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Title: How to Encourage Your Child to Play Basketball
Basketball is a special sport that I remember playing as a kid up to my late teens. And as much as being able to remember any particular game or moment, recalling those days brings back the sensations I had when I arrived at an unfamiliar gym or stadium, put my bag down courtside, unzipped my tracksuit and put on my court trainers, and started throwing hoops and doing lay-up drills to release some tension before the game.

And with all that has changed in a world that has, we can safely say, truly gone mad, basketball is thankfully still there, more or less unchanged, ready to impart the very same excitement and emotion on our kids.

From a parent's perspective, basketball would have to rank as one of the better sports in terms of developing coordination, balance and motor abilities, as well as building fitness and stamina. And it has an element of physical contact and strength contests that I personally regard as being healthy for boys and girls alike.

Finding a venue where to take your child is, of course, the first step in getting your child involved in the sport. This should generally not pose much of a problem, as any self-respecting basketball association or club will have teams enrolled in male and female leagues and tournaments across the full spectrum of junior age groups.

As parents, we are all well enough aware of the negative effects of dragging our kids some place they don't want to go. So, if your child isn't particularly enthusiastic about playing basketball, try to stoke their curiosity and interest a little by inviting them to come with you to watch a few basketball games at the centre you hope to eventually enroll them at.

Watch some games in the older categories as well as your child's age group, and try to get involved in the atmosphere by cheering and supporting the home team. Remember that a child will latch on to your motives quite quickly if you're not careful, so the best plan is to wait until they suggest trying the sport themselves, rather than you mentioning it.

If you want to whet their appetite a little before or after these excursions, you might want to buy your child a sporting new college or NBA sweatshirt, a couple of cool sweatbands, and a basketball. Remember to purchase a ball size that is suited to your child's age. And, if you've got a bit of driveway space or some room in the garden, you could also invest in a hoop so that you and your child can play at home.

Please bear in mind that the latter suggestions are not about throwing money at the problem, the most important and influential element in all of this remains the parent of course, and none of the above incentives will likely compete with the opportunity your child will see in being able to spend more time with you.

So, if you're serious about getting your child involved in basketball, be ready to make some kind of commitment yourself. It's easy to say and perhaps not so easy to do when you consider how busy we mums and dads already are, but sport really must form an integral part of a child's upbringing and education, and parents are the ones who should be making sure their children are doing enough of it.

Richard McMunn, runs the leading career website How2Become. His aim is to help as many people as possible pass the recruitment process they are applying for to secure the job they have always wanted. The site offers a wide range of books and training courses for those who want to ensure they are fully prepared.