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29.04.2019

BASKETBALL | WHY? GCZ ACADEMIE, WHY?

Basketball is amongst the most popular sports in the World and is followed by over 1 billion people according to Total Sportek. Over 200 nations are members of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and compete against each other for a place at the Olympic Games or at the FIBA World Championships.

Basketball as a sport has grown exponentially throughout the past decade seeing the rise of previously unknown professional leagues, such as the Chinese Basketball Association or other leagues in Eastern European countries such as Hungary and Czech Republic.

Physical activity is fundamental for the growth of young people in their age of development. The choice of sport for children between 4/6 years is recommended by paediatricians. At this age, sport must be mainly a moment of fun that allows children to begin to have their own independence and at the same time a physical activity where they can involve their energies.

Why choose basketball then?

Basketball is considered as one of the most comprehensive sports to help children's physical and mental growth: Basketball is a team sport where children can confront themselves with teammates weekly during training and verify their progress, but at the same time they need their teammates to play the matches. It teaches you how to live and work with other people. A team celebrates a victory and analyses a defeat, everything always... TOGETHER!

The "we" before the "I".

To win you need the help of others. Learning to value those at your side allows you to achieve more results that would not be achievable by yourself alone. You will understand that the concept of team is as important in basketball as it is in life. Thanks to basketball, young athletes quickly understand the importance of the team to achieve results and this teaching will become essential for their future lives. Until the age of 13 years, basketball is played by boys and girls together; also this aspect allows a greater integration of children and increases respect for others. 

Basketball has a significant impact on the physical and mental growth of young practitioners because it allows them to develop simultaneous actions of the parts of your body. In basketball you must learn to jump, to use both hands and arms without favouring one over another by developing the coordination and timing of movements. Being a sport of light physical contact, the athlete/children will learn to develop their technical and athletic skills/talents also in relation to the "difficulties" that their opponents will create. Basketball is a sport where the athletic component is combined with the technical and mental. It is necessary to act and react quickly to define a plan/tactics of the game and be ready to change it in a short time. Another fundamental element for the mental growth of the children is the ability to accept and recognize the error. Basketball is a sport that forces the athlete to accept the error and consider it as a moment of growth to be able to win or improve during a season or a game. In fact, the best scorer of a professional basketball team has a shooting (shots made per shot attempted) percentage of around 50% ; this means that on average half of the times he shoots he will miss, meaning that he must be able to overcome the error and correct it to score the next shot. 

Another aspect of mental growth that makes basketball unique as a sport is the fact that in basketball there is no draw; this forces the children to fight only for victory without "the compromise" of the draw being available. This pushes the children towards trying to "score an extra basket" to win and even more importantly, helps them understand that defeat can sometimes be "good" and can lead to improvement 

Playing basketball in Zurich 

is even more exciting and engaging because it allows you to get in touch with young people from different countries and cultures. About 50% of basketball players in Zurich come from outside Switzerland, allowing young practitioners to learn to share experiences with people of different cultures. Furthermore, the GCZ Akademie features many multilingual coaches that allow young people who arrive in Switzerland for the first time to integrate quickly as well as allowing those who have grown up in Switzerland to improve their knowledge of the English language. An aspect which is important to take into account is that basketball is not an expensive sport. A pair of basketball shoes, a basketball ball and you are ready to play.

In this context, the programs of the GCZ Akademie are developed with the aim of bringing children closer to basketball and make them grow both technically and physically, developing their passion for basketball and possibly ending with them playing in the National Youth Championships and Senior Regional Championships or the National B or A Series. In some cases, for the more talented, there is even the opportunity to get a scholarship to play College Basketball in the States.

This is the essence of basketball, a sport that enhances the important values of life and allows young people to grow by developing a passion that will help them in their future. As an example, of how sport is more and more being used as an example to support important initiatives in favour of life, last year, FIBA organized a Social Media Contest for Peace.

For further information and curiosities, please visit the website.

On the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), on April 6th, the IBF was launching the #BasketballForGood campaign, where basketball athletes were invited to celebrate sport as a driving force towards inclusion, unity, equality and peace as well as to show how much sports, and especially basketball, can have a positive impact on society. The athlete could Join and support this campaign by posting a photo of himself holding a paper filling in the following sentence: “Sport gives me ..............?” and using the hashtag #BasketballForGood and #IDSDP

E.N.