Team sport is an athletic activity that requires the collaboration of multiple individuals working as a unit for success. It is inherently impossible or impractical to play a team sport as a single player. This is why team sports are distinguished from individual or solo sports. Participation in team sport develops life skills that are transferable to the classroom, workplace and the community. These life skills include behavioural (learning to work with others); cognitive (being able to make good decisions under pressure); and interpersonal (dealing with the aspects of winning and losing).
Kids learn cooperation. They get to know and trust their teammates, which teaches them to be supportive and understanding. Kids also learn that there are different roles on a team and that each role is critical to the success of the whole group. This is a great lesson to carry with them into the workforce and the community.
Cooperation is also important in team sports because it helps to keep in-group/out-group rivalries in check. In-group/out-group rivalries are natural, but they can become inflated in the absence of a concrete mechanism, such as competition, to bring them back down to earth. The competitive arena of team sports provides that mechanism and teaches kids how to be fair, respect the competition and cooperate with opponents.
Team sports also teach children the value of hard work and commitment. It teaches them that hard work pays off and that there are no shortcuts in life. It teaches them to be prepared for setbacks and that losing is not always fun, but it is part of life. This lesson is especially beneficial for boys, since it teaches them to be more resilient to life’s ups and downs.