Why the YMCA is the Place to Go for Youth Basketball
Posted on 4/11/18 by Christie Greer from Gateway Region YMCA

“Basketball doesn’t build character it reveals it.” James Naismith couldn’t have spoken truer words to this day. The sport of basketball was invented in 1891 at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts by James Naismith. At the time, Naismith was a physical education teacher at the YMCA International Training School.

The game of basketball grew so quickly that by 1939 basketball was played internationally at YMCAs, made an official Olympic Sport, and the NIT and NCAA tournaments were established. Here we are, 126 years later, and basketball is still a sport of choice for both young and old. Basketball was originally designed with nine players per team and has since evolved into a game with five players per team. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University coach said, “Teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one.”

One team containing five players with five different personalities; how is this possible? It sounds difficult, but a team atmosphere can nurture each child’s personality to shine in a positive environment.  While five children play towards a common goal (to score) it becomes simple to see how different personality traits can work together. Our volunteer YMCA Coaches make sure that each child has the opportunity to experience working together as a team. At the Y, we are For All. This means there are no try-outs and every child will play. Basketball at the Y helps to develop children’s self-confidence, decision making processes, and facilitates creating healthy relationships in a safe, fun environment!

Your child may not have the opportunity to learn a sport, make friends, or build positive characteristics if it weren’t for you - the parent or guardian. Parents and guardians play a crucial part in team sports at the Y. The examples we set, while in the stands or at home, will help support our children and their development both on and off the court. Because the Y is For All, we encourage and welcome family involvement and participation. Many of our YMCA Coaches are parents who want to be an active part of their child’s development and support the development of other children. To all of our YMCA Coaches – we THANK YOU for helping make a difference in a child’s life and supporting the Y’s cause to strengthen community. 

Written by: Hillary Held, Youth Sports Program Coordinator, East Belleville YMCA

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