Millions of children and adults participate in team sport, and the benefits go well beyond a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness. Team sports teach kids to work together and learn the value of commitment and training to achieve goals. They also learn to take risks and persevere despite setbacks. They gain critical thinking skills, and a better understanding of how to communicate with teammates in an effective way.
It is a competitive world that kids will live in, both academically and professionally, and being on a team sport allows them to practice and develop the communication and problem-solving skills that will help them succeed in any setting. Team members must be able to think on their feet and make decisions quickly. Moreover, they must be able to solve problems ranging from dealing with an injured teammate, to finding a strategy for shutting down the opposition’s star player. This type of thinking requires the ability to listen and follow directions, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with fellow players and coaches.
While winning feels great, team sports allow participants to understand that life isn’t always fair and teaches them to be good sports, while still maintaining a positive attitude. Children also learn to put winning into perspective and to foster a sense of belonging to the group, rather than being a “sore loser.” This is a skill that can benefit them well past the court, rink or field and will carry with them into their lives as adults.