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Do Sports: So You Want to Play Basketball?

Do Sports:
So You Want to Play Basketball?

What's basketball all about?
True or false: You have to be tall to play ball
What kind of workout will I get?
What kind of warm-up do I do for basketball?
What equipment do I need?

If you like playing basketball, you're not alone. Basketball is the most popular team sport for girls in the United States. Maybe you want to play because you're inspired by those amazing women of the WNBA. Or maybe a friend asked you to join her team. Whatever the reason, basketball is always in season. back to top

What's basketball all about?
Basketball can be played just about anywhere. Some girls play basketball in a gym on a wooden court or outside on an asphalt court. Others shoot baskets in a schoolyard. Or maybe you know someone who has a basketball net above the garage door. Wherever you play, you'll learn about teamwork, meet new people, and use your brain and your body! back to top

True or false: You have to be tall to play ball
False. Some people think you have to be tall to be a basketball player, but it isn't true! Sometimes smaller players are better than bigger players at the quick moves and changes of direction that are part of the game. back to top

What kind of workout will I get?
Basketball is a great cardio exercise because you are constantly running up and down the court. When you pass and shoot the ball, your arms and upper body are getting a workout too. Try these exercises to strengthen the different muscles you need and improve your skills on the court:
  • Cardiovascular conditioning like running or hiking will improve your stamina so you won't poop out before the game is over.
  • Plyometrics like jumping rope will improve your agility so you can move from side to side and change directions quickly.
  • Strength training exercises for your upper body (the deltoid and trapezius muscles), like shoulder presses and shoulder rolls, give your arms the power they need to shoot and score. back to top
What kind of warm-up do I do for basketball?
Start out by doing some jogging and then slowly add sprints, side-to-side movement or cutting, shooting, and quick starts and stops. Don't go all out during your warm-up. The goal is to loosen up the muscles you'll be using when you play. Once your body feels warm, do some gentle stretching. back to top

What equipment do I need?
Basketball isn't an expensive sport because you don't need a lot of equipment. And most schools and communities have basketball courts for girls to use. The basics you'll need are:
  • a good pair of sneakers or basketball shoes with ankle support
  • shorts and top made out of "breathable" material
  • a warm-up jacket and sweatpants for before and after practice
  • 28.5 inch basketball for practicing your dribbling, shooting, and ball handling skills between games back to top
Last Modified Date: 4/4/2001
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