Benefits of Club Basketball for Players of all Ages
Club sports are gaining popularity—the past few years have seen an explosion of opportunities for athletes to practice and play in competitive games far beyond what a school team can offer.
For some players, club basketball offers exactly what they are looking for:
- Better competition
- New ways to play
- Greater exposure
- More court time.
- The rewards of club play can be enticing.
A New Approach
Playing for a well-coached club team offers exposure to a different coaching style and system, which helps create a well-rounded player. In many cases, club coaches have a unique perspective on how to teach and motivate players, and the players benefit from a new approach. A quality club coach can be a valuable complement to a school-team coach—it pays to get to know the coach’s style and practice plan before joining a club team.
Traveling with a club team is an exciting way to see new places and play in different venues, sometimes before much larger crowds than possible in a school setting. It can be like making the bigs! For many players, the bonding that comes with team travel is the best part of playing on a club squad. Of course, lots of traveling requires a time commitment and can cut into other activities, so it’s best to make certain you know the season schedule and are willing to make that commitment before you join.
One of the biggest benefits of club play—especially for athletes who are more serious about improving their skills—is the chance to compete against the best players from a wide region. Facing this challenge forces players to step up their game. And the improvement can be dramatic. It’s not uncommon for a skilled player to quickly break through to the next skill level because of club play. Facing better opponents brings out their best.
Getting Noticed for Great Play
Better play brings more exposure, which attracts the attention of college recruiters. This is another great benefit of club play for athletes looking to compete in college. Players on smaller school teams that don’t necessarily have reputations for great basketball can have trouble getting recruiters to notice them, even if they have what it takes to play in college. Club play can change that—it’s becoming an important source for colleges to discover up-and-coming talent.
Club sports aren’t for everyone. They require time and money and a commitment to the sport beyond what many athletes are interested in. Anyone considering club play should check out the coach’s approach, look at the required practice and season schedules, and try to determine if they are comfortable with the club’s level of play before signing up.