Team sport is a sport in which a group of individuals divide into opposing sides to compete for victory. Each side typically consists of a number of teammates who work together to facilitate the movement of a ball or other object according to a set of rules. Examples include football, soccer and basketball.
Working with a slate of teammates isn’t just about collaborating on play, it also helps athletes develop their own interpersonal skills. The diverse pairing of personalities and scenarios can help a young athlete learn to become adaptable, persistent and patient. In addition, the Janssen Sports Leadership Center suggests that team sports teach players to respect one another and act in unselfish ways.
The biggest benefit of team sports, however, may be the ability to put winning and losing into perspective. It is easy for a sore loser to become jaded when they are the only person on the other side of the scoreboard, but when you are playing on a team that values good sportsmanship, it can be easier to appreciate your own successes and learn from losses.
In addition, team sports often encourage the formation of positive role models among coaches and fellow players. When a child sees a teammate or coach exhibit perseverance, dedication and commitment on the field, it can serve as a model they can follow into their own adult lives. In fact, a study of two Scandinavian handball clubs found that interconnected practices across youth teams and senior elite teams facilitated proximal role modeling that promoted athlete development.