What Does Basketball Teach You?

Basketball players have the opportunity to learn multiple things from their sport of choice. This article will explore some of those important life lessons in order to help you apply them into your own daily lives.

Being on a great basketball team requires commitment, teamwork and dedication.

These are all qualities that people should possess so they may reach their full potentials as well-rounded individuals.

And that naturally brings us on to what the game teaches…

Basketball teaches you how to be a good team player through communication and collaboration with like-minded people. The sport also fosters habits of patience and hard work, as well as helping players to develop and refine their social skills.

There’s a lot more to talk about, so let’s go ahead and dig into the article!

What does basketball teach us about life?

Here’s how these basketball life lessons can be helpful to you when it comes to everyday tasks at home or work…

1. Being a good team player

One of the most critical aspects of being a successful basketball player is having strong relationships with teammates.

In fact, one of the core principles of becoming a better person involves developing positive interpersonal relationships with other human beings.

So, if you want to become a better leader and team member, you must begin by building solid connections with others around you.

what does basketball teach you - good teamwork

And who knows where this could lead to!

The thing about sports teams is that everyone has different personalities.

As such, every teammate needs to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to form a cohesive unit.

One way of doing this is through open conversations between the members of the team. Talking about issues among yourselves allows both parties to express themselves without fear of judgment.

Through this process, you’ll find out which areas need improvement within the group, while also learning more about your teammates’ likes and dislikes.

By understanding each other’s thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires, you can build stronger bonds together.

Another benefit of talking openly with your teammates is getting feedback from them.

Getting constructive criticism from someone else can really boost self-confidence and improve personal growth.

It helps develop your leadership abilities because you’re able to see things from another perspective than just your own. Also, sharing ideas with your fellow athletes will allow you to brainstorm solutions to problems and challenges that come up often throughout practice.

Ultimately, it creates unity and enhances camaraderie, especially since there are only 11 guys on a court instead of hundreds of strangers in a workplace.

Teamwork plays a huge part in any sport, whether you’re participating individually or forming groups like a squad.

The best basketball players make sure that they communicate effectively with their teammates during practices and games. They use words like “we” rather than “I,” “us” not “me.”

For example, saying “We missed our shot” versus “I failed my assignment.”

When you do this, you establish trust and respect amongst yourself and encourage accountability towards goals and objectives.

In addition, communication is essential in creating effective strategies on the field, no matter what position you play.

If you don’t know what to say next in a game situation, you could end up making mistakes, missing opportunities and losing points.

On top of that, you might even lose valuable minutes, leading to further consequences. That’s why practicing speaking before big events is crucial for public speakers (and basketball players)!

It’s also important to remember that communicating clearly with your teammates doesn’t mean ignoring disagreements or conflicts.

Sometimes conflict arises due to misunderstandings, but sometimes it results from differences in opinions, expectations, perceptions, etc..

To handle conflicts professionally, you should first try resolving them calmly and then using assertive communication methods to solve them. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your teammates directly, then maybe it would help to talk to your coach privately.

Your goal here shouldn’t be to get everything resolved immediately. Instead, you should aim to create a culture of openness and transparency, so that everyone feels free to speak candidly and share concerns.

Finally, it’s imperative to keep in mind that not everybody shares your vision or values. While you should always strive to maintain harmony, you cannot force your teammates to change their mindsets.

What you can do however, is to show loyalty and confidence in your convictions, regardless of how much they dislike it. With that said, the idea isn’t necessarily to convince somebody against his/her will.

Rather, the point is to stick to your beliefs and stand firm despite opposition.

That’s why it’s vital for you to recognize the importance of maintaining good relationships with your peers.

Not only does it enhance your ability to succeed as a basketball athlete, but it also leads to greater success outside of the gym too.

2. No substitute for working hard

Whether you’ve played basketball for years or you started recently, you know that training properly takes time.

Whether it means conditioning, shooting, dribbling, passing, defense, rebounding, or running backcourt, the more hours you spend practicing and honing your craft, the better you’ll eventually perform.

But there’s nothing easy about achieving excellence. There are no short cuts to greatness. Working hard consistently over long periods of time is key.

This is something that you simply won’t find in many workplaces.

More often than not, employees expect pay checks and perks without putting forth effort.

However, professional athletes put in countless hours per week on preparing for upcoming competitions.

Players dedicate days and weeks toward improving certain skill sets, strategizing new moves and rehearsing complex sequences until they master them perfectly.

what does basketball teach you - no substitute for hard work

Then again, there are also times when they take breaks or rest to relax physically and mentally.

Nonetheless, they never give up on their dreams. Their persistence pays off, and they achieve exactly what they set out to accomplish.

As mentioned earlier, basketball teaches us to stay focused and committed towards our goals. Every day, we should wake up determined to excel.

We should start with small victories, gradually moving forward little by little until we finally arrive at our desired destination.

For instance, let’s say you were trying to lose weight.

