Whether it’s soccer, football, baseball or basketball, playing a team sport is an excellent way to build strong friendships and become part of a tight-knit group. These are relationships that can last long after the game is over. Athletes can turn to these friends in difficult times and celebrate achievements together as well as share the burden of a loss.
As a result of being on a team, students learn to value each member’s contribution to the overall success of the group and become more supportive, forgiving, and patient people. The discipline and structure of team sports also help to level out moods and improve self-esteem by keeping the focus on overcoming challenges rather than on in-group/out-group rivalries.
Team sports are a good way to teach children that being emotional is not a way to get what you want. It is not uncommon to see young players cry after a bad play or lose their temper when the outcome is not what they expected. The discipline and structure of team sports help to keep this kind of behavior in check and to teach kids that life is not always fair, and that they should be thankful for the opportunities it does provide.
Team sports require cooperation between all members of the group to be successful. This is especially true for the more physical team sports such as football and basketball. However, many other teams sports require the same type of cooperation as well, including swimming (four athletes to a team in relay races) and Ultimate.