A team sport is a game or athletic activity in which the fundamental nature of the sport necessitates the participation of multiple individuals working together as a team, and it is inherently impossible or highly impractical to execute the sport as a single-player endeavor. Examples of team sports include basketball, rugby, cricket, baseball, hockey, water polo, and lacrosse. A team is generally made up of a fixed number of players, and during competition matches, teams are sometimes substituted to make tactical changes or to address fatigue and injury.
In addition to the underlying mechanics of the game, team sport requires a complex interaction between individual players that is inherently dynamic and influenced by other team members. A deep understanding of these interactions is essential for effective coaching and analysis of the game. The field of team sport research is multi-disciplinary, spanning perspectives such as shared mental models, ecological dynamics and interpersonal communication. These diverse approaches to the study of team sport are not yet fully integrated, however, and new methodologies are needed to effectively capture, analyze, model and predict human group dynamics in a team context.
There is growing evidence that participation in team sports can improve an individual’s life prospects by enhancing a range of positive developmental outcomes (e.g. physical health, psychological well-being and social functioning). The present systematic review aims to examine the relationship between interventions designed to promote team sport participation in girls and their impact on these outcomes.
The development of soft skills that allow for the building of healthy and supportive relationships are one of the key benefits that can be gained from participating in team sports, such as communication, resiliency and time management. These skills become personal attributes that can be carried forward to other areas of life, such as school or the workplace.
In terms of the physical health benefits, team sports help to strengthen the muscles and bones, as well as improving cardiovascular and respiratory health. They also encourage the body to burn calories, which can lead to weight loss and improved fitness levels. Additionally, many team sports can improve the coordination and cognitive system as they require quick reflexes.
Ultimately, the ultimate benefit of team sport is that it helps to build confidence and self-esteem in children and young people. This can be especially important for young girls, who often struggle with low self-esteem and depression. Furthermore, the physical benefits of playing team sport can help to boost their social and emotional wellbeing, as they learn how to interact with others in a healthy and supportive manner. In addition, participating in team sports can lead to a sense of belonging, as they build friendships with other players and their coaches. This leads to a sense of identity and purpose that can carry over into their adult lives. The physical and social aspects of team sports are what really distinguish them from other types of sporting activities. Moreover, they can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels in young people, which can have long-term negative consequences.