How basketball is played over the years
From 5 to 10 years:
Youth basketball is the spirit of the game. Watching new kids play the game you love and realizing that it used to be you is an unreal feeling. Children this age play because their parents probably signed them up. It’s full of trips, fouls, and ball grabbing, but that’s the fun of it. The referee jokes with the kids, while occasionally there is an aggressive parent who takes youth basketball too seriously. It is very likely that all players have assigned numbers, so that each individual player plays the same amount of time regardless of skill or talent. Some may say that this is a problem to teach at the younger stage, but youth is not about winning games because it is about seeing if children fall in love with the game. As the younger years pass, children drop out or enter travel programs where they can gain more basketball experience.
From 11 to 15 years:
Between high school and the beginning of high school, these are the players who really love the game. They have played enough to be able to decide if they want to step on the court or not. In this age range, basketball officially becomes a sport for them. Children are interested in the competitiveness of the game and really learn the basic components of becoming a great player. AAU starts around this age, which can be very positive for a player, or could be very damaging depending on the specific team players choose to be on.
Ages: 16 to 18:
Before this age group, all children are given possibly the same amount of play time, but this is the time when basketball is not just a sport, it starts to become a job. Between school work, private training lessons, high school internships, and AAU practice, children learn skills that do not involve play itself. They learn to compromise. They learn what hard work is. They learn that you can’t just throw a basketball onto the court and hope to win. They learn to manage time and balance priorities. What they also learn is whether they are serious about basketball and what level they want to play at. This is the age group that separates scholarship recipients from those who only play to gamble. Players will either stay after school and work on their own game or go home and hang on the couch and not try to improve because maybe they just don’t mind advancing to a higher level of play.
College basketball is no longer a sport and it is no longer a game. It is a business and with that business the players each have a job to be on the team. They have to do certain obstacles and drills that are not for the typical gamer … which is why they were offered to play in the first place. Basketball becomes life right now. Either you work hard enough to make basketball your potential career path or you can use it to develop strong physical and mental stability that will improve your life after graduation.