Any sport that requires a group of people to work together toward a shared goal is a team sport. The ultimate goal is often to win, but the sport may also have other objectives. The Janssen Sports Leadership Center describes the fundamental nature of a team sport as one where members “set goals, make decisions, communicate, manage conflict and solve problems in a positive and trusting environment.”
Many team sports involve a large number of players, making them especially effective at building relationships among participants. This can help foster social skills that students carry with them throughout their lives. In addition, the physical exertion involved in team sports helps promote physical health and fitness. Having a regular workout will increase blood flow to the brain, helping improve concentration and memory and activating endorphins that can boost mood.
Working with a group of teammates will also help athletes learn to value time. The time constraints of team sports force athletes to make the most out of every minute, whether it is in a practice session or at an actual game. This skill will translate well into their academic endeavors.
In a world where millennials are increasingly disengaged from school, athletic programs can be valuable tools for improving student attendance and performance. By fostering a culture of engagement and inclusion, team sport can also provide a safe and supportive space for at-risk youth. This will help to increase the likelihood that these youth will pursue higher education and enter a career that will provide them with a meaningful income.