The Benefits of Team Sport
Team sport is a type of sports that involves players working together to achieve a common goal. This common goal could be winning a game, improving their skills or simply being part of a group of people who enjoy the same activity. Whether you are competing or just enjoying yourself, team sports can help you build important life skills that can be used in all areas of your life.
These teams of athletes are often coached by professional coaches and are led by a team captain. They compete with other teams and individuals to win trophies and championships. Some examples of team sports include football, basketball, baseball and hockey. Team sports are also a great way to stay active and meet new friends.
Initiation into team sport is usually around 5-6 years of age and participation in team sports is widely accepted as a positive part of youth development (Smith, Mellano & Ullrich-French, 2019). Participating in a team sport can help athletes develop a range of competencies including social skills that can be used throughout their lives. It is believed that this is because sport provides a unique context that fosters effective mentorships between older and younger athletes, coach and athlete and teammates and peers.
A large amount of the work of a team athlete is focused on cooperating with their teammates and training partners. Although previous psychological research has found that competition and cooperation are considered to be mutually exclusive constructs, the current study suggests that team affiliation moderates this incompatibility. In particular, the results of Study 1 showed that team athletes attributed a greater demand to cooperate and compete with the same others to their focal sport than individual athletes. Furthermore, in Study 2, it was found that when individual athletes experienced competitive primes, they spontaneously reduced their information sharing with uninvolved others, whereas the same effects were not observed for team athletes.
The final results of Study 3 suggest that this difference is mediated by the cognitive reconciliation of competition and cooperation in the minds of team athletes. This is because the team athletes in the study were highly engaged with their sport – several of them belonged to the national Olympic youth squads – and thus spent a considerable amount of time cooperating and competing with the same others.
While the benefits of team sport are many, one of the most significant is that it teaches participants to put the needs of the group ahead of their own personal interests. This is a lesson that can be applied to all aspects of life, especially the workplace. It is important for all athletes, regardless of the level they play at, to embrace this philosophy because if they don’t, it will be difficult for them to achieve success in their chosen sport and in life. In the end, this is what true teamwork is all about.