When watching professional basketball players on television, we can’t help but wonder how they are so tall. Is it because of their genetics, or can basketball make you taller? Indeed, many people assume the player’s height is somehow connected with the sport they play. Such an assumption is even backed by several scientific studies over the years. A deeper look is required to better understand the relationship between playing basketball and height growth. Can you grow taller by playing basketball, or does the sport require an outstanding height in order to succeed? Read on to find out!
Does basketball make you grow?
New findings indicate that there exists a correlation between human height development and basketball. Some people disregard this as an old wives’ tale, arguing that genetics is the sole determinant of how tall you’ll be. However, there’s evidence suggesting that the movements involved in playing the game of basketball may help boost height growth during your growing years.
In fact, according to scientists, the body current flow to your brain increases with jumping while playing basketball. This stimulates the production of growth hormone within your body, thereby making you grow taller. High levels of growth hormone in both males and females have the ability to boost rapid height gain. With increased growth hormone levels, basketball players can grow taller fast during their developmental years and eventually reach or even surpass their genetically predetermined height.
Moreover, playing basketball means you have to do a lot of running, jumping, shooting and dribbling, in which running stimulates the release of growth hormone, jumping triggers blood flow to the growth plates to amplify their functions, shooting and dribbling promote height by stretching your arms and spine. It can be said all of the movements when playing basketball contribute to height growth one way or another.
This could explain why many NBA stars have significant growth spurts in high school. Some of them even grew taller by 8 inches in one summer by playing basketball.
What about volleyball, the players also do a lot of jumping? The average height of male volleyball players is 6 feet 6.5 inches. So, it’s likely that volleyball has the same height-increasing benefit, too. Despite this, having dominant height gives players an advantage over their rivals when they step on the court. The higher a player is, the greater their reach to get the ball is. For this reason, most volleyball teams only recruit tall players unless you have a special talent.
How do you grow taller in basketball?
When puberty hits you, your height will grow at the fastest rate in the following two years. Puberty usually lasts between two and five years for most teenagers. But if your growth plates are still open, you have a pretty good chance of growing taller naturally.
Playing basketball regularly during your growing years, especially puberty will promote bone growth and bone strength, thus accelerating your height development. Combine your basketball games with stretching exercises as well to foster good health and flexible muscles.
What’s more, you should look after what you eat every day as nutrition is the most powerful external factor that influences how tall you will become. In other words, if you rely heavily on junk food instead of having a healthy and balanced diet, you can’t reach your full height potential. As a result, you should make sure that your body acquires enough essential nutrients to grow at an optimal rate and reach its genetically predetermined height.
In addition to nutrition, sleep is extremely important when growing up. Proper sleep facilitates the release of growth hormone that is responsible for height growth. Not only will you wake up feeling refreshed but you also grow taller after a good night’s sleep. Therefore, you need to sleep for at least 8 hours a day and avoid staying up late at all costs.
Leading a healthy lifestyle will also help you add those extra inches to your height. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs to maximize your height gain.
Crazy growth spurts in basketball
Aside from mind-blowing shoots and astounding games, the sport is also renowned for the crazy growth spurts of some of the best players. In fact, many players could make it to the NBA after experiencing a monster growth spurt that happened during high school, which allowed them to get a scholarship to popular basketball teams at prestigious colleges. Many players are already excellent in their states and are working on their skills, then one year they grow taller by 6 to 12 inches, making them eligible for the NBA.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out as a basketball player as tall and athletic players mostly depend more on their physical strength than their skills. So, unless you’re a freak athlete, you can’t compete in the game without a dominant height. Growth spurts have helped a lot of players achieve huge success after putting effort into honing their skills and then growing a few more inches in one summer.
Other benefits of basketball
So far we’ve known that basketball can increase height, but does it have other benefits? The answer is yes, playing basketball has lasting mental, physical, and social benefits that contribute to building a healthy and happy life.
- Boosting your cardiovascular health. Basketball requires intensity like any other aerobic workout, which gets your heart pumping and thus reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Burning calories. The motions involved in playing basketball can burn a lot of calories for players. This would prevent weight gain effectively and keep the players’ fitness in check.
- Improving the immune system. Playing basketball strengthens the body’s internal defense system. Having a healthy and strong immune system protects our bodies from toxins, bacteria, and viruses – all of which can make us sick.
- Developing and promoting bone strength as well as muscle development. Basketball reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Besides, it facilitates mineral absorption into our bones, making them stronger. Furthermore, the sport stimulates the corresponding muscles and strengthens them to a great extent.
- Benefiting mental health. Your overall confidence and self-esteem are enhanced with the skills you develop in the game. Concentration and self-discipline will also be improved when training and playing as part of a team, especially with a coach.
- Chances of socializing. You can make lasting friendships and connections through playing basketball as it’s a team sport. Your team can eventually be your number 1 support however tough the competition is.