NBA basketball draws an average of around 1,000,000 viewers in America alone. If you consider basketball-crazy countries around the world like China, Lithuania, and the Philippines, you will get eight-figure viewers easily.
Here are more numbers: Around the world, FIBA estimates that as many as 450 million people are playing the sport, with 26 million in the United States alone. Now, if you’re asking why basketball is fun and why many people are playing it, this article will answer that and hopefully provide you more.
What Makes Basketball Fun?
Basketball is a fun sport for many reasons, and we’d like to give you a more precise snapshot of what basketball is truly like:
1. Played at an exciting pace. Compared to other team sports such as soccer, basketball does not drag on without anything happening. With “anything,” we mean scoring. Looking at the tally and seeing 1-0 is no fun at all. With basketball, players run up and down the court and switch from offense to defense in a matter of seconds. Players see the fruits of their labor immediately on the scoreboard, which only adds to the thrill.
2. It’s exercise within a game, or it’s a game with exercise; however you look at it. We all have Dr. James Naismith to thank for this. Exercise was primarily the necessity that mothered this invention, and he did an excellent job of putting exercise into the game or putting the game into exercise. Either way, it contributes to the fun!
3. It requires competition. You can’t call it a sport without competition and the same is true for basketball. For us, this is one of the factors that made basketball fun. When you are playing against other people with the same skill or even slightly better than you are, this ignites a fire and makes you want to do better.
4. It doesn’t need complicated equipment. You will be able to play the game if you have two things: a ball and a hoop. Shoes are essential, but if your main goal is to break a sweat, you can play on your flip-flops while shooting baskets or practicing how to dribble.
5. It must be played with skills. There are a lot of exciting things going on in a relatively short amount of time. In one possession, you’ll see so many skills on display– dribbling, passing, defense, and scoring.
6. You can play it in any weather. Basketball was initially invented to be an indoor sport. In the warmer months, it’s also fun to go out and play at the parks, but if the weather would not permit, you can also play indoors. Either way, it’s a win-win.
7. Lots of health benefits. There is so much going on in a basketball game. From a physical standpoint, it makes every single part of your body work together as you play. Basketball is not only a very physical sport; it also has tons of mental aspects to it.
8. It’s readily available. You don’t need to go too far if you’re looking for a basketball game. If you have a hoop in your driveway or backyard plus a decent ball, you’re good to go.
9. The fundamentals are easy to learn. Of course, nobody expects you to be good at every skill immediately. That said, if you’re coordinated enough to dribble with either hand and shoot, you can begin playing.
10. Simple rules. To start playing and have fun in the game, there are not many complicated rules to remember. In a lot of cases, the basic dribbling rules and fouls are enough to get you started.
11. It teaches you many life lessons. Basketball teaches you to overcome obstacles and the value of teamwork and respect.
12. It is never monotonous. There is always another way to improve your shot, your dribbling, and your passing. Yes, you will see yourselves immersed in the same situations in a game, but there are always different ways to react to it. As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
13. It can be played with any number of players. Well, by “any,” we mean you can play basketball alone, 1-on-1, 2-on-2, and so forth.
14. Never too young or too old. Generally speaking, it would be ideal to start playing sports at a young age, but even if you’re not considered “young,” that shouldn’t be an excuse not to play or enjoy the game.
15. Basketball sneakers are the coolest. It’s not a need, especially for beginners, but it’s recommended that, at least, you have to have the proper shoes for the sport. There are literally hundreds of options for you out there, and we love how wearing basketball sneakers brings out a sense of individuality to the game.
Why Basketball is So Popular?
There is no doubt that the Internet and other forms of media contributed to the meteoric rise of basketball’s popularity. The NBA was a product of the highest kind in terms of skill, athletic ability, and physical attributes. The league is truly a melting pot of the most elite athletes.
Speaking of the Internet, this age of social media unquestionably has a lot to do with the surge in popularity of the sport. The players’ personal social media pages allow them to interact with the fans, making them out to be real people rather than demi-gods that we know nothing about.
All of these reasons are factors why basketball is so popular, but for the next section, let’s talk more about the health benefits of playing basketball.
What Are Some Benefits of Playing Basketball?
