Basketball for kids: Best age, benefits & cost of equipment
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Basketball is a team sport in which a team of five players play against another team.
The aim is to shoot the maximum number of baskets in the hoop to win the game.
Basketball can be played by men, women, children, and adults at any time of the year and is considered as indoor and outdoor activity.
Basketball for kids is unique in that it develops them not only physically, but also mentally.
Along with endurance, excellent coordination, and agility, the basketball improves logical thinking and also teaches kids to solve non-standard tasks.
In this article, For kids will tell parents all that they need to know about kids basketball, starting from the best age to start basketball lessons, the pros and cons of this sport.
You will find tips on how to choose the right basketball academy and the average cost of necessary equipment.
Best age to start basketball for kids
Professional basketball coaches recommend starting basketball for kids at the age of 8 – 9 years.
This age is considered optimal because the child’s body becomes stronger and more prepared for serious workloads, coordination improves, and the child’s mental development reaches the necessary level.
Basketball is a rather complicated sport that requires endurance, good coordination, mastery of the game technique, and the ability to think analytically.
At this age, children are now ready to learn the rules, join the youth team, and start serious practicing.
Age of preparation:
At the same time, if you decide to prepare your child to play basketball, it is not necessary to wait for the onset of the ideal age.
Any sport develops physical endurance, flexibility, speed of reaction, the mind, in general, becomes an excellent preparation for the future section.
You can also send the kid to a preparatory group of the basketball section, where for the first 1-2 years he will not study playing techniques and combinations but will master the ability to hold the ball and develop general physical training.
Advantages of basketball
The popularity of basketball is explained by the large number of benefits of this sport. Let’s list the most basic ones.
1- Improves kids health
Basketball develops not only arms or legs, but also it affects all muscle groups, as it requires great endurance.
At the same time, it strengthens the nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems of the small athlete.
Also, basketball, like any sport, reduces the risk of diseases from seasonal cold to serious diseases.
2- Mental development
The stereotype about the mental abilities of athletes certainly does not apply to basketball.
Here, a child from an early age is taught to be a tactician, analyst, and forecaster.
Quickly react to a change in the situations, predict the behavior of the competitors, and come up with a complex tactical combination in a matter of seconds.
Such skills will be useful not only on the playing field but also in daily life.
3- Social benefits
In addition, teamwork teaches discipline, mutual aid, altruism and gives a sense of camaraderie that is necessary for any child.
4- Affordable game
Theoretically, to learn how to play basketball, you need only a ball and sneakers.
Of course, for the professional level, you will need regular classes in a tennis academy with a good coach, but they do not cost sky-high money.
The child can practice at any time and completely free in the yard or in the school gymnasium, where there is at least one basketball ring.
5- Emotional expression
Team sports are useful because they allow the child not only to get an adrenaline rush and release the accumulated energy but also to share strong emotions, whether it is a victory or a defeat with his team, to feel unity with other people and develop empathy.
6- A strong character
An athlete, especially a professional, is always a person with a strong character and a special temper.
The ability to accept defeats, achieve goals and control over self is beneficial to the kid in everyday life.
Disadvantages of playing basketball for kids
Basketball for children has its drawbacks. They, however, are relatively few:
1- Risk of injury
According to The American Journal of Sports Medicine, the most vulnerable places of the body of the basketball players are ankles and knees.
It is the most often injured parts, usually during contact with other players.
Also, the women’s injury frequency was 1.6 times that of men.
The right equipment, an experienced coach, and regular proper stretching before the game will help to reduce the risk of injury.
2- The team comes first!
This disadvantage can be called subjective, because, for some children, personal achievements and attention to their personalities are very important, while others prefer not to stand out and enjoy the opportunity just to be useful to the team.
The same applies to parents: if you are extremely ambitious about your child, you should prepare in advance for the fact that all attention will be paid not to him alone, and the success of the team is more important than personal achievements.
3- Numerous contraindications
Unfortunately, not all children’s health allows them to play basketball professionally.
However, if your child has a medical contraindication from playing basketball, do not despair and check with sports doctors, perhaps the baby will be allowed to engage in this sport at the amateur level.
If such loads are contraindicated, you will have to choose a quieter discipline: for example swimming or equestrian.
Medical contraindications of kids basketball
Basketball is quite a complicated sport, involving complex loads on the entire body, so there are some medical contraindications for children to play basketballs games.
So, you can not do in:
- certain cardiovascular diseases;
- instability of the cervical vertebrae;
- some diseases of the musculoskeletal system;
- flat feet.
