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- American Heart Association: Hoops for Heart
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity and Health
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Benefits of Being a Basketball Player
While the announcer calling out, “She shoots. She scores!” is often associated with the sport of basketball, being a basketball player is about more than just winning. Basketball benefits you when you win, when you lose, and when you don’t even get off the bench. Basketball can improve your health and teach skills that last a lifetime.
Physically Fit Basketball Body
Depending on how hard you’re running up and down the court, basketball provides you with a moderate to vigorous intensity workout. One hour of basketball can burn more than 600 or 700 calories. Dribbling, passing and shooting improves coordination, while the more minutes you play in a game, the more physical endurance you build. Basketball also increases muscle in the arms, legs and stomach.
The Power of Sports for Emotional Well-Being
You don’t have to win every game for basketball to improve your mental health. The physical boost you receive from basketball helps release endorphins in your brain, making you feel better emotionally. You may also sleep better at night, feeling more rested and alert the next day. When you’re under pressure at work or school, shooting hoops or practicing drills can help you focus your energy and de-stress. Sinking the three-pointer or improving your free-throw percentage can give you a natural high.
The Makings of a Team Player
Basketball is about teamwork. Even a star player can’t do it all. The five teammates on the court must work together to create plays. Basketball teaches you to work as a unit, passing the ball, sharing in assists and blocking the opponent so someone else can score those two points. Basketball teaches you to take turns and give your team your all when you step onto the court. You may never start a game, but providing relief to one of the starters later in the game keeps the team running efficiently so no player burns out.
Interpersonal Skills Taught by Basketball
Whether you’re playing competitively in a league or just for recreation at the park, basketball benefits your social life. You may form friendships that drift off at the close of the season or last for years. Even if you don’t become buddy-buddy with many members of your team, the skills you learn dealing with the different personality types can help you in situations off the court. You may learn to better relate to difficult personalities at work, for example. Basketball can give you more confidence in your daily life, and it can help you to accept those times you don’t win or get what you want.
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