Most neighbourhoods have a basketball court in the vicinity, but few children actually make use of it. Here's why you should encourage your child to take up the sport.
There are certain sports like swimming, jogging, cycling, etc which are solo sports or activities. You don't need to depend on anyone, and you don't need to coordinate with anyone for playing these sports. Sports like tennis, squash and other racquet sports require some more co-ordination and are relatively more social than solo sports while at the other end of the spectrum, sports like football, basketball and hockey are great team-sports. They teach you how to depend on each other and function as a team, which is bound to hold you in stead later on in life. You learn when to step back and let the other person score for the good of the team and when to take the initiative and lead your team to victory. You learn to support each other's efforts and to strive for a common goal. The same principals you learn on a court hold good in a boardroom.
It is easy to practice basketball by yourself by shooting hoops and dribbling. However, you do need access to a basketball court. You could also simply put up a hoop in your driveway at home if you have one, or at the back of your child's bedroom door. A basketball hoop is inexpensive and many public parks have basketball courts, so you don't need an exclusive and expensive club membership in order that your child be able to play this sport.
If your child has a basketball team at school, you should encourage her to take up the sport. Being part of your school's team goes a long way in developing and building your child's confidence. It also helps build popularity, which is crucial to a school-going child.
Basketball fosters a healthy spirit of competition. True, you can shoot hoops by yourself, but it isn't as much fun as when competing with someone.
You also tend to be on friendly terms with at least some of the people you play with, and on acquaintance terms with the others. If your child has been playing basketball for a long time, chances are high that he will develop friendships that will last long into adulthood. This is naturally not the main purpose of the game, but it doesn't hurt matters any when you try to get business from a company and discovers that the person who you have to win over played basketball with you when you were kids!
Just like any other racquet sport, basketball increases hand to eye coordination. It is an extremely active game as it involves constant running around, and thus offers cardiovascular benefits. Unlike a team sport like cricket, in which most of the players stand around in the field or wait for a turn to bat, everyone is constantly on the move in basketball, with the result that you will get a thorough workout after playing the game for an hour. In fact, you can burn around 700 calories an hour when playing basketball, depending, of course, on how good you are at the game.