Did you grow up playing sports? Is there advantages playing sports and being part of a team?
There is a ton of proof that states that playing sports at any age has many positive benefits.
No it isn’t just for girls and boys to play, it can be important to any age.
What is about being part of a team that people love so much. Is it just the physical benefits they love? Or is it the team spirit we feel when we are part of group, or the travelling together.
Maybe it’s the lifetime friendships we develop or the pride that one feels when all put on our jersey’s and step out to compete. These are all great reasons to join a team.
Let’s look all the advantages one by one and break them down.
Table of Contents
The most common positive advantage to playing sports is of course to our physical health. Exercising provides fuel and energy to our body, while also providing protection for our body. A strong fit person, has a better chance of living longer and having less health issues as they age. This is simply due to protecting the body by taking good care of it.
Being part of a team and staying active can help with our :
- Heart strength
- Lung function
- Weight control
- Energy level
- Physical strength
Overall a person that plays sports, will just be more physically fit and healthier. For children especially, it will help keep them from becoming overweight. Sitting around playing video games is not the keys to a healthy child.
Children are always growing, so the constant physical activity can help ease growing pains. Stretching, staying loose and flexible is great for helping this.
Playing sports really is the key to being physically fit at any age. We all need help keeping motivated to stay physical, and a fellow team member will help with that. When in a group, it is much harder to stop or quit something. Whether it is fear of failure or keeping up, the end result is everyone else is doing, so you follow through.
Everyone of us, has that notion that they were going to get fit again, and the number one thing that holds us back from that is our own mental toughness. It is just naturally easier to do something or stick with something when you have a buddy by your side.
Team play does all that for us. Staring at that treadmill in your basement and promising you are going to get on it, is easy to say, but as well all know tough to do. There is no team mate, or friend there to get you going.
This alone is one of the main reason, why team sports keeps us physically fit.
We have discussed the physical benefits to playing on a team, but how about the mental. Is there benefits mentally?
Participating in sports and exercising regular promotes good mental health says the “Public Healthy Agency”. When we exercise it increases blood flow. This increase raises the amount of oxygen flowing to our brain, causing you to do more and feel better.
Exercise can do many wonderful things to help us mentally. Things like:
- Lowering our stress level
- Mood balance
- Overall well-being
- Reduce anxiety or panic attacks
- Protect against depression
Being part of a team can help us reach out when we are struggling with an issue in our life. There is less stigma leaning on another team member. Trusting someone that you know has your back when things are tough, is so helpful. This makes you feel like you aren’t alone in the world. As a team, you are used to mentally battling through ups and downs that sports bring.
Ups and downs, means wins and losses. Learning to win is important, to teach you that if you work hard, you can achieve your goals
Learning to lose, is also just as important. Handling a tough loss or falling short of your team goals brings out our ability to move on and rise above. Find the good in your performance, and the be proud of the fact that you got to the point where losing mattered. Being respectful in your sadness and behaving accordingly is something that losing teaches you.
Learning to win and lose is a vital part of life. In everyday life, we don’t always get the things we think we deserve, but how we handle that says a lot about who we are as a person. Playing sports is one of the best ways to learn this important skill.
Social & academic
There have been a ton of surveys that show that students that participating in sports, are less likely to have social or academic problems. A survey done by National Household Survey of Drug Abuse shows that students participating in sports are far less likely to :
- Do drugs
- Hang with the wrong crowd
The other finding was that students who play sports, are also far less likely to hang out with people that don’t play sports.
In another survey completed by Women’s Sports Foundation that found that women that compete in sports are 80% less likely to become pregnant than a non-athlete.
Academically, students in certain US states actually perform better in the classroom overall then other students. They are found to have higher grade points averages (grades), higher test scores, better attendance and of course a much better chance of attending university or college.
The truth is in the numbers. A student that participates in sports, has a much clearer advantage over non-athletes. Look ahead 5 years, and you will see that an athlete performs better once out of school as well.
The Vice Presidents of the top 75 Fortune 500 companies did surveys on individuals at these companies and reported that 95% of them played sports in high school. Yup 95%! That is a staggering percentage of people that played sports in high school that are in high ranking positions.
What is it about people that were academics in high school becoming successful later on in their lives. Are all people that play sports in high school destined to make a higher income, have better jobs or get more promotions.
The thought is that playing sports on a team, helps develop leadership skills, creates a teamwork mentality and result in a person that works hard.
Athletes know how to win, they know what it takes. They have already proven to themselves that if they work hard, they know they will be successful.
Confidence and a great sense of self are skills you learn as part of a team. These skills absolutely give someone an upper hand in the work force. We all know people that are lazy and expect things to be handed to them. A person that is part of a team, would never drag a team down with a lack of performance, that just isn’t excepted on a team.
Failure and success is done together, so a lack of personal performance will certainly be under scrutiny from the rest of the team. I think that is what makes athletes such great workers.
I grew up playing sports throughout my entire childhood. Right from early on, my parents enrolled me in skating. Once I learned to skate, I started taking figure skating lessons and carnivals. Anyone that was a figure skater, will agree, that getting a group of young kids to do the same thing at the same time is tough. Then add music for a sense of rythmic performance to the situation. No easy feat.
What I most remember about learning to skate and performing was the sense of working hard for something. A not give up mentality, that feeling of fear that comes just before a performance. Even at a young age, you remember that
feeling you got in your stomach, the mental struggle of it.
Although it is scary as a kid, it also helped build my confidence. That is something, you are never to young to learn. I think it is really important for kids to experience and learn this when they are young.
After 4 years of figure skating, we moved to the big city where for girls, there was far more opportunity to play team sports. My first thought was wow maybe they have girls hockey. Well unfortunately they didn’t allow girls to play boys hockey back then, but Saskatoon did offer the next best thing which was ringette. Wow so much fun!
I can’t explain how awesome it was playing on a team with all girls and the comradery, I felt. The friendships, the team spirit and even the community spirit we had as a group was second to none. I absolutely loved it. We would hang together outside of our games and cruise the mall in our matching community blue velvet jackets. Yup, we were hot!
To this day, I have such wonderful memories of those girls and that time in my life. Although we don’t see each face to face much, we are still in touch through social media. So just think that was almost 40 years ago. Yes that is a long time ago!
What it does show is that being part of a team as a young adult can teach you the importance of working as a team, respecting each other and of course working hard.
After I quit playing ringette, Those years away from sports, I really missed being part of a team. I missed running from practices to games. I missed things like the exercise, mental challenges and just the overall social aspect of being part of a team. I then went back to playing sports like broomball and indoor soccer.
Playing sports as an adult was almost as satisfying as when I was a kid. I was able to push myself at an even higher level by traveling and attending National Championships. As a grew up, the pressure and work ethic is much stronger but so is the reward or success.
The personal challenges I went through to be competitive is what I call my free university. My competition level and work ethic absolutely transferred through to my work and careers. When you are part of a team, you all work together to accomplish a goal. So being individually great, is good, if there is no mutual respect and sense of team you aren’t going to be successful.
The same goes for most work environments. Whether it is sitting in a cubicle in a call center or working on a crew, if you know how to work as part of a team a company will be more successful.
In my opinion, there are many advantages playing sports, and all of them will directly affect the person that you are. There truly is no “I” in team, but learning to be a strong team member makes for a more well rounded person.
Playing sports is proven to be good for your physical health, mental health and social health. Starting your children young is the best idea. Your son or daughter will learn valuable lesson,and skills simply by being active.
If we look at the huge weight problem in kids in Canada and the US today. Much of that is attributed to a lack of exercise, lack of school sports and even low community sports. Keeping moving is good for the body and for the mind.