30th September 2017.When you think about basketball, what type of athlete most readily comes to mind? For most people, the answer will be a very tall man. It's hard not to think that way, either ? after all, many of the most prominent basketball stars around the world are men, especially considering that the American NBA produces much of the world-class talent. The sport was even conceived as part of a male fitness programme to encourage indoor exercise during the cold summer months. Yet none of this means that it is solely a sport for men, and there are huge numbers of women around the world who find the game just as thrilling. So, what is the women's basketball scene like today? If you're a lady who has an interest in taking the ball down the court, how do you get started? From the training, you'll want to engage with the role models in the sport. There?s no shortage of interesting information available about women's basketball. Ready to learn how you can immerse yourself in the game? First, consider how the game crossed the gender barrier and grew in popularity enough to support the formation of leagues like the WNBA and others.

A brief history of women's basketball

Though a man named Dr. James Naismith originally created the game, it did not take long for the sport to gain the interest and attention of women. Just one year later, a woman named Senda Berenson who taught womens-basketball-senda-berensonphysical education to other young women learned of the sport. Seeing that it had a clear fitness value and was easy to teach, with very few requirements regarding equipment, she chose to adapt the sport for her pupils. Some rules adjustments were made, such as a rule that stated one could only hold the ball for three seconds. No more than three dribbles were allowed before a player had to pass the ball; over time, these rule changes would disappear, but the popularity of the sport among women endured. From that moment over a hundred years ago to today, there is an unbroken lineage of women who love the sport of basketball ? and who play just as hard as men. Though the 3-point line in modern women's basketball is closer to the net and the ball is smaller than in the men's game, there have been several women who've kept pace with the men when it comes to their sport. Today, women's basketball is even played at the Olympic level, and the competition is fierce! What makes this game good for women to play, though? There are many reasons you should consider hitting the court for the first time.

Why is basketball an excellent sport for women?

Basketball is a very active game, and you'll burn plenty of energy when you're playing. That's a major benefit you can see right away: the more you play, the better your cardiovascular endurance. You can even womens-basketball-healthsee gains in lung capacity. Many who exercise find that it becomes easier to breathe during the day and that they feel more energised than before. For many women, a few games of basketball a week ? combined with other fitness activities or even a lively practice session ? can have measurable benefits. For example, low bone density is a problem faced by many women as they age. Sports like basketball, while they are high-impact exercises, help to strengthen your bones overall. The repeated heavy stresses you'll place on your body, especially in your legs, will promote the growth of stronger, healthier bones. Meanwhile, the rest of your body receives a thorough workout as well. Your upper body needs to be toned to lob shots towards the basket, while you'll also be twisting and turning to throw and catch passes. Basketball is also an inherently social sport; you're playing a casual game with some friends and having fun on the court. For many women, it can be an excellent opportunity to catch up with friends. Socialisation is an important part of developing robust mental wellness. This aspect of the game isn't to be under-appreciated!

Getting started: how to take the first steps

So you want to start playing basketball ? but how do you take those first steps? You should grab the only womens-basketball-shoesbasketball gear you really need before you begin by purchasing a sturdy pair of basketball shoes. Not only will you be more comfortable, but they will provide the support you need to reduce the risk of sports injuries. At that point, an ideal way to start is simple enough: put yourself in front of the net! Spend some time learning how to handle a basketball at slow speeds, like walking pace. Learn how to dribble and spend plenty of time taking some shots at the basket. If you know some other women who already play or who would like to join in, you can invite them to help improve your game. As you come up to speed with the game, you'll quickly find it's an exciting time for everyone involved. For those who are very out of shape, it's worthwhile to spend some time developing basic fitness before you play a full game. Otherwise, you might find yourself ready to quit halfway through the game ? it can be very physically demanding. Running, swimming, and cycling are all effective ways to work on your cardio for basketball.

Finding games, improving your skills, and more

As you spend more time on the court, your confidence should grow. While you may still struggle to hit free throws, or need to work on your three-pointers, you'll have the basics down ? and that means it's time to look for room to improve. Why not look for organised games to play? You don't need to think about turning pro to do that. Many communities have local basketball leagues that organise teams and games. There is also the quintessential "pick up" game ? a semi-spontaneous game played mostly between strangers on public courts. Why not find a pick-up game where you can get involved? YouTube can be a helpful resource for novice basketball players, too. You might not expect it, but there are a wealth of positive instructional videos available to view. Learn better ball control or start to delve into the actual strategy of the game. Instead of playing random positions each game, you might even start to develop a fondness for a particular role. What's important, no matter how you choose to approach it, is an effort to continue improving and embracing the sport.

Boosting your body for the demands of the game

Want to take your game to the next level once you've played for a while? There are techniques you can use womens-basketball-drillseven as a novice to help improve your body and your game. For example, do you find that dribbling is a challenge for you? Try using your weaker hand more often than your dominant hand. The more time you spend practising this way, the better you will become at handling the ball ambidextrously. In the heat of a game, this is an essential skill. What about your physical fitness? Aside from the other methods we mentioned, like cycling, there are tailored basketball fitness workouts you can use. A quick search on Google will bring up many of the plans that others have come up with over the years. Look through them, and find one that you can quickly adapt to your schedule. Before you know it, you might be one of the most experienced women on your hometown court!

Why should basketball be a man's world?

For the women with the drive and ambition to put in the hard work, basketball can be an incredibly fun and rewarding sport. Of course, even if you just plan to play casually, it is still an excellent way to burn calories, improve your physical fitness, and have fun with friends. You might even find yourself tempted to start following along with the professional women's games, too. However you choose your approach to the sport, remember that practice makes perfect. While you might not "drain" your free throws for a while, eventually you'll come to love the "swish" of the net when you nail a perfect shot.