Back to school is such a great time for kids. Why? This time of year brings a lot of new and exciting things, including rekindling old friendships, making new friends, and participating in new group activities and sports. This year, my kids are most excited for fall baseball season.
Not only are sports fun and exciting, but they also provide camaraderie among kids. Have you ever thought of the many benefits of playing team sports? Besides being a ton of fun and a great way to stay active, participation in sports helps kids build social and teamwork skills.
Here are a few other great benefits to participation in team sports:
1. Builds confidence. When playing a sport, children have the opportunity to show their skills, gain greater self-awareness, and enjoy an activity that they love the most.
2. Provides consistent exercise. Most kids have too much screen time and not enough hands-on activity. Team sports commits your child to regular exercise, which helps boost immunity and contributes to overall physical health.
3. Develops relationships. Children build friendships with other children and their coaches, which is a great way for your child to expand their social skills and understand expectations.
4. Contributes to stronger academics. Children who play team sports are more apt to stronger academic achievement. Through sports, kids learn the importance of time management and discipline.
5. Helps put winning into perspective. This can be a real sore subject for some kids. Participating in team sports gives kids the opportunity to gain an understanding of both winning and losing, as well as the recognize the value of every teammates’ abilities in contributing toward a shared goal.
6. Teaches respect. In team sports, children learn to respect other authoritative figures, such as coaches, referees and umpires, as well as their peers.
7. Encourages family involvement. Your child is not the only one who will benefit from participation in team sports. Moms, dads and siblings can practice plays, attend games and cheer each other on, providing a bonding opportunity for the whole family. Head on over to my blog to check out some tips on how to stay organized on game days.
Crystal VanTassel is aPlay Ambassadorfor Let’s Play.
Understanding the Importance of Teamwork
Karlene Sugarman explains how you can assess and develop a cohesive team
The concept of teamwork is extremely important to the success of any team. All coaches talk about working as one unit, as a unified team. Teamwork and unselfishness create the backbone of a great team, without them a team cannot realistically compete. You can have a group of superstars, but if they do not work well as one unit, chances are they are not going to be as successful as you would think. The team working as one cohesive unit is going to be the key in their success.
What to look for
Here are some things to take into consideration when you are looking at your team:
- Does your team have agreed-upon goals they created as a team?
- Do the players openly encourage and support one another?
- Do they have open communication with one another, as well as the coaching staff?
- Does each player know what their role on the team is?
- Is there mutual respect among the players and coaching staff?
- Do players use statements such as "we" when referring to the team, or is it more of an "every man for himself" mentality?
- Have they created a positive team image for themselves?
- Are the individual contributions of each player recognised (regardless of whether he/she is a starter or not a starter)?
- Is the team as a whole committed to improving performance?
- Does each member consider themselves as a "team player?"
A productive team has players that share common goals, a common vision and have some level of interdependence that requires both verbal and physical interaction. Teams come into existence through shared attitudes about a particular sport. They may come together for a number of different reasons, but their goals are the same - to achieve peak performance and experience success. The ends may differ but the means by which one gets there is the same - teamwork. Every member of the team is accountable when it comes to teamwork.
To succeed at the task in hand everyone involved needs to combine their efforts. If everyone does their job well, then it increases what the team can accomplish. This teamwork has to be recognised by everyone and know that great things can happen if individuals master the fundamentals and work together as one unit. Everyone has their own unique role, but each person's individual role must be recognised and appreciated.
Teamwork is something that must be a high priority and given constant attention. Every player needs to understand how important it is for them to work smoothly together if they want to be successful. Each player must be dedicated to the whole team and be willing to act unselfishly. When challenges arise (as they always do), the team needs to have the resources, accountability and commitment to deal with them in a constructive and positive manner. A sense of teamwork will play an integral part in this.
Just remember T.E.A.M. - Together Everyone Achieves More!
About the Author
Karlene is a a Mental Training Consultant in California and works with athletes and teams teaching mental training techniques and team building strategies. She works with athletes in various sports and has worked with the University of San Diego baseball team since 2000. She is a Professor in the Sport Psychology program at John F. Kennedy University.
Karlene is the author of the book, Winning the Mental Way: A practical guide to team building and mental training. She is a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and a member of IDEA Health & Fitness Association. She is also on the Board of Directors for the First Base Foundation.
This article first appeared in:
- SUGARMAN, K. (2004) Understanding the Importance of Teamwork. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 13 / June), p. 4
If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:
- SUGARMAN, K. (2004) Understanding the Importance of Teamwork [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/scni13a2.htm [Accessed
About the Author
Karlene Sugarman Karlene is a sport psychology consultant in the UK and the author of the book Winning the Mental Way, a book on team building and mental training.
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: