playing Backyard Basketball
Have you ever wondered how great NBA players became so talented? If you get a chance to meet one, ask him about playing backyard basketball or street ball. Perhaps you’ve heard that practice makes perfect, and that practicing a skill for hours a day can make you an expert at it. In basketball, the best way to practice is by playing. Every great NBA player gained a part of their basketball foundation by playing a backyard basketball game. For example, Michael Jordan began playing basketball in his backyard against his older brother. These match ups resulted in him constantly losing for many years. This helped fuel the competitive drive that he is so famously known for. He was determined to beat his brother in the backyard where no one else was watching.
Playing backyard basketball is where young players develop their love for the game and competitive drive. I know I did. Backyard basketball is a controlled chaotic environment and you have to learn certain maneuvers to compete in the backyard. I always felt like if I could beat my cousins in the backyard, I could play against anyone on the court. Imagine playing in the dirt, with no grip on your shoes, a basketball goal that is tilted sideways and a basketball that could hit a hump and bounce out of your hands. You definitely get better if you are able to play with those conditions.
Some of the greatest players played pickup games in the streets for hours and hours a day. Playing street ball sculpted the talents of legends like Julius Erving and Allen Iverson. Playing without referees and often with less rules than organized games, backyard basketball is a more freestyle approach to the game. Playing backyard basketball will help you develop your unique styles and skill-sets. Without backyard basketball, many popular moves like the crossover and the finger-roll would not have been invented. With the absence of coaches, players are free to create scoring opportunities from their own repertoire of skills. Does backyard basketball teach bad basketball? Of course it does, but it creates a competitive nature in all players that play in their backyard. A lot of fights occur in the backyard over a basketball game. My brother and I had some brotherly love moments in the backyard where we didn’t talk for hours. This only helped my competitive drive as I got older and love for the game.
Players that are used to scoring with organized, set offenses and plays might find it difficult to successfully adjust to a backyard basketball game. On the contrary, I believe that players who play a lot of backyard basketball develop a unique basketball skill set. If coached correctly, they can play in a chaotic style game and play well in a controlled basketball game. Playing pickup games with friends is also a great way to stay in shape. Basketball games require lots of running, jumping, and lateral movements that can push the limits of any athlete. It’s important to remember to stretch before playing a game in order to prevent injury. This is not my recommendation just for the backyard but anytime you decide to play basketball. Often times street ball can be more physical than traditional basketball games due to the lack of referees.
Rucker Park is a legendary basketball arena where some of the greatest players go play. There has been a ton of serious battles on that court. In conclusion, this article is not just about playing backyard basketball, but about what you will gain from playing against your friends in the backyard. You will gain the confidence and moves that you never thought you could do. In addition, to become great you have to compete against players who are better than you are. Growing up, I spent a lot of my time playing against my older cousins and brother, and somehow I became one of the best basketball players produced from my area. Playing against older, more talented players can rapidly improve your game. You may not perform very well, but the challenge can develop you in to a pretty good player and improve your skills.
Many professional basketball players played against people who were much older than them, which helped them to adjust to the game much quicker. It is important to understand that playing basketball is supposed to be fun, even if playing in the league one day is your sole ambition. Don’t let the thrill of competition distract you from the enjoyment of the game. Through practice you can build yourself into a champion. Without it we are rough edges and awkward imitators. In your pursuit of greatness and fame, it is always important to enjoy the process. Backyard basketball is a passion before it is a means to an end.