Team Sports

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

So there is like a little sub-debate going on in another thread about team sports, so I thought it might make an interesting thread on it's own.

How do you feel about team sports for children?
Do you feel they are necessary for a well rounded development, or could kids do without them?
Do you feel some are better for children than others? Why or why not?
Do you think that individual sports are equally beneficial, or do you think that working within a team offers a different skill set than working independently?

I don't expect you all to go down the list and answer each question, I just thought it would give us a place to start.

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Janice - posted on 07/20/2012

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I definitely think that team sports are beneficial, but I do not think they are necessary. Getting exercise is necessary and having group interaction are important. However, they dont necessarily need to be done together. I think you can run track and be in the school play and you would get the same benefits as playing baseball/ softball. I think some children dont have an aptitude for sports and due to the competitive nature children and teens who dont perform well will not reap the benefit of being on a team unless it is extremely understanding group of coaches and teammates.

I played softball for 2 years (age 8&9) and I was terrible. I didnt get anything out of it, except a lowered self esteem. But later in high school I was in the drama club and it was a great experience. My exercise was 1.5 mile walk each day to go to and from school.

I do think learning to wok with others toward a common goal is important so children should be in some type of group activity, just not necessarily a sport.

Stifler's - posted on 07/30/2012

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I like team sports for kids. They have to learn that they aren't going to win everything in life, they also need to learn about sportsmanship. One team wins, one loses. As long as you tried your best. Working together as a team is something people will encounter too even if you don't like other people in the team you have to work together towards a common goal.

Beth - posted on 07/29/2012

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I think if a child wants to play a sport, and does well with the team dynamic, then they should play team sports. But, a child who doesn't enjoy sports or operates better in a more individual setting, they should never be forced to play them. Kids can excel in a lot of other areas like art, music and academics, and should never be made to feel like a failure if sports aren't their thing.

MeMe---(Past And Present) - posted on 07/22/2012

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I think it all depends on the child. My daughter has always been very shy and fairly non-socialized. I tried for many years when she was younger to get her to participate in team sports because I felt they would help her gain self confidence but she would not partake. So, I put her into swimming lessons. She really enjoyed this but it did not constitute her having to be a part of a team. So, I put her into sparks (the beginner of Girl Guides) and this helped a lot. She had to get to know all the other children and she had to be active in everything they were all doing.

Now, if I had forced her to play Baseball first, she may have never been interested later on. I may have caused her to have more of a fear of working on a team than she had in the first place.

I do, however, feel sports and/or activities are very important to a childs' development. Whether it be singular or team orientated. Singular sports/activities help them learn about themselves and their own likes, dislikes and strengths. While a team sport/activity is great for them to learn about others and how they fit in with different people. I think both forms are important. I just think it is more important to not push them one way. I think it should be gradual and depend on the child and their personality and comfort levels.

I also do not agree with highly aggressive sports. That's just me but I don't need my kids growing up thinking they need to high stick, push into walls or trip an opponent.

Kristi - posted on 07/20/2012

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I think sports in general are important to keep kids busy and fit. Participating in sports, especially team sports, help children learn self discipline, will increase self esteem and self confidence (and the benefits from those are immeasurable), will teach them about working together to accomplish the same goal, and as they get older, it will teach them that worker harder than the next guy will pay off via more playing time and/or greater success.

I don't think any one sport is better than another and I think it is important to let kids try any one that sounds like fun to them. This will give them a chance to figure out what they like and what they are good at, with the hopes they will stay active, stay focused, have fun and stay out of trouble. (and if we're really lucky they will be offered a college scholarship so we don't have to foot the bill! ; )) I also believe being involved in sports will encourage kids to take better care of themselves and in the long run, will keep them active and healthy as adults.

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[deleted account]

i think team sports are good because it helps to teach kids cooperation and teamwork and it's a good time for kids to socialize with their peers.

[deleted account]

Depends on the child. I let my kids experiment with various sports. Just don't push! I've seen way too many kids pushed to do a sport because mom or dad enjoyed it and want to relive their own childhoods.

