Keep Dallas Youth Basketball Fun

Dallas Youth Basketball - Fun

I love the game of basketball, I really do.  And if you ask me why, I really couldn’t tell you.  It’s just as much a part of me as my name.  And I’ve loved the game since I picked the ball up at the age of 10.  With loving the game comes the desire to play the game in an organized setting.  Youth rec league ball, middle school ball, high school basketball, club ball – all things kids do (or desire to do) who love the game.  But as you continue to go up in levels, the game of basketball seems to get more and more serious.  Kids playing high level high school and college ball can start to look at the game as a job.  This makes sense with the amount of time required and how seemingly serious winning and losing becomes.  I’ve known guys who were very good high school and college players who have “burned out” on the game and lost the desire to play completely.  We know about a guy in college who had a shot at the NBA but decided he was done playing organized basketball.  You read that right.  Turning down the chance at the NBA may sound crazy, but when you lose the love and excitement for the game you can get to the point of simply not wanting to play anymore.

Keep Dallas Youth Basketball Fun!

I want you and all Dallas youth basketball players to continue loving and growing with the great game of basketball for as long as you can, so I want to talk about some ways to keep basketball fun regardless of what level organized ball you are playing.


Keep Basketball Dreaming 

When I was a kid, I used to go outside or go down to the park and just shoot the basketball around by myself.  I wouldn’t just shoot around haphazardly, but I would put myself in imaginary scenarios.  For instance, sometimes I was playing in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and would be taking the shot to win the game and the series.  Sometimes I would dream about playing high school Varsity basketball and beating my rival school.  Sometimes I was playing a one-on-one battle with my favorite NBA player.  I could get lost in my imagination on the court for hours.  And you know what, I still do that sometimes today, just not as often as I used to.  Dreaming out on the basketball court is an underrated way to keep having fun with the game.  It is not only fun, but helps to train your brain for when that moment does arrive in a game.


Play Basketball With Your Friends

As you get to higher and higher levels of organized basketball, you start playing with better and better players.  Coaches put teams together largely based on skills.  You can get to the point where you are playing with guys you’ve never played with before, and the only things you all have in common is that you’re both pretty good at what you do.  But before, even during, and after your basketball season take some time out to go play basketball with your friends, whether they are on the team or not.  Whether it’s games of 21, games of 3-on-3, or going down to the local gym to play pickup, playing ball with your friends is always really fun!  Take it from me, somebody who has played up to the college level.  Playing with your friends will create stories you can laugh and joke about forever.  And, if you guys are playing together as a team, you’ll usually have good chemistry, which also contributes to a better playing experience.  Even today, when I am playing pickup ball or rec league ball, I don’t choose the most skilled players to play on my team – I choose to play with my buddies.  It’s just more fun that way.  For those of you spending time in the gym with a basketball trainer, see if you can make new friends or invite your friends to the workout.


Find Your Own Space 

A lot of times players will be asked by their coaches to do things they’re not used to doing for the betterment of the team.  For instance, your coach might ask you to play a different position than what you’re used to.  He may tell you he wants you to only play defense and rebound, even when you know you can do more.  He may also only put you in for a couple minutes per game because he thinks other players give him a better chance to win.  Well, no matter what role you play on your organized team, go find a space where you can go be yourself as a basketball player.  In my basketball life this helped me a lot.  In college, I was asked to play a different position than I had ever played before.  I also didn’t play as much as I did in high school.  So do you know what I would do?  After practice I would go down to the student rec center and play more basketball.  But I would play it my way, at my natural position.  This kept my confidence high and it kept me having fun.  One time one of my teammates went down to the rec center with me and he came back and told my teammates “Man, he’s the Kobe Bryant of the gym!”  It was great fun for me to still find a space to play the game the way that I loved to play it.


Whatever level of basketball you’re playing, remember that basketball is the game that you love to play.  The longer you play, the more opportunity there is for the organized game to take twists and turns you might not like.  Make an effort to keep the game fun and remind yourself why you love this game.  Don’t allow a coach, teammate or situation to steal your joy for the game.  Always remember to find a way to keep basketball training fun!

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