Maybe you haven’t been exercising regularly lately and decided to join a fitness club. Or perhaps you wanted to run faster during track and field meets.

Whatever your goals are, focus on accomplishing small successes along the way. Give it your best shot, and continue to push ahead.

Don’t stop until you hit your target.

Just like Michael Jordan once noted, “Failures aren’t permanent unless you fail to adjust.”

So, whenever you face difficulties or obstacles, reflect upon them and ask yourself questions. Such situations usually arise given that we live in imperfect worlds.

How did you react last time this happened to you?

Were you able to adapt to changes, or did you give up on your plans altogether? Did you consider changing course or altering your strategy?

If you’re persistent enough, you’ll surely figure out ways to avoid repeating the same mistakes, and move past disappointments.

Remember, failure is inevitable if you don’t continuously evaluate your progress and adjust accordingly. Only then can you truly grow as a person and attain true success.

3. Basketball builds social skills

Playing basketball can certainly teach you lots of useful life lessons. Most importantly, it can prepare you for real world scenarios in terms of interacting with others.

To begin with, basketball drills require cooperation and coordination.

Even though you may think otherwise, winning matches depends solely on individuals working together as a team.

Therefore, you must learn how to cooperate with teammates, support one another and motivate one another.

what does basketball teach you - social skills

Furthermore, you have to be aware of team dynamics and understand the roles of each participant within the group.

Lastly, you also need to be able to deal with distractions and pressure appropriately.

All of these life lesson concepts translate very well into the business setting.

Although you may still encounter competition, it’s less likely compared to the scenario in basketball. Moreover, dealing with colleagues is far easier than handling opponents on a court.

But besides that, basketball also provides you with practical advice on how to interact with customers, clients, bosses, and co-workers alike.

It prepares you for various types of meetings, negotiations, sales pitches, presentations, interviews, job applications, networking events and similar activities.

All of these experiences help you gain knowledge on how to conduct oneself in front of others.

4. Stress management

Aside from teaching you etiquette, manners, and professionalism, basketball also gives you invaluable insight on how to manage stress.

Basketball requires strict discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, and patience. Yet, at the same time, it also tests you constantly through gruelling workouts and tough battles.

Therefore, basketball life lessons can help you cope with stressful moments in your everyday life.

Stress management becomes increasingly difficult when confronted with prolonged hardships.

Learning how to control your emotions and stay calm under pressure makes you realize that overcoming adversity is possible.

5. Fostering meaningful human connections

Lastly, basketball teaches its participants how to connect with others. It shows you how to relate to friends, family and loved ones.

It encourages you to appreciate diversity, embrace difference and treat people fairly regardless of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc.

You can also look beyond superficial characteristics like appearance and style and value people for who they actually are inside.

After all, we’re all made differently yet equally unique. Treat people kindly, and you’ll soon see them return the favor.

6. Patience is a virtue

Patience is arguably the hardest quality to acquire.

Everyone wants instant gratification, including adults.

Children crave toys right away, whereas adults prefer bigger salaries, fancy cars, luxurious homes, and expensive vacations straightaway.

Yet, basketball teaches its young participants the virtue of waiting patiently.

A lot of coaches emphasize the importance of holding onto possessions rather than giving them away.

In fact, if you watch closely, a lot of basketball moves involve players passing the ball amongst each other as they wait for the perfect attacking opening to present itself.

Have a look at this patient build up play as an example:

What skills can you develop from basketball?

Aside from the aforementioned teachings that the game has to offer, basketball can also help players develop certain physical and mental skills.

Here’s a brief look at two of these…

Paying attention to detail

A lot of players run through hours and hours of video analysis in order to become better basketballers.

They study the video footage to highlight the existing flaws in their game and come up with appropriate strategies to refine their defensive and attacking movements.

Developing resilience to overcome setbacks

Basketball matches ebb and flow quite regularly during the course of games.

At one moment, the home side could be leading the match and then all of a sudden, the momentum shifts to the away side who push clear with a significant point lead.

Playing basketball regularly helps players develop the mental skill of determination.

In fact, there’s a famous soccer game called Football Manager that contains a list of player attributes that are used to gauge how good players are.

One website defines the PC game’s determination attribute as:

“A player’s commitment and hunger to succeed both on and off the pitch. He will give everything in order to win. This ties in with Bravery as it predicts a player’s commitment (e.g. to win the ball, score goals or simply do his best for the team by putting himself into risky situations.”

Source – Passion4FootballManager

Closing thoughts

This article has really looked at what basketball teaches its participants.

There are so many physical and mental benefits that the game has to offer, which is why a lot of people love to play it.

If you’ve learnt a lot from this article, consider reading through our other posts about the sport like:

About Samuel Waihenya

Samuel is an avid fan of basketball and has been following the sport for over 10 years. He now intends to dedicate his time to produce great content for his own little basketball blog that aims to help its readership with whatever basketball-related topic they can think of. Have a read through Samuel Waihenya's author bio page here.