Mental Health Benefits of Team Sport

Team sport

A team sport is an activity where participants compete in groups against other competing teams rather than against other individuals. The defining features of a team sport are that athletes interact directly and simultaneously with one another to achieve an objective (usually scoring points against an opposing team). Examples include basketball, rugby league, cricket, ice hockey, soccer and netball. However, other sports that are not team sports may involve the same types of interactions and cooperation, e.g. mountaineering.

Working with teammates teaches athletes how to be adaptable, persistent and patient. It also teaches them to recognize the unique skills that each member brings to the group, and how to use these effectively. It can be difficult to manage interpersonal conflict within a team, particularly when a person’s personality type does not align with the needs of the group. This is why it’s important to use the tools available, such as Athlete Assessments and DISC, to understand the strengths of individual athletes and help them work well with others.

As a result, participating in team sports is associated with greater levels of wellbeing than taking part in individual pursuits. But what exactly is it about team sports that gives them this boost? According to new research, it is the social interaction and feelings of identity that come with being a team-member – rather than simply being physically active. This explains why team-based sports are so popular with young people and why they have the potential to positively influence mental health throughout life.

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