http://www.burtonpools.com/uploads/images/sport%20court/Picture%20013.jpgIf you have teenagers, you have probably noticed that they want to get out of the house at every opportunity. While this is a natural part of them growing up, it can be worrying – you wonder what they are up to and when they are going to get back. It’s not that you don’t trust them, but they are teenagers – so you don’t trust them completely. What can you do to encourage them to stay around your home more often, while not making them feel like you are clipping their wings?

One great idea, provided that you have enough room in your backyard, is to put in a basketball court. Not only will your teen think this is the coolest thing in the world, all the teens in the neighborhood will be at your house, rather than your teen being at one of theirs. Of course, this is probably going to cost you when it comes to snacks and soft drinks, but is well worth that price for the peace of mind that you are going to get.

Actually, basketball is a great form of exercise for teens. For example, just half an hour on the court can burn over 200 calories, and all that turning, accelerating and decelerating on the court helps to develop flexibility and a better sense of balance. Basketball also helps to improve hand/eye coordination, which will be useful whether your teen ends up in the NBA or just behind the wheel of a car.

Basketball also has a lot of psychological and social benefits for teens. To start with, it teaches them the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship, which will serve them well throughout their lives. It also helps them to concentrate and persevere, which will have a direct impact on their school work. And, it helps them to build confidence, which is always something that teens struggle with.

Of course, if you’re going to put in a basketball court, you will want it to last and add value to your home. Therefore, you probably don’t want to put in a concrete court. This will start breaking up within a few years, especially if you live in a cold climate where you get lots of snow in the winter. The same freeze/thaw mechanism that creates yawning potholes in roads will also be at work on your concrete court, so expect cracks to appear fairly quickly, followed by more extensive damage over subsequent seasons.

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A good alternative to consider is a high-performance court surface manufactured by a company such as Versacourt – you can find them at www.versacourt.com. With this type of court – which is made of interlocking polymer tiles – you can expect a lifetime of up to 25 years, and you will often get a 15 year guarantee. Also, if you do this, you can also make the surface serve a dual purpose by using it as a tennis court – which has similar dimensions to a basketball court.

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