There is a reason why team sports are one of the most participated and worldly popular activities you can do in life. It’s easy to see why certain team sports become professional and have grown into multi-billion dollar industries. Simple, it brings people together. No matter what walks of life people come from, as soon as you become involved with a team sport, in any capacity, we become unified and nothing else matters for that period of time. The only judgment passed is simply by which team you support, i.e. Collingwood supporters in AFL… joke!
With the abundance of team sports to choose from, I believe there is a sport out there for everyone. All you need to do is try them out and I guarantee you will find one you enjoy. Having played team sports from a young age, it has personally changed my life. The development of confidence, self-esteem and life skills I’ve gained, has transformed me from an introverted shy person growing up, to a leader and entrepreneur today. Here are the top five reasons to start playing a team sport now:
- Make New Friends
As soon as you join a team sport, there are a large number of people just waiting to make friends with you. If you are new to an area or find it hard to meet new people, joining a team sport will immediately address this. You will find people who are like-minded, work in related industries and also looking for mates.
Involvement in a team breaks down personal barriers that people put up when going about their daily lives. Ever find it difficult to strike up a conversation with strangers on the street, café or shopping mall? Well, these barriers disappear once you’re on the field of battle with teammates. Sport will help you to overcome shyness and allow you to become more social in different environments.
- Learn New Physical Skills
If you are new to a sport, this presents an opportunity to learn a whole new range of skills, you’ve probably never encountered before. It is an easy way to keep your mind and body stimulated. Motor skills such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, balancing and kicking are incidentally involved in most sports. So, improvements in these areas become automatic.
Most sports involve precise movements. Practicing these can help improve skills such as hand-eye coordination, depth perception, speed and timing.
Decision making skills become integral during game play and sport will teach you how to combine your physical skills with quick decision-making to benefit the team.
- Creates habits of a healthy lifestyle
Commitment to a sport creates a habit to exercise and live a healthier lifestyle. A coach once said to me: “the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy playing sport”. Playing in a team incentivises you to build your fitness, which translates into your daily life. Not only do you exercise when training or in games, the more you want to do your own exercise in order to become a better player and contribute to the team.
You will soon find physical activity leads to improving nutritional choices, which will subconsciously creep into your daily routines. If you hate going to the gym or exercising in general but you know it’s essential, joining a sport will leave you with no excuses! As a result, you will feel healthier, fitter, more energetic and feel better about your body.
- Increases self confidence
When you play a team sport you learn to become disciplined, competitive and resilient. Being part of a team, teaches you the importance of discipline. You are responsible for your actions on and off the field and the positive or negative effect it can have on the group. Generally, a team’s objective is to win. Competitiveness is a by-product of playing in a team sport, and naturally, everyone will motivate each other to do their best and create success. Resilience becomes a crucial trait when your team faces a loss. You must accept the result gracefully to bounce back from disappointment and keep moving forward.
These three behaviours can be transferred to real life, whether in your career, social or personal life. The ability to be disciplined allows you realize that every decision you make has a consequence. Competitiveness develops a hunger for success and helps you to reach your full potential. It also teaches you to accept any losses and remain resilient in any situation life puts you in. These combined characteristics allow you to create a stronger sense of self-confidence.
- Develops Team-work and Leadership
The beauty of team sport is giving people an opportunity to be less selfish and think of not only themselves, but their teammates. For a team to be successful, there must be cooperation, appreciation of different abilities and respect for one another. These behaviours are strengthened when you participate in a team with a common goal. Team rules and game plans are set in place to ensure everyone understands what is expected and provides direction in achieving that unified goal.
Playing within this type of culture, forces you to adhere to the team rules and commit. As a result, you understand the importance of teamwork in not only the chosen game but in life, which builds healthy personal and work relationships.
A leader is one who demonstrates these selfless team actions and has the ability to influence others to do their best within team rules. These actions are not limited to team sports, but can also allow you to be an influential leader in all aspects of your life.
It is never too late to join a team and play a sport, regardless of what age you are, you will definitely reap the benefits of being part of a team.