Created in 1891, basketball is one of the most popular and widely-viewed sports in the world. Two teams of five players each try to score by shooting a ball through a hoop elevated 10 feet above the ground. It is a limited contact sport and involves skills such as dribbling, bouncing, pivoting and shooting.

Basketball teams generally have player positions, the tallest and strongest members of a team are called a center or power forward, while slightly shorter and more agile players are called small forward, and the shortest players or those who possess the best ball handling skills are called a point guard or shooting guard. The point guard directs the on court action of the team, implementing the coach’s game plan, and managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays (player positioning).

Health Benefits

Basketball has a whole range of health benefits and as a high energy, exciting sport, it can burn up to 800 calories per hour if played competitively. As such, it can be a great way to help with weight management and fitness.

As well as the obvious benefits to overall fitness, basketball is great for improving strength, building muscle and helping to create good co-ordination and balance.

On top of the whole host of physical benefits, basketball helps to build focus and motivation, making it a great tool to boost mental health.

Getting Started

Basketball is a team sport and you will need a group of willing participants to engage in a game (although there is much to be said for practicing and shooting a few hoops alone).

Although there is little equipment required, the correct footwear is important in avoiding injury. There is plenty of guidance online about the correct type of shoes to wear on the court.

Aside from finding a great coach and supportive team, it is important to work on your individual fitness, which will enable you to stay on-court for the required time. Exercising in a gym to improve aerobic fitness or taking part in exercise such as yoga for strength, will be crucial in building stamina.

As basketball is a team sport, you will benefit greatly from the support of a qualified coach and a supportive team to guide you through warm-ups and games. The only thing left is to have fun!