No sports team is successful without working together to reach a common goal. Teamwork is essential to a good performance from any sports team, professional or not, and is a great way to teach children certain life lessons, such as cooperating well with others and taking responsibility for actions. Such lessons are applicable to life outside of sports and can be applied to work or school, such as focusing without interruption on the school paper that needs to be written or working with a less-than-pleasant colleague on a project.
Teamwork in sports promotes cooperation. Both children and adults can learn how to better cooperate with their teammates, even if they are not particularly fond of a teammate or two. Cooperation means putting differences aside for the greater good of the team. For example, members of a football team need to cooperate to successfully perform a play, whether it be a running play or a passing play. Without all involved in the play working together to make the play happen, the other team could wind up with the ball.
Working together on a sports team encourages socialization, as players become part of a group. The group, or in this case the sports team, shares a common interest--a love for a particular sport. For example, if your child is home-schooled, participating in a community baseball team is an ideal way to expose your child to others while doing something fun. Children can talk about the sport together and brainstorm ways to make the team better.
Working as part of a sports team is also a great way to build confidence. Research concerning sports and children/teens has shown that children, especially girls, who play sports are more likely to have a positive self-image than those who do not play sports. A girl who plays softball or basketball, for example, is not only less likely to be overweight, but is also more likely to receive compliments about her game time performance, thus boosting self-esteem.
Working with a sports team is an excellent way to teach accountability. Plays are not always successful, and if a player was in the wrong place at the wrong time, missed the basket or was looking at the outfield when she should have been focused on running the bases, she will need to take responsibility for what went wrong instead of blaming it on a teammate or finding another excuse.
- Brian Mac: Coaching: Understanding the Importance of Teamwork
- Penn State: Building Blocks For Teams
- Families.com: Parenting Advice: 10 Benefits of Playing Sports
- Tampa Bay Times: Teamwork, Not Just Talent, Defines a Game
- Super Performance: 6 Key Benefits of Teamwork
- Association for Applied Sport Psychology: Psychological Benefits of Exercise
Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.