The Benefits of Team Sport

When it comes to team sport, millions of children and adults around the world take part in comradery and fun. It is a great way to keep active, burn calories and improve your health. But the benefits of this physical activity extend beyond the obvious to the psychological and mental well-being of the players.

One of the most important skills you can learn from playing team sports is how to manage your time. With practice twice a week, games on weekends and school or work during the rest of the week, athletes must be able to balance their different responsibilities to stay healthy and competitive. This skill will be invaluable in all aspects of life.

Another important lesson is to rely on and trust teammates. From locker room discussion to non-verbal cues from teammates during the game, communication is essential in any team sport. Athletes should be able to express their concerns, hopes and disappointments as well as celebrate successes with their teammates.

Finally, team sport teaches you to think critically and strategize. Whether it is analyzing which teammates are open for a pass, observing an opponent’s strengths and working to outwit them or adjusting your speed and footwork in changing weather conditions, kids who play team sports develop critical-thinking skills that they can carry with them into the classroom and other parts of their lives.

There is growing interest internationally in using sport as a medium to introduce and reinforce “life skills” in young people, including resilience to the stresses of modern living, better grades at school and lower risk-taking behaviours such as substance abuse. These “soft” skills become personal attributes that allow youngsters to build positive relationships, both at school and in later life.