JOURNAL | Basketball was a big part of my childhood. I played in community leagues a couple seasons and eventually coached 7-year-olds when I was in high school. But once I went off to college and subsequently after, I found it harder and harder to find the time– as well as a good court near my apartment and friends who also had the time to play.
The health, social and emotional benefits of basketball are numerous. In addition to it being a great work out (a 165-pound player will likely burn 600 calories during an hour-long game), it’s also boosts mental development and coordination. For me, the increase of attentional control was one of the most appealing benefits of playing.
Attentional control refers to your ability to direct your focus in a desired direction; in basketball, you must train yourself to constantly observe your teammates and opponents and evaluate what course of action to take in response to their actions.
In the last five years, I’ve tried to modify my habits to be more active in pursuits of my ambitions. And in doing so, I’ve learned more about the importance of formal commitments. Simply acknowledging that I was interested interested in reviving my passion for the sport wasn’t going to culminate in me forming a habit. But solidifying that commitment might.
A year ago, when I decided to learn more about stock market investing, I only began to really educate myself when I purchased Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor.” And later, after months of promising myself that I would completely re-organize my office, car and closet, I only began to put those goals into practice when I (in a state of mania) began ordering various home organizers.
So with this same idea in mind, I committed myself to putting aside time to playing by purchasing a new pair of basketball shoes, the Nike Lebron XI in Court Purple / Reflect Silver-Vivid Blue– Charlotte Hornets colors. I’ve played about four games with them, and I can say with some certainty that they were worth the $180 price tag.
The arch support is phenomenal. They fit perfectly and are super light-weight. Unlike some other basketball shoes that I tried on in stores, these do not have an annoying squeaking sound. And of course, the design is fantastic. I don’t watch NBA games often, but the Charlotte Hornets have always been my favorite team growing up around the Charlotte area. I only wear the shoes for playing basketball, but it’s also nice to have them for when I find the time to go to Hornets games.
Of course, buying shoes isn’t going to magically make me prioritize this activity, nor will it give me more time to allocate to it. But exercise experts have long suggested treating yourself to a new workout outfit to help motivate you to exercise. I’ve never been interested in playing competitively, only with some close friends for fun. And I’m hoping in the near future, I can be better at taking a break from classes and work to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes.