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Youth Basketball ages 5 and up

Image of a basketballDo you want to be a basketball star?

Youth basketball is a great place to start. There are several choices out there. Many boys and girls clubs offer basketball, or your school, or basketball camp. Some Gyms even offer youth basketball. Some places depending on where you live even have basketball leagues that are year round.

Youth playing a basketball game

Expense.

As far as cost goes basketball is one of the cheapest sports to get into.

The cost vary depending on where and who you play for.

If you play for a school they usually provide you with the uniform. So there your cost would only be to buy a pair of shoes that would be good for the court. Unless of course you want a net and ball to play and practice at home. Other expenses would be maybe gas and food if your parents went to an away game to watch you.

Now playing at a basketball camp on the other hand cost between $150 to $1,000.  These cost do not always include uniform fees, but some don’t require a uniform they just request that you bring white tee shirts and maybe a certain color of shorts.

The YMCA youth basketball cost between $80 and $120 this usually includes a Jersey.

The boys and girls club cost about $130 and also includes a jersey.

Now most schools don’t start sports until middle school so if you want to play before then your best bet would be the YMCA or the Boy’s and Girl’s club.

Most youth groups start at age eight (8).

Personally I would recommend starting out with a youth group of some kind to learn the basics. And do a little bit of research on the positions to see what position meets your strengths. Or what position you would like to play.

My story.

When I was in Jr. High School now known as middle school, I was encouraged by a good friend to try out for the school basketball team. Although I loved basketball, I was a bit intimidated to try out thinking I was not good enough to ever make the team. With a bit more encouragement and the promise that she would try out if I did, I finally bit the bullet and added my name to the tryout roster.

Tryouts were three days long and we were tested on different abilities such as speed and endurance, how well we could dribble and pass the ball, making shot, and most important be a team player.

At the end of the third day the coach had us all sit on the floor, and said although we all did a great job, he could not pick all of us and if he called your name please stand up and walk over to the mid court line.

As he called off names, I wondered to myself are these the players or are these the ones being cut. Then there it was, He called my name. As I, walked to the mid court line my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest. I was filled with anxiety not knowing if I had made the team or had been cut.

The coach called off a few more names than walked over to the mid court with all of us, turned to the others still sitting on the floor and announced. As I, said you were all great and my choice was hard unfortunately if you are still sitting down, you did not make the team. Then he turned to us that were standing and said, Congratulations you are all officially The Jaguars basketball team.

I don’t think I have ever been so excited as I was in that moment. Although, my friend not making the team was a bit disappointing.

Positions

After a few practices the coach called us altogether and informed us that he had made his position choices.  He informed me I would be a point guard.

Point Guard. What? ME?                                                                                                     

I was given the position of point guard. At first, I wondered why the coach would give me this important position being I was not a great shooter being of small stature, but I guess I was pretty good at reading not only my team but the other team as well, and I was good at guarding other players, stealing the ball and passing it to those I knew could make the shot and put points on the board.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

I never missed a practice. I wanted to be the best I could be and help my team. Even on days that we had no game or practice I practiced on my own.

I road my bike and ran to strengthen my legs, I worked on dribbling, and when I didn’t have someone with me to help, I would throw the ball at a wall as if it was another person to whom I was passing the ball to. I did all I could to work on myImage of a basketball court

game.

I loved how it made me feel to be good at my position I sometimes wished I was taller though so I could make more baskets. But being a team player, I just became the best I could at the position I played and getting the ball to the players that could make the points.

Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t that I could not score at all I just couldn’t make the long shots. I practiced and practiced but that just was not in the cards for me. I soon realized that I needed to stop trying so hard to be a shooter and just master what I could do.

I have to say I played my position pretty good it was not often another player got past me. And when I stole the ball and passed it I almost always met my mark.

No, I am not trying to brag I am only stating that through hard work and commitment I became the best I could be at my position.

I wanted to be great at all of it but I realized that was not possible. The point I am trying to make is that it is best to work hard at the position you play no matter the sport instead of trying to do it all.

Trust the Coach.

The coach puts people in certain positions for a reason, so trust that no matter what position you play the coach put you there because he had trust that you would play well in that position. As I, stated above I wondered why the coach gave me the position of point guard when I was less than great at making shots. But when I asked him he explained to me that although I was not a great shooter I was good at handling the ball, blocking other players and getting the ball to the right people when I had it. See he understood that even though I myself could not make a great shot I was good at getting the ball and getting it to others on my team. He told me he knew that I understood not only my strengths but the strengths of the other players.

I did eventually become better at making shots. Not a three pointer but I put a few points on the board at a couple of games.

Everyone gets a chance.

I learned early on that it doesn’t matter who on your team scores the points what matters are getting the points on the board. We had a couple of players on our team that made almost every shot they tried for and I knew in a pinch these were the ones I wanted to get the ball to but I also wanted to give all the players on the court the chance to make points as well. Did this always work out in our favor? No, but when it did it sure built up the confidence in the player that scored. Our coach was pretty good at making us understand that yes, winning was important but win or lose we do it as a team and a team does not consist of just two or three good players. So rather you were a great shot or not if you were the only one open you were getting the ball.

On to the playoffs.

My team made it to the playoffs that year unfortunately I did not get to play in the last part of our season I moved away.

I wish I would have played for the other school I went to but I never tried out.

Where would I be now.

I often think back to those days and reminisce. Sometimes I even wonder if my life would have turned out different had I continued to play. Who knows I may have gone pro.

I really did love the game.

Life Lessons.

I learned a lot of life lessons playing basketball. Like just be you! You don’t have to be like Jenny who makes every shot. Take what you can do and master it or at least be the best you can be this is a real confidence builder. Everyone on a team has an important part because without one part/skill someone else’s part won’t function right. I mean if those great shooters didn’t have the point guard to block for them or get the ball to them then what are the chances of them making that shot? On the other hand if the point guard didn’t have those great shooters then who would put points on the board. Get the point? Team work is a must in any sport. It takes some great ethics to respect the position of ever player and their part in the game and not thinking you are the best and without you they would never win.

If I had to give any advice.

My advice to anyone who wants to play basketball is work hard at whatever position you are given. Make the best of your abilities in that position, but most of all be a team player.

 

 

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