the sport.
Encourages a Team Spirit
As mentioned above, basketball unlike many other sports, encourages a deep team spirit. From the five players on the court, to the players on the bench, basketball players are encouraged to develop a team spirit in their quest for success.
And this team spirit not only helps teams in their quest for glory and the championship, but also creates long-lasting bonds and friendship. Basketball, unlike other sports, is all about the team and not just about the individual player.
Fosters a Level of Selflessness
Again, as mentioned above, basketball encourages and fosters a level of selflessness. Unlike other sports, like baseball, a game of basketball and an individual team can reach greater success by being selfless and making the extra pass, boxing out for your teammate to grab the rebound, and setting a well-timed pick or screen for your teammate to attempt the open shot.
Encourages Teammate Concern
Basketball, again unlike many other sports, encourages teammates to be concerned for their fellow player. From helping a teammate up after a fall, to clapping hands after a made or missed free throw attempt. Basketball is centered around the team and individual players are encouraged to be concerned for their teammates and their well-being.
Basketball is an Opportunity to Meet Different People
While most basketball players tend to skew younger in age, basketball typically doesn’t discriminate by age. In fact, due to the ease in beginning to play and starting a game, basketball is a rather inviting game. And though basketball players in their older years may not be driving to the basket as often, they can still contribute with well-timed passes and open shots.
But this open invitation to the court allows you to not only meet new people but to also meet people from different races, ages, and backgrounds. Basketball is a very inclusive sport and one that encourages play from all individuals.
Develop a Sense of Community
For many of us amateur players, we will tend to play basketball at an open court, whether at a local park or a local gym. And joining these pick-up games, you will typically begin to play with the same individual’s day-over-day. By playing with the same individuals in your community, you will develop a sense of community and belonging within that community.
This sense of community will not only help you to feel more comfortable on the court but will also help you to feel more comfortable in the area. You may begin to see a familiar face while you are out shopping or at your local supermarket, creating a sense of community and belonging.
Create Lifelong Friendships
Whether you’re playing basketball at a junior varsity level, a college one, or even the professional league, you will typically interact with your teammates multiple times per day and per week. Whether while lifting weights, at a scheduled practice, or during a game, you will be surrounded by your teammates.
And by being around and interacting with your teammates so often, you will naturally develop a level of friendship that is unlike any other. You will be able to discuss aspects of the game, the difficulties of an upcoming game, and even discuss the happenings in your own personal lives.
Develop Communication Skills
Similarly, as you play with your teammates, you will learn to develop a stronger communication style. Whether you’re the captain of the team or are leading the ball down the court, you will learn both verbal and non-verbal communication styles to better assist you on the court.
However, these communication styles will also help you off the court. You will learn how to address issues, convey your needs, and discuss your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Basketball is, perhaps, one of the best sports which encourages communication and discussions with teammates and these skills will help you both on and off the court.