At the same time, in some cases, basketball can be beneficial to health.
It not only strengthens the body as a whole but also improves peripheral vision and respiratory system, has a beneficial effect on the immune system and helps to lose weight.
In any case, before you give the child to the basketball game, be sure to consult with your doctor and conduct a comprehensive examination.
Average cost of Basketball classes & equipment
Basketball is one of the most affordable sports when it comes to financial investments.
The main items of expenditure are equipment, classes, seasonal competitions, and camps. Let’s take a closer look:
a- Basketball equipment for training
a- For training in the academy, you will not need to purchase an expensive professional ball – you will only need your own for personal training.
In some schools, they give out all the necessary equipment for free.
b- If you buy it yourself, then the child will need the following basketball equipment list:
1- The ball
The average cost of basketball ball ranges from $10 to $70.
The official basketball is made of leather and its size ranges from 29.5 to 30 inches in circumference for men’s competitions and 28.5 inches in circumference for women’s game.
A well-inflated ball should bounce 49 to 54 inches in height when bounced off 6 feet from the floor.
Basketball Size Chart – Recommended Sizes for Kids & Adults
|2 -4 years||Size 1 “Micro-mini”||16 inches, 8 oz|
|4 – 8 years||Size 3 “Mini”||22 inches, 10 oz|
|5 – 8 years||Size 4 “Junior ball”||25 inches, 14 oz|
|9-11 years||Size 5 “Youth size”||27.5 inches, 17 oz|
|12 – 14 years||Size 6 “Intermediate”||28.5 inches, 20 oz|
|15 years & older||Size 7 “Official size”||29.5 inches, 22 oz|
2- Basketball shoes
The average cost of basketball sneakers ranges from $40 to $120.
High top basketball shoes are preferred, to maintain high traction on the basketball court and make you comfortable during games.
3- Basketball clothing
A T-shirt and sports pants or shorts are enough, but if the child joins a group or academy, a uniform may be needed.
The cost will significantly vary according to the trademark, so the choice is up to you.
4- Protection equipment
- A knee pads to protect from abrasions and injuries.
- A suitable mouth guard will cost $10 to $20 to protect from dangerous contacts.
5- Court equipment
If you need a complete basketball set for indoor game, you should add for the previous:
- Basketball net or hoop
- Shot clock
or you can buy a lifetime portable basketball system for $250 to $600.
6- Training equipment
You can add to the list some training equipment as speed cones and agility ladder.
b- average cost of basketball classes
This is the same principle as in many other sports: there are both paid and completely free classes.
The average cost of 60-minute basketball lessons is $55.
Of course, it will vary according to the teacher, location, and the type of training.
You can find basketball lessons for groups which will be cheaper.
For example, 8 training sessions for a group of 4 may cost $100 “$25 per player”.
c- Events and camps
These include summer sports camps, out-of-town training camps, and competitive basketball leagues in other cities or countries.
The latter, as a rule, are paid by the receiving party (except for the road), but the participation of parents in paying for camps and fees varies and can range from a few percents to full cost.
Youth basketball leagues are a great way to improve the kids level and boost their skills.
How to choose the right basketball academy?
The child’s sporting success depends not only on personal talents but also on a good section.
Fortunately, choosing suitable basketball classes near you will not be difficult. Thanks to the popularity of the sport, there are various options, even in small cities.
When choosing a section, consider the following points:
For effective training you need not just a sports hall, but a basketball court with the appropriate dimensions (28 ×15 m according to the standards of the International Basketball Federation) and suitable floor;
2- Expectations of classes
If you are going to raise a champion, better to choose big clubs, which offers national competitions and regular basketball camps.
3- Financial capabilities
Find out whether the section offers free equipment, how outdoor events are paid for, whether there is a paid additional training, if the classes are generally free, etc .;
Before sending you kid to basketball lessons, take other parents’ reviews and personal impressions of the coach.
Search on the Internet, ask friends and watch the training in person if possible;
5- The opinion of the child
If for some reason a small athlete does not like the section, do not ignore these wishes, because the child should receive pleasure in the first place.
Youth basketball is an exciting sport, dynamic, and comprehensively developing the kid.
By doing it, the young athlete will not only improve his fitness but also learn how to work in a team and think creatively.
Basketball is equally well suited to both boys and girls; the main condition is that the child must love the movement and be sociable to spend a fun time.
It is better to start classes at the age of 8-9 years, and the child will be able to train at any time of the year and in any weather, in the basketball court or on the street.
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