Team sport combines the best of individual and group exercise, providing social benefits as well as health advantages. Research shows that team athletes enjoy greater life satisfaction than solo exercisers, likely because of the sense of camaraderie created by participating in a sport. This sense of belonging is a powerful motivator and can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Team sports also teach players to value their teammates’ abilities, helping them develop into more understanding, forgiving and patient people in their everyday lives. They learn to appreciate their own skills and how they contribute to the success of the team. This in turn can help them feel more valued and less self-conscious on the field, preventing them from adopting what’s called a fixed mindset that leads to low confidence and limited performance.
Successful performance in team stop-go sports such as American football, rugby, soccer, field hockey and basketball requires the co-operation of all team members to score more goals/points than their opponents. These sports are characterised by brief periods of high-intensity activities interspersed with lower intensity support activities, such as tackling and wrestling for ball possession.
A number of different types of team sport can be played in school and students should be encouraged to take part in all these to develop as holistic individuals. In addition, it is important to encourage and celebrate good performance by the entire team in order to motivate them and boost their self-esteem. This can be done through cheering on teams during their games, giving out awards and offering words of encouragement.