The Benefits of Team Sport for Children
A team sport is an activity involving a group of people competing against one another and organized in accordance with a set of rules. Some examples of team sports include football, soccer, basketball, ice hockey, and baseball. These sports often require a high level of physical fitness and can offer a variety of pedagogical benefits for children.
The distinguishing feature of team sport settings is that members voluntarily interact in a social context that incorporates both task and interpersonal processes (Smith, Mellano, & Ullrich-French, 2019). For example, while members of a basketball team are competing with each other for starting status or playing time during practice sessions, they simultaneously cooperate with each other in coordinating their activities for performance success during competitions.
In addition, member voluntarily agree to specific standards of effort and productivity. For instance, players on a football or basketball team recognize that they should attend all practice sessions and work strenuously during competitions in pursuit of their goals. The standardization of these expectations helps establish a sense of community among the members of the team and defines them as a distinct social unit.
Team sport also teaches individuals to develop communication skills, which are necessary for teamwork and collaboration. For example, members of a basketball team communicate their needs and concerns with the coach during post-game debriefings. In addition, they listen to the verbal and nonverbal cues of their teammates during practice, enabling them to understand each other’s roles.