Playing team sports might not be something that appeals to everyone, but in truth they can be something that bring us a wealth of physical and mental benefits – whether we win or lose. Below we’ve taken a closer look at these benefits and given some additional insights into how and where you can get involved with them.
We can get much fitter and healthier
One of the most obvious benefits is our physical fitness. While some sports are more demanding than others, most still require training and a degree of athleticism. As such, by getting involved in a team sport you’ll need to work on your fitness levels, but at the same time you’ll have the support and encouragement of those around you – something you wouldn’t otherwise get by solo workouts.
We can feel more secure
Being part of a team, whether you’re playing a game of football, training together for a cricket match or watching some exciting rugby results in your social outings, can promote a sense of belonging, togetherness and ultimately security. This can then do wonders for our mental state and even enhance our personal and social skills.
We can feel more motivated
Like any hobby or professional activity, the better you get at it, the more confident and motivated you can feel too.
A study by the IoL which examined this found that ‘the majority of people perceive that competing in sports builds transferable capabilities and gives career advantage’. Specifically, the study claimed that ‘75% who have played sport competitively believe that it gives skills and capabilities that provide a workplace advantage’. In addition, further findings were that teamworking is notably developed through playing sport, as is a person’s ‘mental toughness’.
There can further be positive knock-on effects
By feeling better about ourselves and our bodies, being more determined and being mentally stronger, there’s evidence it can make us more dynamic and successful in our daily lives. This medical study found that there’s a clear correlation between how well we function cognitively and how athletic we are, simply put, the fitter the better.
Where to look
Thanks to the wonder of modern search engines, a quick Google will bring up lists of local clubs, academies and sports bodies across different levels of proficiency. There are also lots of tools you can use like this from the BBC to help point you in the right direction.
Once you’ve found somewhere all there’s left to do is for you to take that step forward to join up with your new teammates.