When you hear the coach’s whistle and he or she asks the class to divide themselves into teams, it’s usually the more athletic types that are assigned as team leaders and eventually pick their members. For us who are less agile, our hearts start beating, wondering when our names will be called to be part of anyone’s team, and some of us are praying not to get picked last. When each team has complete members, they start sizing up the competition. But more than winning a game, there are benefits of participating in team sports.
In team sports, there has to be a sense of cohesiveness in having to work as one team, to ultimately prevail against other teams. Being able to exercise your muscles enables you to keep moving instead of lounging around and feeling lazy. In addition, being outdoors encourages being good physical shape. Because one becomes a member of a team, social interaction is enhanced by learning how to coordinate with other people, where listening is an important characteristic in order to know how to move as one. For the shy ones, being part of a squad helps you to come out of your shell. Through understanding how a game works and discovering the dynamics of being in a group, we develop the awareness for camaraderie.
We will always persevere when we’re playing the game because healthy competition arises in moments where we do not want to disappoint other people. Engaging in sports teaches one how to become a courteous winner and to accept defeat as a growing experience, instead of looking at is as merely losing. Between the two, there will always be a positive reassurance for your participation, for not giving up, and for improving in each game. Over time, we learn how to value our love for the game, and as respect for our co-players, game officials and our coaches. There is a higher chance of establishing friendships even if most of us start out as being strangers to one another. On a personal level, playing team sports gives us better self-esteem because we realize that goals can be attained through learning from one another’s skills.
Of course there are people standing on the sidelines who cheer us on. For the parents, they witness how their children become more sociable and sometimes, they lend a hand in keeping an active lifestyle for them. One of their prouder moments is to see their child learning how to cope with disappointment and win graciously, and one of the most important virtues in team sports, is learn to keep going and to foster hope.
The exposure to group activities from childhood continues to be beneficial even when one enters adulthood because there are values that prove useful. From a school setting to the workplace, ideals such as determination, optimism, friendship, respect, and confidence are cultivated. Character building is a significant part in joining team sports, where we learn to stand up, join the court, and continue playing.