Elfrieda - posted on 07/29/2012

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I don't feel they're necessary. I kind of hope that my son isn't interested in them, or if he is that it'll be something like soccer so that we don't have to make big decisions about how much money to spend (waste) on equipment and time to devote (waste) to it. I would much prefer him to play pick-up games of hockey or soccer with kids that happen to be in the area at that time and want to play, or play games like tag and kick-the-can and less organized things. I'd drive him somewhere to play with a bunch of kids, it's not that I don't want him to be active and work to a common goal with other children, I just don't see why it has to be so formulaic. I would be very disappointed if he went into any sport professionally, those poor kids are messed up, they have no balance in their lives.

Aleks - posted on 07/29/2012

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Whatever MeMe said :-)

I would actually say that some kids will have a particular sport that they really like and they want to play it all the time. For example, my boy (almost 7) LOVES: Football (Australian Rules, that is), Cricket and Running (athletics). Also likes playing Baseball (ie, T-ball for the little ones like him) because dad plays.

3 of these are team sports, and one is not. Actually, when we go out to the park, my son sometimes abandons the play equipment and just starts running around the park, doing laps. Just because... loves to just run (actually, probably takes after his dad, who was a middle to long distance runner...and also just loves to go for a run). Football is a winter sport, so he just does football all the time during winter. In summer he will play Cricket as much as he can (well at school at the moment).
We have him in Little Athletics (during the warm months) because of his love of running, and because he chose to. Same with Football during winter months. Last summer he also chose to do T-ball (it was feasible because it was during the week, while Little Aths were on the weekend). However, usually it is only 1 sport. We shall see what he will chose for the next summer months (we are in winter at the moment), as little aths will now have comps on the weekends and training during the week, and if he chooses T-ball over Cricket, or the other way around... or one of the 3? It will be his choice.
We would have also been unconcerned if he didn't chose any sport and instead wanted to do music.

As long as a parent doesn't force the child into anything all is well :-) And preferrably allows the child his/her own self expression and encourages that, rather than chosing what the parent thinks the child should do.

Lacye - posted on 07/23/2012

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I think team sports are great for the right type of kid. Some kids are super active and sports could help them channel all of that energy they have. It teaches children how to be team players, which could be a great asset for when they get older and grow into adulthood.

However, there are some kids that sports are just not right for. I have known several kids that were not so athletically inclined and they were miserable!

Krista - posted on 07/22/2012

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I think it's a good experience for a kid to do SOMETHING as part of a team, whether it be in sports or an arts/theatre/music group, or what-have-you. It teaches them that their efforts really do affect others, and that if they try hard, they are helping not just their own efforts, but everybody else's.

That being said, it depends on the kid, the sport, and the atmosphere. If I had a shy or sensitive child, I would be wary of putting him in uber-competitive team sports, where any missed shot or failed effort is the end of the world. That's too much pressure for my own particular child.

If a child is shy or sensitive, then for competitiveness, I enjoy things like individual swimming events but on teams. So the child is part of the swim team and has that team spirit and encouragement, but if they lose their own individual race, it doesn't hurt the others' efforts. Same with gymnastics or dance or other sports where you're on a team, but competing individually.

Corinne - posted on 07/22/2012

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I sucked at team sports and it really knocked my self-confidence, to the point that I also gave up dancing for a while as I didn't think I was 'good enough'.I ended up being a proffesional dancer. However, I was pretty shy anyway and it wouldn't have taken much to knock me. I do think all kids should participate in sport and would need to experience both individual and team sports to find their niche. Most team sports have a kid friendly version - pop lacrosse, tag rugby, softball etc so I don't think they should steer clear of those sports for that reason and kids can get injured falling off a bike, playing ball or my sons favourite; tripping over his shadow.
My daughter is quite bright (she's 6) and doesn't work well in a team, she likes to take charge and tell people what, where, why, when and how it should be done. I want for her to take more team sports as she isn't top dog in this area and would have to follow someone else's lead. Her teacher supported this last year and noticed an improvement in her attitude towards others, so I'm hoping that they stick with it this year.

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