The Growing Importance of Deaf Basketball in Today’s Major Leagues
Deaf basketball is the most popular form of basketball played by deaf individuals. Sign language is commonly used to communicate amongst players and whistle blows. The most common sign language that is commonly used is American Sign Language (ASL). Some specialists consider that there are more than eighty different signs, but as long as ASL is widely used by deaf individuals, many people assume that this is the commonly used sign language.
A good deal of research has been conducted in recent years into the possibility of providing opportunities for deaf basketball players to be able to continue to play basketball, especially since it is such a physically strenuous sport. There are currently eighty colleges and universities with a variety of athletic programs for the deaf. A large majority of these colleges have a long standing history of providing opportunities for deaf basketball players to be able to continue to play their sports. The reason for this is because it is a contact sport, and when you’re involved in contact sports your hands, feet, back, shoulders, neck and other soft parts can experience damage from repeated exposure to various chemicals and physical strain.
The American Association of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ASTER) has conducted studies that indicate that forty percent of those people who participate in an athletic program for the deaf do so because of the need to continue to use their hearing aids. Those forty percent of deaf athletic competition participants make up the vast majority of those participating in hearing-related activities.
There are many different levels of involvement in deaf basketball.
Many individuals, including coaches, are required to complete training as part of their employment with an organization that provides opportunities for basketball. In addition, some coaches provide assistance to those players who participate in college or professional sports programs. If you are considering a career in this area of sport, it is essential to have the proper training and experience.
Coaching: As a coach you will work one-on-one with your team players and teach them the skills that are necessary for them to be successful in the sport. Most importantly, you will coach them using mostly visual aids, as well as hand signals to help them learn the game. The skills that you will teach your players need to be developed in accordance with the specific needs of the hearing impaired individual that they are playing against. For example, it may take more time to teach a player how to handle a rebound than it would to teach a player how to do a crossover dribble. There are also certain techniques that need to be taught to improve a player’s speed and agility.
Consulting With Your Team Coach: Another opportunity that you have as a coach is the ability to meet with your players’ parents. These individuals may be able to give you invaluable information that can be used in helping you prepare for your Deaf athletic competition. They may be able to give you information regarding the success rate of certain exercises, or tips and tricks that can be very beneficial for you. When you consult with parents of deaf athletes, you will be gaining access to their world and gain insight into their success, failures, frustrations, and everything that is going on in their lives.
Collaborate With Other Coaches: You can use the knowledge and experience of other coaches on your team. A collaboration with another coach will provide you with the resources that you need to implement in training sessions. For example, if you want to work on the crossover dribble, you can consult with an instructor who is an expert at working with deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes. He or she can instruct you on the proper form, how to execute the technique properly, and give you tips and tricks that will help you execute the drill perfectly. You and your team can also benefit from the experience and wisdom that come along with working with someone who is very skilled in the field of basketball. The more you work with someone the more likely it is that you will be able to share in the success that they are experiencing in the sport.
Signing the National Deaf Basketball Association (NBBA) in 2021 made it easier for those with hearing loss and other disabilities to participate actively in sports. There are numerous athletes in the major leagues today, such as Michael Redd, Bryan Carrin, Lucious Walray, and others, who are becoming role models for the deaf. For these people, the importance of learning to play basketball and signing with the right teams and organizations makes the journey a little easier.
Another positive aspect of this sport is the opportunity for parents to be able to enjoy the game together with their children. The development of mentoring and professional coaching is also something that the deaf community can benefit from. Coaches who know how to recognize talent in young deaf players are a rare commodity and are in great demand. In the past, parents had no choice but to try and teach the skills and abilities of their children by themselves.
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