It is hard to deny the value of sports for a myriad of reasons. There are the obvious benefits such as exercise, calorie burning, muscle toning and endurance. There is also the added and equally beneficial element of forming friendships, some of which last over the course of a lifetime. It does not matter whether you congregate with the guys in the football helmets, under the basketball backboards or on the tennis courts. Coming into contact on a regular basis with those with whom you have some things in common is a valuable activity. The unity that is often displayed among teammates is wonderful and enriching.
On the other hand, the lack of such unity is sometimes disappointing and unattractive. Watching teammates place blame and bicker with one another is one of the uglier parts of the sporting world. For that reason, it deserves notice when you see a team where the players seem to have each others backs and their best interests at heart. While not condoning violence, it is refreshing to witness a teammate immediately come to the aid of one of their counterparts when they have been fouled with excessive force or malicious intent.
Starting at very young ages in youth soccer or pee-wee baseball or a variety of other sporting activities, it is great to see the camaraderie begin to develop and friendships to grow and deepen. Sometimes it is those very friendships that give young people strength as they go through difficult times and experience bouts of insecurity and the intermittent lack of confidence that tend to be a part of the growing up process. Knowing that someone is in your corner or that they are going through similar things and understand your feelings can make a world of difference to anyone, but perhaps especially to those in the midst of their growing years. Studies back this up.
While involvement in team sports naturally lends itself to being surrounded by more people who are potential friends, it has been proven that participation in sports of any kind gives one a great boost. Cyclists, for example, enjoy the benefits of being more physically fit along with the satisfaction of knowing they are involved in a sport which is popular with millions of other individuals.
Studies by the Journal of Sports Behavior indicated that children who did not participate in sports reported more feelings of loneliness and isolation than those who were involved in some type of sport. For this reason along with many others, making sports a part of one’s life is a good idea.