Team sport is a great way for children to develop friendships, improve social skills and excel in academics. They can also learn valuable lessons that will help them in their lives both in and out of the field. Studies show that kids who participate in team sports are less likely to drop out of school, are less involved with drugs and alcohol, have higher GPAs and have more self-esteem than kids who don’t play sports. Team sports are an excellent way for children to grow up healthy and have fun in the process.
Team sports require a tremendous amount of teamwork. Coaches often set up their teams in ways that maximize the strengths of each player. They teach players to work together toward something that can’t be done alone and to sacrifice for the good of the whole. In turn, it teaches children to respect one another and that there is a place in life for selflessness.
In addition to teamwork, a big part of the learning process in team sports is critical thinking. Athletes are challenged with a variety of problems throughout the course of each game, from trying to shut down the other team’s star player to deciding where to place the ball for a quick attack. These problems are typically complex and require a high level of critical thinking to solve.
It’s important for kids to learn that not everything in life is fair. This is a lesson that many team athletes learn early on in their careers, especially at the collegiate level. Too many young athletes are used to getting whatever they want, and when things don’t go their way it can be extremely difficult for them to stay composed. The discipline required in team sports to work hard, follow coaches’ instructions and train diligently teaches them that it isn’t always going to be a walk in the park.
One of the most important skills that athletes learn is time management. They must balance practicing, playing and studying for school or work with other responsibilities in their lives. They must also manage their energy in order to maintain peak performance during competitions. This teaches them that every second counts, and it’s crucial to be ready at all times in the real world as well.
Team sports also teach children commitment, training and setting goals. They learn that there are few shortcuts to success and that generally there is a payoff for hard work. They also learn about losses and how to handle them, which is an invaluable lesson for the real world when they encounter their own setbacks. They can take the positive lessons learned from their own experiences and apply them to future challenges, instead of dwelling on the negative or giving up. This is a valuable lesson that will help them in their career and personal lives as well. Team sports also teach them to be more respectful of others and their opinions, as there will inevitably be people that they disagree with in the workplace or in their own relationships.