Six reasons why team sports are great for children

Team sports aren’t just fun to watch. They’re a wonderful way for your children to gain a whole host of important life skills. Here are six reasons why team sports are great for children.

Between 2011 and 2018, just over 70% of children participated in some kind of team sport at weekends or after school. If your children haven’t had a chance to do this, then now is the perfect time to get them started. Here are six great reasons why you might want to consider it.

1) It gets them out of the house

The Covid pandemic has meant that children have been kept home for nearly a year and a half. And during that time, many remained cooped up in their rooms. They lost the ability to regularly interact with peers, and some who were extroverts before the pandemic are now dedicated introverts.

Team sports helps to change this scenario. It gets children out of the house for games and other related activities. It also allows them to spend more time in the fresh air away from computer games!

2) It inspires friendship

There’s no ‘i’ in teamwork, and that is what makes this form of sport so important. For many coaches and organizations, the idea is not to win as many games as possible but to build bonds among those who participate.

Friendship is critical to a great team experience. It’s partnership and encouragement that makes those who aren’t the top players feel like they mean something. And the moments of friendship during a game tend to continue outside of the field or arena.

3) It increases critical thinking

The period where kids join team sports is an important one. According to child development theorists like Jean Piaget, it’s when their critical thinking processes begin to emerge.

The way we think can be divided into three different levels of cognition:

  • Basic thinking skills hat we develop with our parents’ interaction from birth to the time we start school.
  • Procedural skills we develop in school, like reading and writing.
  • Conceptual thinking, where we combine ideas into concepts that gives us our beliefs about ourselves and the world.

And while sport may be a physical activity, team sports especially require creative and strategic thinking. Indeed, the better your mental abilities, the better your physical performance.

4) It teaches them teamwork

Again, there’s no ‘i’ in team. Yes, some players have skills that are well above the rest of the team, however they need to learn to keep their egos in check for the whole team to be successful.

In a team, everyone has a role and only by working together can they be successful. Being part of a team teaches children responsibility and accountability. Great teamwork skills has many benefits, not just in childhood but through life.

5) It increases their resilience

Resilience is the ability to quickly bounce back from adverse situations. Someone with good resilience will feel devastated and disappointed at a setback, bit will be able to shake things off and move forward more quickly and easily than someone who lacks resilience.

And team sports are a perfect place to learn resilience. Not every contest or game results in a win. Nor does every turn at bat or thrown pass result in success. Adverse conditions emerge all the time, and the best way to get through them is to wipe your hands and move on.

They’ll also learn one error or loss doesn’t make an entire season, and that it’s sometimes possible to come back from defeat if you work hard.

6) It encourages them to ask for help

It’s hard for a child to ask for help when they feel others think they know what they’re doing. While their heart wants assistance, their ego urges them to find out things on their own. Team sports encourages them to reach out.

That’s why coaches are there. Even though they see potential in players they also realize they’ll encounter bumps during the season. They want you to ask for help on your swing, kick or your passing. And the good news is skills your kids gain by asking for help continue to be used later in life.

Photo by Baylee Gramling