Basketball requires a lot of movement, and with movement, comes an increased heart rate. In this setting, a higher heart rate does plenty of good for your cardiovascular health. Your heart pumps much harder, resulting in increased blood flow throughout your body. That way, you are training your body to transport oxygen and blood more efficiently. Your muscles will use fuel more efficiently in the long run, and physical movements will come easier.
The physical benefits of basketball do not end with the heart and the muscles. The running, jumping, cuts, and all the lateral movements involved, burn so many calories. It is estimated that you can use around 600 to 900 calories per hour, depending on a person’s weight. With the muscles doing its work competently, the bones also follow suit. Strong bones and muscles will often result in proper balance and coordination.
Basketball, like other forms of exercise, also makes the bodies release endorphins, a natural painkiller that triggers positivity while reducing stress. Reduced stress has a direct effect on the immune system, giving you the energy and focus on accomplishing tasks, and ultimately prevents mental illnesses such as depression.
Speaking of mental health, basketball offers a lot when it comes to that aspect. You are not only making your muscles and bones durable, you are also keeping your mind sharp. The game requires a lot of focus. Focus, in turn, helps you process what’s happening on the court and observe the actions of others. From there, you have to make split-second decisions based on what everybody is doing.
Naturally, you don’t make the correct decisions every single time. In that way, basketball teaches you life lessons about your actions and its consequences. If you make mistakes, you have to learn from it or else, you’ll suffer from the results. Basketball also teaches mental resilience. There are times in a game where your team could be down big, but if you are resilient, you will learn how to climb back from these “holes” and get the win, even if it’s just a moral victory.
Our emotions have a lot to do with our body chemistry; if our body does not feel right, we don’t feel right. Since basketball can bring lots of physical benefits, its effects trickle down to emotional enhancement as well.
How can basketball do that? Well, playing sports will boost your self-esteem. Even the slightest of plays will have that impact. It may be a good defensive play, a beautiful pass to your teammate that led to a basket, or a tracked loose ball to get your team an extra possession. All of these little things contribute to self-confidence, and basketball provides a lot of opportunities for players to become valuable in their own way. This will significantly improve your disposition in all aspects of life.
Because basketball is a team sport, it instantly teaches players one thing right away: No team can be successful without the help of every member. This lesson encourages teamwork, which leads to cooperation, communication, and accountability within the members of the team. All of these are skills that will improve your relationship with other people.
Basketball will also teach you about playing fair, and that cheating or dishonest actions will be penalized and punished. Hence, it will instill in you the needed discipline to obey the rules. If you are fair and honest, you will be recognized, and even the referees or your opponents will respect you.
Aside from the life lessons about fairness and respect, perhaps the greatest thing about the game is the friendships and the bonds that you will forge. Because you share the same passion for the game with these people that you have met, you will always have something to talk about. Lastly, these new connections will lead to a bigger social circle that you can continuously tap into later in life.
Why You Should Play Basketball?
All of the benefits mentioned above– physical, mental, emotional, and social– gives you a lot of reasons why you should play basketball and why people love basketball. Have you ever heard of the term “Ball is life?” That is undoubtedly the principle at work when it comes to the game. It’s dynamism, the need for skill and athleticism, the need for a quick-thinking mind, and its natural ebbs and flows, all make basketball such a beautiful game to watch and play.
Wrapping Things Up: Key Takeaways
Basketball is a fascinating sport that captures the hearts of millions around the world. It’s played on concrete, driveways, backyards, and on big arenas– anywhere where there is a space to hang a backboard and a hoop.
Not everyone will understand the allure of the game, but even if you’re not naturally drawn to it, there are a lot of reasons why you should give basketball a chance (if you haven’t already). The benefits of playing basketball are immense– a healthier body, a sharper mind, and better friendships with people you play with and against.
Most importantly, basketball showers you with life lessons that you will cherish for the rest of your days. It will capture your imagination and compels you to be ambitious, to always do better, and to keep your goal in sight. It will make you accept reality, whether it’s good or bad. It will help you make the best of what you have– it doesn’t matter if you’re undersized or can only jump two inches off the ground– it will require you to be the best that you can be and overcome these obstacles.
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