My favourite sport far and away is basketball. Although my first sport was actually hockey (beginning at age 5), I began playing basketball at the age of 11 and quickly fell in love with the quick & explosive full bodied movements that it fostered.
The other great perks that the sport provided was that it was very inexpensive, required little equipment and could be played with little pre-planning- ie. no rink time had to be arranged, and courts were plentiful and accessible. This allowed me to play frequently and at almost any time I desired.
My entire teenage years were consumed with playing basketball and although I didn’t realize it at the time, it provided me with a strong body and athletic foundation that I still carry with me to this day. The countless hours that I spent playing also gave me an outlet to expend the incredible amount of energy that I had (and as most teenagers do). And as I was constantly spending every spare moment I had on the court, it also kept me out of trouble 😉
The important skills and physical development that basketball provided were many:
-hand eye coordination, agility, balance, strength, power, speed, reaction time, cardiovascular endurance, good bodily coordination, and a good foundation of movement skills.
In addition, the mechanical stress that was placed on my body provided a good foundation for my bones. The teenage years are a critical time of peak bone growth, and doing resistance training or explosive jumping & running sports can add more bone in the ‘bone bank’ by up to 20 years! This is another reason why it is so important for children and youth to be involved in physical activity- it can have a major positive impact on future bone health!
Basketball has provided me with 20 years of fun, exercise, competition, teamwork, teammates (that have become good friends), and good disciplined work habits. I still love to play it and still have much to thank for it.
Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist