5 Reasons Why You Should Start Playing Basketball

Mountain Hiking Tips Asia

Do not judge a book by its cover. I repeat. Do not judge a book by its cover.
Basketball… you look so simple yet complicated.

Hmm… What exactly is this orange ball about?
Basketball is a popular team sport enjoyed by many globally. Heard of the Los Angeles Lakers? How about the Golden State Warriors? I’m sure you have heard about these famous teams playing in the National Basketball Association games, or in short, NBA. If you’re absolutely clueless about what this game is about and how it’s plated, read on! :-)

So… How many players are on the court?

If you are looking at an official game, 10 people are to be on the court at all times - 5 players on each team competing against each other. Points are allocated to team when they score against each other by throwing the ball into the hoop.

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For shots taken outside the big semi-circle, it is counted as three points. On the other hand, if you take a shot inside the big semi-circle nearer to the basket, only two points will be awarded.

If one from team A receives a foul while attacking the basket during the game , team A will be given two free throws and each one counts as one point each. The person that gets to stand on the free throw line will be the one who gets fouled by team B.

Each game is divided into four quarters of 10 minutes. During the game, the coach can call a timeout for the players to come out and rest or discuss about the formation for the remaining of the game.

There are five main positions – point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and centre.

Point Guard (PG)

Usually the shortest (oops) but one who has the best ball handling skills

Other than bringing up the ball, a point guard decides on which set plays to run on court according to what defense the opponent set up. This player must be able to be quick and efficient when it comes to decision making as every second is key in a game of basketball.

Shooting Guard (SG)

The one with highest shooting rate and LOVES to shoot the ball

A set play is planned with a strategy in mind to allow players to score baskets against opponents. It can be for an open shot or layup. Hence, depending on the set plays called and the defense put up by your opponent team, the coach of each time will set up plays to counter attack and score against the opponent.

If the opponent team plays a zone defense, experienced coaches will usually call plays that allows our shooters to be free for a shot to increase their percentage of scoring a basket. In Singapore, the shooting guard are most likely the point guard as well.

Small Forward (SF)

You’ll see him/her running everywhere on court without a sweat!

They are usually the ones you see running around and going for fast breaks all the time. Also, they are probably the ones who are can do a little bit of everything such as shooting and penetrating to the basket. Speaking of forward, who are you thinking of right now?

Power Forward (PF)

Second tallest… Really?

In the game of basketball, the power forwards are most likely the second tallest on the team. They are skilled at mid-range shots and contribute to the team through the points from shots that are nearer to the basket. Similar to the center, they are usually in charge of taking the rebounds.

Center (C)

Usually the tallest and strongest under the basket!

The job of a center is to get as many rebounds as possible (both offensive and defensive rebounds) and to convert it into points. For instance, if your teammate missed the basket, centers will usually box out, fight for position with the opponent, get the rebound and go for the second attempt again (of course you want to get that ball in the basket).

When defending, they are the ones getting the rebound most of the time before passing it to the point guard or shooting guard to start the play or let the forwards go for a fast break for easy points.

Just to be clear, the positions of the different players depends solely on the dynamics of the team and strength of the individual players that are present during the game. Positions are hardly fixed!

For example, there can be a point where there are two shooting guards playing in the match, and they can take turns to bring the ball down and set up plays. Hence, to play basketball, you need to be really flexible with the positions that you take up depanding on the dynamics of the team.

What do you need before you start playing basketball?

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AN ORANGE BALL… DUH (??!!)
To start in this game, you need to have a basketball right? I personally know how expensive these balls can go up to.To be honest, you do not need anything too expensive or fanciful if you are just playing at your own leisure time. Check out Decathlon’s Tarmak basketballs! They provide balls with good grips and high durability at a reasonable price.

NEXT, A BASKETBALL COURT! Right… right?
Frankly speaking, this will never be a problem in Singapore. In every neighbourhood in Singapore, you will find a basketball court in common spaces such as HDB housing areas!

It is so convenient because it is free for usage as long as you don’t fight with another person on court! (Just kidding) In some of the community centres, sheltered basketball courts are also made available for usage! Sport facilities are constantly undergoing upgrading projects to ensure that everyone has access to sports easily, and this is in line with Decathlon’s mission of making sports accessible to the many!

If you are desperate to find a basketball court, you can always book courts to play. I am sure you know where to find them right, my fellow basketball friends? I will leave this topic for another article.

Finally… Why play basketball?

1. No excuses not to work out!
Like I mentioned above, there are no excuses for you not to work out AT ALL because there is a basketball court practically everywhere!!! I meant it when I say everywhere, you should know it too! :-)

Frankly speaking, even without the basketball court, you just need a ball to kick start your basketball journey. You can start bouncing it at home, but please… Do not do it during wee hours when everyone else is sleeping. Morning? Afternoon? It will probably work and you can bounce while listening to your mum nag at you at the same time (fingers cross, haha).

You see, you basically spend nothing when playing basketball. Other than the first investment on the basketball itself, you are good to go! Just think about how many times you can play basketball per week or month, it’s definitely worth it.

2. Physical benefits
Do you know that you can burn up to 300 calories just by shooting hoops for 1 hour? Amazing information right? You can do something you are interested in and lose weight at the same time.

Running and dribbling? Jumping while shooting? Running around all the time around the court just to make yourself available why attacking the basket, and switching to defence mode depending on the situation? Coordination and speed are two key improvements you will see when playing basketball.

3. Mental benefits
Where do I even start? I started playing basketball when I was 13 years old. I would not be who I am today without this sport.

Firstly, this sport taught me so much about teamwork. You may be the most experienced and skillful player on the court, but you have to always remember there are five other players playing with you. To win a team game, teamwork is extremely important.

There is no other reason why Michael Jordan would say “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championship.”

My advice is to never play “solo” because it doesn’t work this way. You need to trust and be confident not only in yourself but also your teammates. With that, even if your team is an underdog, trust me, you can rise to the top.Next, it taught me that in order to see progression, I have to stay disciplined. I had to be patient to witness my progression through the years.

You have to put in the effort, time, sweat, blood and even tears…

One of my favourite quote of all time, “Basketball is not easy. It is bruised knees, sore muscles and rolled ankles. It is about running sprints, full court layups and the constant shooting drills. It is believing in yourself and the team even when you are losing. It is taking every game and practice seriously. It is having the love for the game because nobody can ever take that away from you.” This kept me going for so long.

It has been 11 years since I started playing, and I am still playing now. At each match and training, I enter the court to give my absolute best and leave with absolutely zero regrets. And this is the only mindset that you should have when participating in every activity, sport or even your daily life!

My point is basketball not only allows you to have health benefits, but also teaches you lifelong values and lessons that you can take away for life. It forces you to make tough (and not always right) decisions, give you lessons that you might not be able to get from school and it nurtures you to be how you want to be in the future.

4. There is always room for improvement!
Based on the experiences that I shared earlier, another point I want to emphasize is that there is always room for improvement, both in life and basketball.

You should not quit something once you hit a wall during your progression. The path of learning is never ending as each experience is unique. Different exposures through the various opponents you will face, the different teammates you will work with, the list is endless! This applies in life too. You cannot stop learning in life as well.

5. IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN!!!
Basketball can totally be another option if you want to try and be healthy. It is a game where you can involve so many people in your social network. It is a fun sport where you can play at low cost and keep everyone involved as well. Sweating and catching up.. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Okay enough, let’s get this started now! :-)

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