For Australians, Saturday sport is a common part of most family’s weekly routines. Younger children often get involved in soccer or netball and enjoy having fun with their teammates. But, when the children get older, friends and other social activities take priority.
Whilst parties might sound more ideal as a teenager, dropping out of Saturday sports at this time can be a mistake. As teenagers move through life things arise like peer pressure, hormonal changes and high school life. Issues such as these can be combated with the help of team sports.
Exercise creates endorphins. These endorphins can improve someone’s mood and reduce and stress or anxiety they are experiencing. So, if exercise means endorphins, then so too does team sports. And for moody teenagers, I bet parents out there wouldn’t say no to anything that could enhance their mood.
Along with anxiety and academic pressure, body image can be something else that factors in. When you’re running around each weekend on end and training, the idea of what the body can do starts to come into play. Learning the strength and skill of their body, children can appreciate their bodies for what they do, not what they look like.
Amongst teammates children might know, it also allows children to meet a wider circle of people. These people could be from different schools, of different ages or even different backgrounds. In creating a diverse group of friends, children develop a strong sense of community.
Being in a team full of like-minded friends, again, creates a sense of belonging. When they have something to look forward to and feel like they are a part of something, their attitude will be more positive.
Yelling to your teammate to pass the ball, whilst it may seem loud or like it’s only meant for the field, is a great takeaway from team sports. Non-verbal communication in gestures and facial expressions is also another helpful takeaway. These communication skills help with public speaking or just perhaps in a smaller situation in speaking up for themselves or their views.
Being on a schedule, having training each week and turning up are responsibilities that come with team sports. These small and simples responsibilities teach discipline. This can translate into managing academic responsibilities and chores outside of sport.
Unfortunately, you can’t win every game. These setbacks and small bouts of disappointment allow children to be able to better handle disappointment elsewhere in life.
So nope, Saturdays are not in for sleep-ins. They can be saved for Sundays, after team sports on Saturday!