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Beyond Physical Fitness – What’s in a Team Sport?

Team StoryWeavers|August 17, 2020|

 

Imagine a day when you wake up to the news.

“Football is no longer played with 11 members as a team. Instead, each player gets their own football to play with.”

As ridiculous as it sounds, it is utterly impossible to play a football match without a team! After all, sports like football, cricket, kabaddi and others are played with the athletes’ reliance on each other. It’s the collective spirit that helps them win the game.

Playing in a team has always proven to be beneficial for all age groups. While it certainly helps in building one’s endurance and stamina, it has several holistic benefits beyond physical health as well. 

Let’s look at some of the most essential benefits of playing team sports.

 

Team sports have a great impact on boosting one’s self-esteem. Being part of a team where you share one common goal helps in connecting with your teammates and your coach better. For instance, every time you play football or cricket with your friends, you boost your self-confidence by contributing to the team’s effort to win the game.

 

Many significant researchers have found that young athletes are better students. Playing a team sport helps improve one’s time management skills and teaches discipline. As Shannon Miller, a member of the 1992 and 1996 United States Olympic women’s gymnastics team once told in an interview, how athletes need to strictly adhere to time and carefully plan out a routine to focus better on reaching their goals.  

 

Courage and motivation are skills which you can build on your own and share with others. Hence, in a team sport, you will always find players constantly encouraging and motivating each other to give their best shot, thus assisting the team to reach its ultimate goal. A study conducted during the National Open Competition Games (Archery) in Malaysia states how athlete’s motivation and satisfaction on teammates helped them play better. 

 

A study published in Human Kinetics in 2017 looked at how athletic participation and other factors affect student’s leadership and critical thinking skills. In a sport, each game is different and needs a different strategy to win. Hence, a regular athlete can think critically under pressure, consider their opponents in the game, find out new tactics, and strategize towards winning the game. When these thinking skills are well-organised and constantly practised on, athletes’ performance improves automatically. 

 

While it is easy to get caught up in a game and focus on only winning, the sign of good sportsmanship is to learn how to accept defeat. The hallmark of good sportsmanship includes being able to win a match without gloating and learning to accept defeat gracefully. Team sports inculcate respect for opponents and teach one to accept failures and shortcomings.

 

Team sports teach valuable life skills such as dedication, problem-solving, commitment and understanding that hard work pays off. In short, it teaches to pursue a balanced life. A study done by the University of Kansas states that physical activities increase blood flow to the brain and activates endorphins – chemicals that are responsible for relieving stress and pain. Lesser stress and better moods mean that you can learn better.

 

A healthy mind in a healthy body – so the old saying goes! A study conducted by a team of paediatricians revealed that children who have faced difficult situations in their childhood reported better mental health as adults if they had participated in team sports as children. Children who take part in team sports learn how to lead and negotiate with other children to reach their common goal.  They show and learn important social skills to interact with their friends more effectively. The research suggests that structured social activities like team sports build persistence and resilience, which have a positive impact later in life.

Playing sports in a team is an essential element for your all-round development. It teaches you camaraderie, helps you become more determined and dedicated as well as keeps you physically fit and strong.

What types of sports do you like to play with your friends? Do tell us in the comments below.

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About the Author


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Tanaya Goswami

Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at storyweavers@byjus.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

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