During the pandemic, there was a complete pause on social interaction and group activity. And that included team sports.
Not only did the dramatic pause on team sports affect young people in particular physically, but it also had a dramatic affect on their mental wellbeing too. And it proved that there and endless benefits of playing team sports.
Read on to find out why it’s important to encourage young people to get back into team sports and reap the physical and mental benefits.
The NHS recently reported that a staggering 39% of six to 16-year-olds experienced a deterioration in their mental health between 2017 and 2021. But could getting involved in sports really help? Yes, it could.
Taking part in sport triggers the “mood-lifting” brain chemical, endorphins, which make you feel happier and more relaxed as well as relieving pain. Exercise also reduces cortisol and adrenaline, which are our stress hormones. And just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce stress and boost moods for several hours after.
Although exercise and sport in general can have incredible effects on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, research has show there are more impactful mental health benefits of team sports. WebMD reported that Australian researchers found women who played tennis and netball in clubs, rather than heading to the gym or for a walk alone, experienced better mental health.
For more information on wellness and physical health, have a read of our blog post.
…and so do team sports and physical health.
Of course, along with mental health advantages of playing team sports, it’s a given that there are physical benefits of team sports too.
With an increased number of youngsters turning to the digital world and obesity at an all-time high, there’s an outcry for regular exercise more than ever. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that just 75 minutes of exercise a week can help avoid chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
As well as wellbeing and physical benefits of team sports, there are also life skills and lessons young people can learn:
1. Pleases and thank yous
One of the advantages of working in a team is leaving youngsters with manners, respect, and boundaries both on and off the pitch or court. And not only with their peers, but with coaches and other senior figures too.
2. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance
Losing is in the nature of sports. And it’s sometimes in the nature of life. Being exposed to failures at a young age and in a team allows young people to practice persistence and development.
3. Meeting new faces
Joining a sports team means youngsters can meet people from all different walks of life and expand their social circle. You never know, they might have their sports team to thank for a whole new bunch of friends.
4. Boosting confidence
Whether it’s plucking up the courage to join a new sports team or playing in front of a big crowd, one benefits of team sports is boosting young peoples’ confidence. Not only will this newfound confidence help them in the now and develop their sporting abilities, but it will have huge benefits towards their future selves too. Our new Multi-Sports & Wellbeing Festival in partnership with Youth Sport Trust offers a great opportunity to boost the confidence of your Year 7 & 8 students, introducing them to new sports and delivering inspiring wellbeing sessions with athlete mentors.
5. Experiences abroad
We’ve covered how participating in team sports benefits young people both physically and mentally, but it can also open there eyes up to new cultures and parts of the world. If you’d like to take your team on a netball trip, football trip, or other sports trip abroad, take a look at all our sports trips here.
So, could a sports trip help your team? Yes.