The mental, emotional and social benefits of team sport
Living Waters Lutheran College understands the importance in holistic learning from Kindy through to Year 12. That’s why we provide our students with a wide variety of opportunities both inside and out of the classroom, including outdoor education and specialist sports programs.
Australian Sports Camps (ASC) recognises parent’s vast knowledge with the physical health and fitness benefits associated with encouraging children to take up a sport:
- Making regular exercise a habit from a young age
- Developing bone and muscle strength
- Developing cardiovascular fitness
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Learning the importance of eating right
- Reducing their risk of illness and disease.
But what about the immense mental, emotional and social benefits that exists by playing a team sport such as Netball and Basketball?
“There’s a strong association between team-sport participation such as netball, and life satisfaction and psychosocial health,” says Alanna Antcliff, head physiotherapist for Australia’s national Netball team, the Diamonds.
Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits as outlined by ASC.
- Happier children
When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins. These naturally occurring chemicals are scientifically proven to improve our mood, reduce stress, relieve feelings of anxiety and depression, boost self- esteem and help us sleep better. This all leads to happier, positive, more relaxed children every time they finish training or playing a game.
- Learn important values
Being a part of a team will teach your child important values that will guide them through their teenage years and into adulthood.
- Respect for coaches, teammates, opponents and umpires
- Discipline by learning to play as a team and follow the rules of the sport
- Patience by having to work alongside other players even if they don’t get along.
- Selflessness understanding that the team comes before their own needs or desires.
- Builds self-confidence
Learning any new skill is a great way to build self-confidence and doing it as part of a team environment only serves to magnify that self-belief. Team sports help children to confront setbacks and obstacles without seeing it as a negative reflection of themselves but more as a challenge to be overcome.
- Improves communication skills
When playing as part of a team, communication is a crucial skill no matter what sport you’re playing. Important social skills such as, learning when to be quiet and listen, and when to speak up and challenge an opinion. However, much of human communication is nonverbal. Nonverbal communication such as body language, eye contact and facial expressions also form a significant part of participating in all team sports.
- Supports social interaction
There is often no better way to make new friends than to join a sports team. Your child will make friends from different suburbs, backgrounds and cultures. They’ll learn tolerance and acceptance and the ability to build relationships with children outside of their normal clique. But, most of all they will feel that they belong and build a large network of friends.
- Memories imbedded forever
The sporting victories and losses we experience, the friendships we develop, and the lessons we learn on the sporting field stay with us forever. Having the chance to be part of a sporting team and enjoying all the physical, mental, emotional and social benefits that comes with it is a gift that every child deserves to experience.
If you are interested in finding out more about our specialist programs and how we build bright futures, please click here.
Co-written by imageseven and Donna Daniel – LWLC Netball Coordinator