Many children are enrolled in sports at a young age in hopes of keeping them active. While this may be seen as the most common benefit of team sports, it is far from the only positive these activities provide.
According to an article by the University of Missouri Health Care, “Fighting for a common goal with a group of players and coaches teaches you how to build teamwork and effectively communicate to solve problems.”
Figuring out what is required to win and learning how to get around problems on the fly is a valuable skill that can be carried over into life outside of sports, such as work or personal issues.
Marc Gagnon, a third-year psychology student at the University of Ottawa who played soccer for many years, says team sports prepare you for your future.
“There are a lot of jobs that require you to work in teams, and sports get you ready for them,” says Gagnon.
Gagnon also emphasizes the social aspect of team sports, noting that it gives us a sense of belonging.
Team sports also have an impact on mental health.
An article by Fresno Pacific University states that sports can have a positive physical impact on us. However, team sports seem to have more of a positive effect on mental health than individual sports. According to a Trine University article that discusses the impact sports have on mental health, “Athletes who participate in a team sport feel less of the depression or anxiety that individual sport athletes experience.”
Winning the game is not based solely on your individual performance. Even if someone has an off day, the rest of the team will be there to help pick them back up.
Additionally, team sports are proven to increase self-esteem.
An article by IMG Academy states that team sports “build self-confidence by seeing the results from practicing. ”
Winning games, scoring goals or simply acknowledging personal improvements makes us feel good and motivates us to keep playing. While you may feel accomplished achieving these goals while playing individual sports, having your team cheer you on as you succeed has an even greater effect on self-esteem.
Aside from the physical and mental benefits of playing team sports, Alisa Patt, a retired middle school teacher in Toronto, says sports also have a positive effect at school.
“They release energy, which helps kids focus in class,” says Patt. “I’ve also found that when students play for a sports team, it builds up their confidence in class.”
In many cases, sports are viewed as distracting to students since they are usually large time commitments during school hours. However, team sports are far from a waste of time. They promote many skills that are useful in school, such as memorization, problem-solving and communication.
Team sports help us in a variety of ways. Although the benefits are not always the same for each person, the impact they seem to have on us may be noticeable regardless of who you are or what you play. Some easy ways to join teams are at school or at local community centers. School sport teams are often announced on the PA systems or papers that are put up all over the school so its hard to miss. Asking an employee at a community center about various teams or leagues that are available is also a simple task.