With school children coming towards the end of the school holidays, thoughts return to school, and if your child is sporty, can they get into the school teams this year. As a parent you will want to help them in their sporting endeavours, and if basketball is the sport for your child, then maybe you will be looking to buy them a basketball hoop to practice.
If you get a free standing backboard and net on a stand then you will be ok. But if you buy them a backboard and net that you need to fix to an outside wall so they can practice after school, you will want to know how high should a basketball net be so that you fix it at the correct height.
A basketball net should be placed 10 feet high from the ground. A backboard should be 72 inches wide and 42 inches high. The basketball hoop should be 18 inches wide. These are the official sizes for games, but obviously if you are buying for smaller children then you would need to take age and height into consideration.
There are a couple of things to consider before buying a basketball net.
Do you have enough space to play?
Before spending money on a basketball hoop and net, you need to be realistic about whether you have enough space to play. You need a hard floor in order to bounce the ball – and obviously it needs to be flat so that the ball bounces consistently.
If you don’t have enough space to play you will be limited to just shooting hoops. But ideally you would want more space so that you can invite friends round to play as small teams – maybe 2 on 2 or 3 on 3. That way you also learn how to pass, make space, work yourself into the best places to shoot. Doing this will also improve your defensive skills.
Should you buy a hoop you fix to the wall or a free standing one?
If you buy a wall mounted basketball hoop then this tends to be more stable than a free standing portable hoop. That is, as long as someone with good DIY skills has affixed it. Generally speaking these are good as well in a smaller space.
A free standing basketball hoop that has a base on the floor often comes with wheels too, and thus can be moved around. So if you have a large amount of suitable space to play, then this may be a better option. This is also true if a house move is likely in the not too distant future, as you can easily take it with you and won’t leave holes in the wall compared to a fixed one.
These are often height adjustable, so you can use these for kids that still have some growing to do, without having to keep drilling new holes.
It is possible also to get hoops that come on a stand that you can cement into the ground, but obviously these are much more permanent a fixture than the one on a moveable stand.
What other exercise can your child do to help their basketball skills?
Aerobic exercise such as running can help improve your child’s fitness levels in general. It’s always wise to encourage children to learn the benefits of warming up and stretching to help flexibility and avoid muscle injuries. As children get older you can encourage them to build muscle, but it’s always wise to do this under expert guidance. Different children grow at different rates but extra strength will help with the physical demands when they play in matches.
A strong core and legs are good for the amount of jumping in a game, so encouraging abdominal exercises and leg strengthening exercise will benefit them long term.
What skills can my child learn before they get a hoop?
If you want to wait to see if your children will lose interest quickly with basketball before you invest in a hoop, you can buy a basketball and they can practice easily. Help them learn how to dribble with the ball, walking at first before learning how to run whilst dribbling.
They can also learn passing techniques. If there isn’t anyone to play with they can even do this themselves with the aid of a wall. This may not be exciting, but if they are prepared to do this then you know that their love for basketball is real and you can buy that hoop with confidence.
5 wall mounted basketball hoops
5 free standing basketball hoops
I hope this helps you in your research before buying a basketball hoop for your child. Whilst it is always good to encourage children to participate in sport and physical activity, it’s also good to keep them focused on school work. But every child also needs to play and a team sport such as basketball can be great in so many ways.