Football season is here…and love it or loathe it…there will be no escaping it for the next 5 months! But fear not, this article isn’t about football; we just wanted to grab your attention as we discuss a few of the benefits of participating in a team sport.
Burning calories aside, team sports have a number of social, emotional, and physical benefits that could help us all develop, especially as many of us spend far more time at a computer than we should!
Being part of a team requires the three ‘P’s… Practice – Patience – Persistence. Whether it’s showing up to practice when you’d rather be home, waiting your turn on the sidelines, or doing the same drill over and over again to perfect a skill, the three ‘P’s of team sports translate into important life lessons.
Participating in a team sport promotes teamwork and communication, and can teach you to think on-the-go. It can help to build your concentration, persistence and self-discipline skills. And if you find a sport that you really enjoy, it can provide you with the chance to increase your confidence and self-esteem, and maybe even help reduce anxieties.
Team sports can be a great way to meet new people, or get some exercise with friends. Joining a sports team can help you with your social and professional life too. The social side of being part of a team can offer some great networking opportunities that enable you to build friendships and maybe some career connections.
Unless you reach the professional level, egos generally have to be left out of team sports. After all, as the saying goes, ‘there is no I in TEAM.’ Even the most egotistical among us should start to think about the group as a whole when playing team sports. If we don’t, we’ll probably get kicked off the team! Those with egos might even learn to be happy for other players’ successes when they see how those individuals benefit the whole group.
And did we mention the health benefits? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that regular “sport participants are more likely to eat more healthily, are less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use illicit drugs… than non-sports participants”!
But the biggest benefit of playing team sports can be for your mental health. The pressures of work, school, family, or life sometimes magically disappear for that hour or two when your mind is focused on the game and the team. There is no room for anything else…and sometimes that couple of ‘stress free’ hours once a week is just what your mind needs while dealing with a busy life.
Talk to your friends, colleagues, classmates about joining or forming a team. If you can’t generate any interest there, just do a quick Google search and you’re sure to find a number of teams in your area that are actively looking for players!