It’s cold in Northern New Jersey. In fact, we are right in the middle of a snow storm as I write this! This time of year can seemingly last forever. Short days, snow and ice, dirty cars, steel grey skies, and fly away static-y hair (my own personal pet peeve) make it feel like winter will never end! But there is a bright spot for our family. It’s what makes the winter pass quickly…basketball!
Right now we are smack in the middle of basketball season. Three of my four kids play it. My 6th grade son plays for his school and my 4th grade daughter and Kindergartener son play for Upward, an excellent basketball program run by our church. My husband coaches my daughter’s team. I am also considered a coach but I basically hang out on the bench with the girls during the games. We are often at basketball practices and games 4-5 times a week! But, I love every minute of it!
- Consistent temperature. Yes, this is the first thing I thought of! Maybe because we are in the middle of a big snow storm and I’m cold! With other sports, because they are played outdoors, you either freeze or sweat to death. In fact you usually do both in the same season. Not basketball! It’s always a nice warm consistent temperature!
- Exercise. All the running up and down a court for an hour is great exercise during a time of year when it is often hard to get any!
- No equipment needed. No pads, shinguards, helmets, sticks, hats, gloves, etc. Just a uniform, shoes, one ball for the team and you’re good to go!
- The joy of making a basket. There’s nothing like putting the ball through the net; scoring for your team. The joy on the kid’s faces when they score is so neat to see!
- Coaching. As I mentioned above, I “coach” my daughter’s team. I use that term very loosely because it’s actually my husband and two other men who do the coaching. I get the fun part. I hang out with the girls on the bench encouraging them, sending them out, and keeping the books. We have fun on the bench watching the game and cheering on our team! It’s the best way to coach!
- The after party. We often go out as a team after the games of my older two children. We all crowd into a local pizza place and laugh and joke and discuss the game. It’s a time to blow off steam, talk about the other team, and just have fun!
- It’s fast paced. My oldest son played baseball for a number of years. Those games were torture; especially when they first began kid pitch. They dragged on forever! Basketball is fast because there is a time clock. Up and down the court the kids run; then time runs out and the game is over. That it!
- Girls playing ball. Girls know how to have fun. They come with cute socks and all wear matching headbands. Girls dance onto the court and cheer each other on. They hug the coaches and each other. Girls make it fun!
- Kindergarten boys. This is my favorite age to watch! They are all so excited to play…and so clueless. Not a lot of dribbling goes on, no one guards their own man, baskets are shot into the wrong goal, they run in a clump, and most games call time out at least twice due to tears. But they have passion! Kindergarten boys love to play and it shows.
- Teamwork. I love to see the team come together. The Upward teams usually begin the season with virtually none of the kids knowing each other. By the second game they are all friends, cheering each other on and giving hi-fives and hugs. They quickly learn who does what and a rhythm develops during the games. Then, after the game, they come together, discussing how they did and congratulating each other. This, this is what matters! This is my favorite part to see!
So, that is my top ten list of why I like the basketball season and why it helps us survive the long cold winter!
Does anyone in your family play basketball? If so what are your favorite parts of the game? Or does your family have another way that you survive this season?
I just wanted to leave you with a great video. They actually played it during halftime at my kids’ games last week. This video, although it is about football, shows what sports should be all about. It shows what we should be teaching our kids! Watch it, you will love it!