The Benefits of Team Sport

Whether you’re playing in a youth league, competing for a top spot in a college program or training to represent your country on the world stage, team sport is a great way to increase fitness and build social connections. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle and has been linked with greater life satisfaction, higher grades at school, less risk-taking behavior and better mental health.

In team sports, athletes learn how to problem solve and make decisions on the fly, which is useful for real life situations. Athletes also learn to focus on what they did well rather than dwelling on a missed opportunity. This helps athletes stay positive and motivated even in the face of adversity.

Another important lesson from team sports is how to communicate effectively. Kids will often practice listening skills through coaching drills in practice and by hearing the coaches call out instructions to their teammates during a game. They’ll also come to understand how to communicate nonverbally – through gestures indicating that a player is open for a pass or by tapping their stick to signal that a penalty is over.

In order to develop a highly motivated team, it is important that the players agree on common goals and rules. According to sports psychologist Lothar Linz and former coach of the Dutch national volleyball team Joop Alberda, this is what creates true motivation in a sport. The group-specific rules make it clear that the team is more important than the individual.