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How Basketball Supports Social Emotional Learning

Basketball is beneficial in plenty of ways — it gets kids moving and promotes a healthy lifestyle that follows them throughout their lives. But did you know the sport can also support your child’s social-emotional development? We’ll look into how this happens through the points below:

Basketball Teaches Kids to Communicate

Basketball is a very vocal sport. It takes cooperation between at least five players at a time, and this requires plenty of words filling the court. Shouting names, telling a teammate you’ve got a certain role, and in older teams, discussing the plays you want to make happen.


For preschoolers, this affects social skills in an extremely positive way. It helps teach:


  • How to communicate with friends (teammates) and adults (coaches)

  • How to listen well and follow directions

  • The importance of eye contact, body language, sharing, cooperating, working toward a common goal, and more


Basketball does all of this in a fun manner, too, so kids can enjoy the learning process the entire time.

The Game Strengthens Sportsmanship

In basketball, it’s important to always be a “good sport.” This is a difficult concept for young ones to conquer as it requires complete control over their emotions. It means when the sadness and frustration of missing a basket or losing a game occur, kids need to work to stay calm in their demeanor. It means after a great play or a big “W,” they’ll have to keep some of that excitement inside for humility purposes as well.


This control can translate into every area of children’s lives. It can help kids communicate calmly when something upsets them. It can aid in building healthy relationships with stable emotions now and in the future. It even supports the early stages of respectfulness, as it demotes bragging and ensures kids are taking the other team’s feelings into account while reacting to all types of circumstances.


Teamwork is Absolutely Essential

Another main social-emotional skill taught in basketball is teamwork. The game literally cannot be played if children don’t work well with those around them. To find success, they need to learn to play together toward the same goal.


This can help kids recognize their own skills and the moments they should be put to use. It helps them see the skills in others and grows patience as teammates take their time to shine. It aids in learning to work with others, whether or not close friendships already exist. Problem-solving, conflict-resolution, important decision making, and so much more come into play with this type of teamwork.


So, it’s clear that basketball isn’t only about being active. The sport helps kids grow in almost every area of life — social-emotional skills included. If you’re looking for a fun way for your child to build these essential know-how’s, be sure to check out all Little Hoopers has to offer today.



From clear communication to top-notch teamwork, social-emotional skills are at the height of our preschooler’s priorities when it comes to learning and development. Luckily, basketball can be a fun way to strengthen all skills in this area.




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